Touching the Sky
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."
"The lure of flying is the lure of beauty."
When I was first exploring the aviation world I did not know anything. I do not have any family in this industry, nor anyone that personally knew me. I was confused. I have found that sometimes we need to personally do research, as that is what I had to do. My story and aviation can be found here. In order to find what I truly wanted to do in life, I began my quest. Researching what careers are out there is a great start. There are so many that I could not believe the plentiful amounts of choices. It was as if I was driving into an empty parking lot. There are just so many spots to park a car. It's hard to choose where to park, as it takes time to decide what the best option would be.
From the beginning, I had a thought about being a pilot, but never really thought it through. I wanted to be a flight attendant for a while. Sooner or later, I came to the realization that I wanted to be on the other side of that cockpit door flying the plane. It seems intriguing. The thought of watching sunsets and sunrises from those windows. The stars, night flights, and landing in the dark.
The beauty of flight has lured people for many many years. I will forever be grateful for what the Wright Brothers did for us. Without them, aviation would cease to exist. The same captivation of flight has gotten into my own soul. Once one feels that connection with the sky and the freedom of flight, it just feel right. The only downside to that love for aviation is being grounded. An aviation enthusiast that wants to fly all the time has the hardest time staying on the ground. Because the sky is my home, I always want to be up in the clouds.
What really pushed me even more to pursue an eventual career in this industry was taking an intro flight. The introductory flight helped me finally solidify my decision to be a pilot. My intro flight in a Diamond DA-40 was an event that I will never forget. On my birthday, I was able to take this flight of a lifetime. We were even able to touch and go at the international airport, which was the most amazing feeling ever. If you are questioning whether or not aviation is for you or not, maybe consider booking an introductory flight.
Making the decision to fly or not is one of the first steps one should take before beginning training. Since training is a lot of money, you want to make sure that being a pilot is for you. Do not be afraid to explore. Aviation is such a great industry. Thanks to the pioneers who have come before us we know the industry how it is today.
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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.