Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Fly In

leave a comment »

For years, I lived within bicycling distance of Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, yet I never attended any of their events. Yesterday, I walked among planes and talked with pilots at my first fly-in. It has me marveling over what I missed all those years.

IMG_iP3742eCH

It also has me appreciating all the money I have saved by not becoming a pilot. 🙂

IMG_iP3774eCHWith the Battle Lake airstrip within walking distance on a beautiful paved path past the Glendalough State Park, Cyndie and I hiked under the series of incoming aircraft to take in the spectacle. George was already there with an orange vest on as a volunteer helping direct traffic when planes taxied past the wandering spectators.

The incoming civilian small planes floated in with little fanfare while the louder, larger, and faster military planes made speedy passes and garnered the bulk of attention. I was filled with questions about the difference of all the designs and found an excellent teacher in George’s friend, Ed.

DSCN5118eI first met Ed at an impromptu drop-in visit for dinner at George’s house. He had become a mentor for George during his time of instruction to earn a pilot’s license. While chatting about the typical first-meeting details that define us, we quickly surmised that Cyndie and I had purchased our home and property from his sister. We had an instant bond.

I also quickly learned why he made for a good mentor. He was not only an experienced pilot, but he had spent his career directing planes as a flight controller.

Flying, like so many other pursuits, holds an allure that can easily pull a person in all the way. Despite that, I learned, the number of pilots is on the decline. There are less young people entering the field than the number of flyers who are aging out.

DSCN5127eDSCN5128e.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

I’ve survived the pull of that flying thrill several times before, with pilot-friends Mike and Rich both bringing me along on flights, and the time when our son, Julian, was investigating the possibility. I think I’ll be able to withstand the pull again with George and Ed.

I wouldn’t help the averages, anyway. At this point, I’d just end up being another pilot in the 60-year-old bracket.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Advertisements

Written by johnwhays

September 4, 2016 at 8:41 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: