I’m Happy Just Being Around Planes

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.

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Safety When I Fly

In the modern world, flying is so darn safe that we honestly take it for granted.  I could look up specific numbers about exactly how safe it is but that is not my purpose here today.

As someone who flies for a living, I have a vested interest in ensuring that flying is safe, which it largely is.  Airlines fly millions of passengers everyday with only rare situations of dramatic safety issues.  The safety of military flying is even that much higher, despite our increased risk, because of all the extra time we put into safety.

So what does any of this have to do with being grateful?  I guess the fact that I fly all the time and arrive back home to my family safely is what I am truly grateful for.

I recently had a flight where we landed with eight different write-ups for maintenance to take care of.  As much as I hate leaving them that much work, it is a credit to their continued diligence that not a single one of those things was so vital that we weren’t able to finish our mission.

Stuff is going to break on a forty year old plane, that’s just the way it is.  However, the strict standards that we adhere to in maintenance and mission planning and preparation of everyone involved, ensure that I continue to make it home safely at night.

Earlier today I had a discussion on Twitter about what to tell your kids as they get older and start to realize how dangerous your job can be flying.  I guess I won’t know the results of my efforts until my kids get older, but I am always honest with them about how much time and preparation we put into what we do.  That it is still dangerous, but we mitigate those risks through our efforts.

That seems to be enough to placate them now, but I know my safety standards will never change so I hope they will understand all I am doing to make sure I am safe.

Safety is one of those things I think we take for granted, until an accident happens, but like many other aviators I know personally, I will always be grateful for my safety when flying, and I will forever remain diligent to ensure I remain that safe.

What are you grateful for?

Happiness

I was a little surprised with myself when I picked this topic to be grateful for today.  I have not been exceptionally happy recently, but at the same.time I have much to be happy about.

I have a beautiful wife and children that I love dearly, and that love me in return.  I get to talk to them pretty much daily, and seeing them on video makes me so happy.  

I have a good job that supports my family well and provides all of the income that I need, and then some.  I get to work around airplanes, though not as much as I would like right now, and I work right next to a runway where I regularly get to see planes, which always makes me happy.

The biggest airshow in the world is going on right now at EAA Airventure in OshKosh, Wisconsin, and while I can’t be there personally, I get to live vicariously through the many friends that I have that are there.  It is easy to be happy when you get to share in the happiness of others.

As I write this I realize it is really just another list of many things I am grateful for, but isn’t that really what happiness is all about?  Acknowledging the great things that you have in your life and allowing them to bring you joy?

It is so vitally important that we always look for the good and joy in our lives, especially when they get hard, and that is why today I am grateful for happiness.

What are you grateful for?

Flying

I know I already mentioned airplanes, but a love of airplanes and a love of flying are two different things.

Today I had the opportunity to enjoy an amazing flight through the mountains of Japan.  It was the last flight of one of our more experienced pilots before he leaves Japan, and he made the most of it.

I really wish I had brought my GoPro because it would have made some amazing footage.  

I know most people think of flying up at 30-40,000 feet cruising along for hours on end with only minutes on either end close to the ground.  However, while we do fly higher on occasion cruising along, what makes my job fun is the low-level flying like I got to do today.

The C-130 is not a sexy sleek fast fighter jet, but when you see that big old plane trucking through the mountains at 250mph only 300-500 feet off the ground, it is a sight to behold.

It is an even cooler sight from the inside.  I could go on and on about just how much fun it is to fly low-level a in the C-130, but that is not really the point of this blog.  

If you would like to read more or watch some of my videos from flying please check out my other blog AviationGuy.com There are tons of pictures and videos and articles for you to enjoy there.

For these purposes, I will simply leave it at how grateful I am that I get to fly for a living.

Airplanes

20150203_102048Anyone who knows me will be surprised that it took me a whole week to be grateful for airplanes, but here we are.

I love airplanes.

I love everything about them.  I am what you would call an Avgeek.  I love watching them take off and land, I love watching them be built, and as much as it pains me, I love going to their final resting places.  I have been to airports and museums and factories and boneyards (aircraft graveyards) all over the world, and I still never tire of watching airplanes.

There is something incredibly liberating about leaving the earth in any type of airplane, but I am blessed to have one of the most fun aircraft to fly in as a job.  While it was not an exciting flight, I was able to get out of the office and spend a few hours up in the air.  There is simply no better way to spend a day.

The fun part of my job is ripping through the mountains at 250+ mph at 300 feet above the ground.  Seeing a plane moving that fast in that environment is cool, but standing on the flight deck is even cooler.

I am in the midst of pretty significant transition in my career right now, but it is always great to get back in the plane and enjoy some time in the air.  Things will inevitably change in every aspect of my life, but I guarantee that I will never stop loving planes.  That love will only grow deeper.

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