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Why she learned to fly

I can talk all day long about why I love to fly. The fact that I’m a charter pilot only adds to my commitment to general aviation and all the joy it brings to the otherwise earthbound. Instead, I decided to let someone else share her story of airplane love. – Sean Kline

Who knows when the flying bug bit me? I was just a few months old when I took my first ride in an airplane. And though my dad was a commercial pilot until I was about 4, my only aviation memory is the airline gum in his uniform pocket.

Maybe it was in college where I had the chance to visit another campus in a small aircraft. Unlike riding in the big birds, I felt like part of the aircraft sitting behind the pilot as he reported his position and worked the controls. When I looked out the window it all made sense.

When business travel took me across the country, I listened to pilot and ground control on the radio while everyone else slept. I chartered scenic hops on seaplanes, mail planes, helicopters, gliders, ultralights and even took an aerobatic flight in an open cockpit biplane. But I’d still never been in the left seat.

There’s no way to adequately describe how it felt throttling down the runway at 65 knots for the first time. But at the moment I pulled back on the yoke to lift off, the aircraft and I became one. It was a religious experience.

Since getting my license I’ve flown into airports in four states, including historic Miegs Field, and cruised Chicago’s lakefront during a Bears game. Once I even took the controls flying over Will Shakespeare’s home at Stratford on Avon. But at the controls or not, I can’t resist a chance to soar peacefully over my favorite places. So I don’t. Hopefully you can’t either. The skies are yours for the taking. – Kathy Eber

What about you? Why do you love flying? Drop me an email to share your story.

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