According to the dictionary, aviation can be defined as the development, production, and use of aircraft. To those who have to do with this industry it’s more than that definition. Aviation is a fire burning passion that increases throughout life creating love for planes, the heavens, and the world. One who loves aviation always has their eyes towards the sky. The first time my aviation torch was ignited it changed my life for good.
Setting the stage to the winter of 2017, to be more precise, December 5th 2017. My family decided to take an adventure over to the island of Kauai in the Hawaiian archipelago. Little did I know, this trip would change my life. The moment of arriving at the Salt Lake City International Airport was a daunting one. The security agents check bags and make people take off their shoes. Walking through the x-ray detectors, then picking up my backpack at the end of the conveyor belt, and finally putting my shoes back on. I noticed many people from many different walks of life. The final turn around the corner led to a gigantic window displaying the apron full of planes touched with the mountains in the back.
It was as if the planes were calling me over to the window. The engines were very vociferous. In fact, the engines were so loud they could be heard inside. Each plane had its own intricate design. Some planes belonged to the same airline. The most plentiful airline was Delta, followed by Southwest, United, and American Airlines. As we kept walking through terminal one I spotted planes taking off. They took off so effortlessly. It was as if a mysterious force was picking them up off the runway despite the white blanket of snow that covered the ground.
This next event was an even more pivotal moment in my life. After passing two hours by staring at planes it was finally our turn to board our Delta flight from Salt Lake to Lihue, Kauai. Walking up the jet-bridge ignited my fire even more. The captain, with the flight attendants, greeted us as we boarded the flight. Just exactly who were these people? Once I took my seat next to the window I realized I could see the wing.
I had only experienced the thrill of takeoff once before, but I could not remember as I was really young. The plane’s flaps moved up and down as the pilots tested the equipment. The pilots started up the engines, which is a noise that I discovered raises serotonin levels. As the engines sent us across the runway, I could feel the force of the plane lifting off the ground. It was at this moment I figured out that aviation is nothing short of a miracle. The force of takeoff gave my stomach butterflies. I gasped for a breath as the plane bounced a little after liftoff. My head spun for a second as I gathered my thoughts. Albeit, at first I was a little scared. Soon I figured out that aviation is completely safe and fun.
If it wasn’t for these pivotal moments in my life, I would not have come to love and appreciate the aviation industry. Now, years later, I want to become a commercial airline pilot. Next year I will make that goal become a reality by beginning flight training. I cannot wait for the next chapter in my life so I can finally experience the freedom of flight on a daily basis. Edward Van Rickenbacker once said, “Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” In my own eyes this is very true. The first time I touched the sky was on December 5th 2017 and ever since I have longed to return. One day I will live my life in the sky, but through pilot eyes.
"Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible."
My name is Jetta, and I am a student pilot currently attending Southern Utah University to become an airline pilot. Join me on my journey from zero to the left seat.