|Update: The Miracle of Flight|
February 1, 2019
The early days of flight were fraught with uncertainty and peril. Instruments? Who needs instruments? We're talking VFR, folks. Pick a direction, and hope you can find a safe spot to land.
My father is a pilot of small planes. When I was growing up, he used to take me to the Wadsworth Municipal Airport on Saturdays to pal around with his pilot buddies at their hangars. Sometimes we'd take short trips, just for fun, to some other municipal airport nearby. The diner at Carrol County Airport served great pies. But forget about the pies---I got to fly! As a little kid, he'd stick me in the copilot seat and let me take the yoke from time to time.
There were a number of pilot sayings from that era that stuck with me. My father had a few of these on placards in his hangar.
"There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots."
"The air, like the sea, is very unforgiving of an error."
And one of the nearby airports had "Steve's Weather Rock," a 20-pound hunk of granite on a chain, hanging outside of its administration building, with a sign that read:
"If it's wet, it's raining."
"If it's white, it's snowing."
"If it's swinging, it's windy."
"If it's hanging straight out, it's too windy to fly."
Keep that in mind as you take to the sky.