Photos from Thirty-plus Years of Flying
Flying in South Carolina
Places to go - Upcoming Events - Things to do
Learning to Fly
Buying an Airplane
Flying Stories (latest addition, 11 May 2019)
Flying Put to Words
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Left: She took off, turned on-course, climbed to altitude, flew on-course and
straight-and-level.   Made it look easy.   Total piloting time: 20 minutes.
Below: Posing with First-Time Flight Certificates in hand!
If someone in the airplane is prone to air-sickness, there are two sure-fire ways to increase the probability of that occurring, even on a calm day on a smooth ride.   One is to look out the side-window straight down; the other is to fly in circles.
A friend at work asked me if I would like to help her with some photography:   the kids at her child's school would form a ring around their school, holding hands, while we flew overhead, so she could take pictures.   It was just a few minutes from our take-off at Greenville Municipal until we were circling above the school building and she began snapping away.   We had made two or three laps, when I realized she had stopped talking - a sure sign of a stomach giving notice of its intention to revolt.
We were nearer to the Greer Airport so, photography complete, I headed over there to get her on the ground as quickly as possible.
I could tell it was going to be a close race, and we almost made it.   But barely a hundred feet above the runway, her stomach won.
She quickly recovered and soon felt better, aside from a bit of embarassment.   Back at work the next day, she was able to have a good laugh about it retelling the story to our friends, and the school was of course very pleased with that yearbook's very special front cover.
The boundary lamps were yellow blurs
Against the winter night,
And I had checked the last ship in
And snapped the office light
And paused a while to let the ghosts
Of bygone days and men
Roam down the skies of auld lang syne
As one will now and then ...
When fancy sent me company
A red checked lad to stand
With questions gleaming in his eyes,
A model in his hand.
He may have been your boy or mine,
I could not clearly see,
But there was no mistaking how
His eyes were questioning me
For answers which all sons must have
Who build their toys in play,
But pow'r them in valiant dreams
And fly them far away;
So down I sat with him beside
There in the dim lit shed,
And with the ghost of better men
To check on me, I said:
'I cannot tell you, Sonny Boy,
The future of this art,
But one thing I can show you, lad,
An old time pilot's heart;
And you may judge what flight may give
Or hold in store for you
By knowing how true pilots feel
About the work they do;
And only he who dedicates
His life to some ideal
Becomes as one with his dreams
His future will reveal.
Not one of whose wings are dust
Would call his bargain in,
Not one of us would welsh his part
To save his bloomin' skin,
Not one would wish to walk again
Unless allowed to throw
His heart into the thing he loved
And go as he would go;
Not one would change for gold or pow'r,
Nor fun nor love nor fame,
The part he played and price he paid
In making good the game.
And of the living ... none, not one,
Regrets the scars he bears,
The sheer uncertainty of plans,
The poverty he shares,
Remitted price for one mistake
That checks a bright career,
The shattered hopes, the scant rewards,
The future never clear:
And of the living ... none, not one,
Who truly loves the sky,
Would trade a hundred earth bound hours
For one that he could fly.
If that sleek model in your hand,
Which you have brought to me,
Most represents the thing you love,
The thing you want to be,
Then, you will fill your curly head
With knowledge, fact and lore,
For there is no short cut which leads
To aviation's door;
And only those whose zeal is proved
By patient toil and will
Shall ever have a part to play
Or have a place to fill.'
And suddenly the lad was gone
On wings I could not hear,
But from afar off came his voice
In studied tones and clear,
A prophet's message simply told
For this is what he said
And why his hand will someday lead
'Who wants to fly has got to know:
Now two times two is four:
I've got to learn the first things first!'
...I closed the hanger door.
When you've flown
enough years to have
crossed many hills and
valleys, and known much
loneliness and endured
many uncertainties -
why, then you're a pilot.
You can never be too
much afraid of what lies
If you don't venture on
sullen skies, you never come
to sunkissed valleys.
If your palms have never
been moist, your heart has
If you have never been
afraid, you have never been
So I think he learns of life,
this one with the
And if it does not mold
him in humility of mind and
in peace of heart -
then I have not read
with understanding the
long, long thoughts of my
confreres - they who have
earned a citizenship in the