Unasked, I feel compelled to write about my flying experience this past Sunday night. I’m not sure if I am apologizing because I am sharing a personal story without you asking for it, or if it’s because you weren’t with me. Over the last 1500 hours, I’ve had many pleasant flights. Like all pilots, most flights cause me to say out loud, “I love flying!” But this night was somehow different.
My flight to BMI was uneventful, but exciting as I was flying down to enjoy dinner with one of my sons who happened to be in town to see a client. Flying is always great, but has special meaning when I can see family….. AND EAT! As an added benefit, I found a new great restaurant.
After dinner, he dropped us off, and after a preflight, we headed north to PWK. The flight was only about 30 minutes, and as we approached Chicago, I descended to stay under the Bravo (O’Hare airspace). With the lights below and the dark sky above, I dimmed the panel, making the plane almost invisible. Combined with a glass like smoothness in the air, it created a visual I couldn’t remember experiencing before. It was as if I was in an easy chair, and I was directing the chair through a magical world. There was no sense of speed, other than the city lights moving by below me. I didn’t want the flight to end, and wished all of my friends (pilot and non-pilot alike) could’ve been with me.
I write and talk to pilots about getting out to the airport to go flying. I’m always amazed how little we fly, considering how much we all love it. I’m hoping reading this will serve as a catalyst for some of you to find your own special aviation moment. Get back in the plane and experience something that so few people will ever know.
And learn from me, invite someone to share it with.
March Epner flies a Cirrus and also serves as president of the Leading Edge Flying Club based at PWK’s hangar 5