Remembering Why We Fly

A friend recently passed his private pilot checkride and while we were debriefing, he told me he was going to jump right in to his IFR training.  It reminded me of the conversation I had with my CFI after passing my checkride a few years ago.  He told me to take the time to appreciate the newly minted PPL I just received.  Use it to enjoy myself, go grab a $100 hamburger, see some places I’ve never been and gain some experiences.  

When I first started learning to fly, I took a discovery flight.  During that one hour flying lesson, I sat in the left seat, got to take the controls and was hooked right then and there.  But learning to fly poses many challenges which call on you to dive in and focus on the process.  That focus is an important part of the training, but after a while, it became easy to forget the passion and enjoyment I experienced on that first time in the air. 

Learning to fly in Orange County, California can be a bit overwhelming at times.  You’re forced to be assertive on the radios and quickly learn all about the airspace you’re flying in just to keep your head above water.  But when you come out the other end of the training and finally look back, you realize that since you were forced into the sink or swim of towered airports, like Fullerton, you see it was worth it.  All the things that made me feel like drinking water from a firehose at first now make me comfortable traveling to almost any airport environment safely.

So, after all the training is done and you have your newly minted private pilots license, take some time to smell the roses.  You’re now approved to carry passengers.  Get out there and use this new privilege to generate some new memories and experiences with your friends and family.

If you’re thinking about learning to fly, Fullerton airport is an excellent location.  It’s unique location, airspace and GA friendly flying make it the right airport to earn your ticket to the skies.