Flying high with Richmor Aviation
By David Krell
Location: Richmor Aviation Flight School
There are few things that actually help to quantify the magnitude of our world.
Hiking through Machu Picchu in Peru, for example, and realizing how tiny we actually are- both physically and within the timeline of human existence.
It is one of those moments where the world feels drastically outside the tiny bubble humans created, maintained and have tried to break away from for all these years. Comfort, in other words, is for the everyday, but some days we, as the extreme animals we are, desire the opposite.
Entering the unassuming airplane hangar of the Richmor Aviation Flight School that doubles as an office building, one can't help but stare at the planes and wonder how and why he or she is about to actually fly one of these things.
And yes, these are the exact planes you're imagining. The same ones you grew up thinking, "who in the world would actually go into one of those death traps?"
Not only did flying the plane yourself not enter your mind, but even stepping foot in its claustrophic-friendly interior sounded daunting. It is with this sort of hesitant stride that I walk towards the plane. At this point, I had simply wanted to get my body into the plane, and I had forgotten I was supposed to actually lift off, land and control most of our cruising through the air.
That is until Steve, our pilot, delightfully and happily exclaimed, "ready to fly us in the air?"
Thank goodness for Steve.
Coming from a family of pilots, Steve was the exact person a newbie like myself would have wanted to learn from.
The ever-trusting side-part of the hair, the unwrinkled and tucked-in shirt with attached khaki pants and the genuine giddiness of flying for the 100th time this week, Steve was the perfect sponge for the anxiety that permeated the air around me.
Not only did he take away anxiety, but he gave excitement in return. He portrayed the experience like the most trustworthy salesman you ever met, which, by the way, is a good thing.
He literally could have taken the engine out of the plane we were about to fly, sold it to me for triple the cost and convinced me to fly this engine-less plane within the span of five minutes- and I would have done so with the sort of ease a nitrous-filled patient obliges in the dentist's chair.
The experience, one learns, begins the second the reservation is confirmed months prior. The realistic anticipation of flying a plane is grand in itself, conjuring up images and future memories one can't wait to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Whether we like to admit it or not, anticipation for such experiences usually takes precedence over the experience itself, which ultimately leads to the inevitability of disappointment.
Once entering the airplane, I knew Steve would never let any visitor leave the Richmor Aviation Flight School without squashing that preconceived notion.
Training began with a quick rundown of the buttons, safety, who was actually in the tower firing off random words and codes, and ultimately, explaining what those codes meant.
This was immediately followed by my excitement for taxying on the runway, and eventually lifting off into the air. To be honest, driving/taxying the plane is natural, like a go-kart with an extra-large track and no competing drivers, but flying the plane feels anything but normal, which again, attests to the magic of Steve and ultimately, the achievement of the experience as a whole.
Consequently, your time in the air is a battle of emotions, but a battle you will gladly fight.
One second you're discussing how to become a pilot yourself, imagining a plane of your own and flying your family to Florida for vacations, while the next second you're scared for your life because a tiny gust of wind caused the plane to bounce up a few feet.
The views were as beautiful as anyone's inner-hype could create, but the vulnerability of the plane was constantly apparent, for even Steve could not ease that tension.
That said, it was tension I demanded and successfully overcame.
Despite being terrified prior to the flight, and comfortably nervous and aware of my vulnerability once in the air, there is nothing I have ever experienced which helped to clarify my place in a world full of amazing experiences.
Promotional consideration was provided for this coverage.
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