I’ve never been a pilot, which is very much a matter of priorities. I’ve studied fixed wing and helicopter flight. I understand the physics and terminology, even understand the basics of the controls. In fact, as a much younger man, I considered building my own helicopter, a Rotorway Exec. I’ve always been handy with tools and it seemed a great way to get into flying, but it was, of course, expensive. Ultimately, I realized that unless one is more or less independently wealthy, or willing to dedicate one’s life more or less to the pursuit of air time—and I wasn’t—flying isn’t a realistic pursuit. I knew if I got into it at all, I’d have to own an aircraft, and I’d be putting every spare dime, and many I had to borrow, into flying.
I had other priorities, and they’ve amounted to a wonderful and fulfilling life without the wild, blue yonder.
Oh, I’ve flown commercial many times, and done a good number of flights in private, light aircraft, and military helicopters. I even got to “fly” an actual Air Force B1 Bomber flight simulator for about an hour, which was a fascinating experience that convinced me we should give those pilots all the Av Gas and flight time they want.
I enjoy reading flight stories, and suspect even if you’re unfamiliar with the genre, you’ll enjoy reading this story about a bit of fun a SR-71 pilot—the fastest aircraft of which we’re currently aware—had one day. There may be faster machines out there, but if so, the government is keeping them pretty very much under the radar.
In any case, take the link and read the SR-71 story. Good stuff that will bring a smile to your face, and perhaps make you proud to be an American. That’s sometimes hard these days, and it shouldn’t be.