A Pilot’s Life
I have been trying for a year or two to set up a class. It would be a graduate seminar, where I, as a pilot at the end of his career, could communicate with pilots just starting out. Not student pilots, but fully licenced pilots beginning their professional careers.
It has not happened. There are any number of reasons why, starting with COVID and my old age.
Fifty years ago, I had the good fortune to join the airline when apprenticeship was still a reality. I shared the cockpit with pilots who had, up to a few years before, been flying the CF-86, the CF-101, and the CF-104. It was a gift of learning I can never repay.
But I would like to try, and the time I have remaining is unknowable. So instead, I am writing a book.
It is called Still Learning to Fly, because I am. I have a Bonanza with 21st Century avionics. I still hold a valid Class I Medical, and a current Instrument Rating and ATPL. For how long? God only knows. But I feel desperate to communicate with pilots who are where I was exactly fifty years ago – in their first flying seat at the airline.
I have been given much. I have worked to bring the best of me to my vocation. I have known joy in my trade. So I have to try to pass on some of it.
Still Learning to Fly is about you. For you, about you, dedicated to you. I want to talk to you, but I want, even more, to hear your young voices.