A completed landing in a strong gusting crosswind, complete within a reduced visibility on a contaminated icy surface can leave a pilot momentarily with a feeling of, retirement cannot come soon enough. However ever when that last flight is flown, there is a feeling of I need more flight time, more takeoffs, more landings…
In my case I have left the industry monetarily several times, but those times short-lived, because I became an addict at a very early age….
My name is Dave and I am an avi-holic.
My story is simple, and started when I was just at the age of about 5 or 6 years old. My first recollection of wanting to fly was me sitting in a snowdrift with a shortened broken broomstick in hand guiding my imagination through the blue skies dotted with puffy white clouds.
I am not sure how I knew to pull the control stick back to make the people smaller, and to push the control stick forward to make the people grow bigger. I expect it was my addiction to the TV series Sky King, and Blue Angels… watching the pilots move their ships through footless hollows of air helped.
My home was located under the approach path of runway 12-30 of the Windsor airport so that exposure often yielded airplanes practicing taking off and landing along with the odd airliner flown by Trans Canada Airlines. So, on those sunny days may gaze would often be upward living in a dream yet to come true
My dad a doctor died in the fourth year of my childhood, and my Mom a nurse raised 3 boys in a single parent family before it was … fashionable. As a boy in those days without a dad, I was lost into my daydreams. No sports teams, or Father’s Day celebrations… But I had 2 wonderful and older brothers to grow up with and love them dearly to this day. We shared this experience but growing up differently. I was young enough when my dad passed away to not feel the full implications of this, because this was normal. I suppose in the day of COVID19 to very young children this will all seem very normal. Maybe the ones a little older, not so much.
What are dreams made of and how are they realized? Inspirations, belief that maybe, just maybe, I could do it too! But only with a lot of help, seen and unseen. The road seemed long at the time and I thought I would never get “there” …
My grade school years were mostly uneventful. There were those days when the teachers might ask “Little Davey, what do you what to do when you grow up?” I would ask them how I might learn to fly those chariots in the sky. Well, the answer then was most often one of discouragement. Flying was meant for those who had perfect vision, perfect math scores, and from families who could help them into the system through connections and money or at least help them qualify for an Air Force scholarship i.e. be the top of the class graduate which I was not.