The hell with it, let’s go flying

Flying is within our grasp. We have naught to do but take it. ~Charles Duryea

My aviation pursuits have taken substantial damage of late. I’m on fire, my airframe is failing, and the ground is rising and twisting to smack me out of the air for good.

Time to bail out and start from scratch.

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29S (9-13S), Russia - Air Force AN0196348

My flying budget was eviscerated by my student loans. To add insult to injury mysterious hiring policy changes at the FAA effectively killed my career prospects in air traffic control. I’m right back where I started, only now I’m yoked to the bank until I die.

But all is not lost. It’s just time for a change of strategy. I think it’s time to stop fighting it so hard and just roll with the resources I have. I have some amazingly supportive family and friends. I have a career that can pay the bills and I have a deep seated love of flight. These are all good things. With some good thinking and good luck, I can rearrange my life so that I can afford to fly a few times a month. I think that would be far more beneficial for me than banging my head against the career wall indefinitely.

It’s time to pursue a life free of ambition and the chains that it brings. It’s time to relax, surround myself with good people, and go flying when I can. I may not be able to make a living with it, but maybe that’s for the best. I can enjoy it for what it is and not feel the stress that flying for a living brings. I can let work be work and play be play and improve my quality of life all around.

The plane of my ambitions may be on fire and screeching to a rude meeting with terra firma. But I will survive. As long as this parachute doesn’t fail I’ll live to fly again another day.


APOD: P-51!

There is no airplane quite so beautiful in quite so many ways as the P-51. The Mustang wants to fly. Tail low in the grass, nose pointed skywards, wings spreading to split the air, the Mustang is itching to climb into the atmosphere. It wants be high and fast, inverted, around the clouds, swooping down low to taunt the earth then screaming back into the air with a rolling flourish, soaring away from the meddlesome obligations of life on the ground. The Mustang has the soul of a pilot.

Some airplanes promise transportation; others, luxury. The Mustang promises only to escape from the earth for a little while. Retired from war, the Mustang flies only to fly, and that is the essence of being an aviator.

That is why I love the Mustang.