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Hangar Flying

Stay Connected - Stay Young

 


Staying “young” is an important concept, I think, generally speaking. We all try to stay young to some extent, even as we reach advanced ages (the older I get the older the definition of advanced age gets!). This has become a significant challenge as events are canceled as a result of our government’s response to the coronavirus. We find ourselves isolated more than most of us can remember and the resulting cabin fever can take a toll on how we feel, how we look at life, how we deal with the isolation.

Initially many of us found joy in some things that we have placed on the back burner. Jigsaw puzzles. Reading one of those books that we had tucked away on the bookshelf for a rainy day. Binge watching some of the television series that have been on our list. With time, however, I find myself looking through the “introspectiscope” for things that truly keep me young.

I find that turning my thoughts to aviation gives me renewed energy. Thank heaven most of us have been able to head out to the airport and fly around the patch, even though we are limited in what has been a wonderful experience sitting down at the Wings Café in Brainerd to enjoy breakfast or a hamburger, sitting at a table with friends, reminiscing about flights that we have made. It is the latter socializing that has been sorely lacking during this time, and I think that social network helps to keep us young.

Of course, there is nothing quite like closing the cockpit door, running through our prestart checklist, opening the door to yell “Clear Prop!” activating the starter and listening to the roar of the engine! There is nothing quite as stimulating as pushing forward on the throttle, easing back on the stick and watch as we lift off from terra firma, vaulting into the wide blue yonder. I become young each and every time I fly, each and every time I dance amongst the clouds, winging right and left just as I did when I was much younger. Flying makes me just a little bit timeless.

I sorely missed the 2020 Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering, many of you sorely missed the Minnesota Seaplane Pilots Association Safety Seminar and I think most of us will find it very odd and disorientating to not make the trek to Oshkosh. This saddens me in that I have come to love the tradition of walking along the flight line, taking in the exhibit halls, seeing what new things might be out there for aviators. I feel very bad for those of us who have begun to think of things in terms of “will this be the last time I’ll be able to take in AirVenture?” Sure, not even the young have a guarantee for the future, but it really hits home to me right now.

I encourage you to stay connected with our fellow aviators, take in all that we can. It will help keep us young.

 

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