Yesterday was just an all around fantastic day, and today and tomorrow should be for the same reason. I not only got to fly my beloved C-130 for work through some incredible mountain valleys, I also got to fly in a small plane as I work on my private pilot certificate.
It is something I have wanted to do since I was a little kid, and even started about ten years ago, but it just got too expensive at the time. It is even more expensive now, but I just could not wait any longer. So I jumped in head first, and have had more fun up in the air then I can remember having anywhere in quite some time.
All told I spent about 4.5 hours flying yesterday and loved every minute of it. I just can’t figure out why I didn’t start this sooner, and why we as a people don’t spend more time doing the things that bring us the most joy?
I know that my excuses were that I didn’t have the time or money to do it, but that is all they were, excuses. My financial position and time commitments have not changed recently, but my enjoyment level has because I stopped making excuses and just went for it.
My question to you all is what is one thing that you absolutely love doing that you wish you could do more of, and what is keeping you from doing it?
Sometimes even just thinking very specifically about those two questions is enough to help you find a way to do it more often.
It may require sacrifice like less sleep or no more Starbucks for awhile, but in the grand scheme of things those will be minor sacrifices compared to the enrichment you will experience in your life.
So take a minute to honestly assess where you could be happier, and then get to work making it a reality. The only person stopping you from being happier is you, so get out of your own way and make it happen.
As much as I love flying, it isn’t always just fun and games. An important part of all flying is recurrent checkrides to make sure that we continue to do our jobs right.
For many people it is an incredibly stressful time as it can have significant career implications. I generally am not very worried about them because I believe that if you just always do things the right way then a checkride is just another flight.
However, this time I was flying in an area that I am not familiar with, with a crew I hadn’t flown with, and an evaluator that I also didn’t know anything about. On top of that, I had only flown four times in the last three months so I was much more stressed than I usually am. I also had to get it done before the end of the month.
Long story short, I passed my checkride and am now good for another 17 months. It is amazing how much physically lighter I feel now that it is complete. I can just focus on learning the local area, and hopefully get back to some instructing, which is what I really love to do most.
As excited as I was that I was going to fly today, I am at least doubly excited that I actually did fly today. I was so afraid something was going to keep me from actually getting up in the air.
The flight was pretty simple and standard, but it was a great way to get my legs under me. It was also good to have a flight to remember all of the differences in this plane.
We fly a newer version of the C-130H here in Reno. I have flown it before, but there are a few little differences that I needed to be reminded on. Overall it was a pretty decent flight, and I am so unbelievably thrilled to have gotten to fly.
I am actually a little worried that I won’t be able to get to sleep, and I really need to because I have a PT test in the morning.
So maybe this is a day early, but I just couldn’t wait to scream it from the rooftops, or type it on a blog. After a month and a half if waiting for paperwork, and about three months of being grounded, I finally get to fly again tomorrow.
I am so happy I really can’t contain myself, and at the same time I really just want to type, “I’m so excited!” over and over again. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a few nerves because you definitely regress when you are out of the plane that long, but I am just thrilled to get spun back up again.
I think the hardest thing about the waiting is that I did everything I could and was just waiting on someone else to do their part. Honestly though, now that I get to fly again I really don’t care.
Tomorrow I will be back in the air where I belong.
I thought about saying Wahoo instead of wow to quote one of my favorite movies but it didn’t seem quite right.
I’m still grounded but got to go out to a new dropzone today that was up in the midst of some incredible mountains. Obviously what made it even better was the sight of two C-130s flying up the valley towards us.
We could hear them coming on the radio but it was even more awesome to see them come swinging around the corner through this the tight valley you can see in the back of the picture. Then they flew nice and low over our heads with the sound of their engines echoing off the cliffs around us.
I know I sound like a broken record, but few things make me happier than the sight of a C-130 in flight.
The last two days I have been able to go out to the dropzone and help out on the ground supporting our planes that were flying. It is not glamorous work, nor is it particularly difficult work, but it involves planes so I am in.
You actually spend a lot of time just sitting there waiting for the planes to come but when they do it is so much fun to see the action happen.
I need stuff like this to keep my spirits up while I wait to be able to fly. With that being said, it is hard to be down when you spend the day outside under a bluebird sky, and not at a desk.
Today is one of those truly bittersweet days in life.
For the last five years I have had the distinct pleasure of flying on the C-130H. It is an historic aircraft that has played an important role in not only the wars of the past 60 years, but the humanitarian disasters that have occurred all over the world.
To be honest, when I first started nav school I wanted nothing to do with the C-130, but that was out of complete ignorance. It did not take me long to fall in love with her, which is why I am so sad to see her leave the active duty Air Force forever.
It truly is the end of an era and a shift in the Air Force that means things will never be the same. While I have my own biased views, there is no denying the advances in technology that have made this shift possible.
Fortunately, my own selfish desires will continue to be satisfied as I am now a member of the 192nd Airlift Squadron in the Nevada Air National Guard. Just going in today and seeing those beautiful birds out on the ramp brought joy to my heart. I haven’t flown in over a month so I am dying to get back up in the air.
I try not to write about it too often here, but the depths of my passion for this plane and her mission can be found on my other blog, aviationguy.com.