For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved aeroplanes, and flight. I was brought up in an area of Worcestershire where we had all types of aircraft flying at rooftop level over our house. From fast jets, to large cargo aeroplanes, helicopters and even the odd American or European jets. I loved sprinting out of the house to watch them, and decided very early on that flying was for me. That’s what I was going to do.
My first chance to take control of an aeroplane happened after an unexpected and terrible change in my life. I don’t think I would have had the chance to realise my boyhood dream had it not been for this disaster in my life.
Every cloud has a silver lining right!?
After my first trial lesson in a light aeroplane I was addicted! Id rediscovered how much I loved flight.
In the air you have absolute freedom to drift through the sky and play amongst the clouds. You have space, crisp, cold air and a perspective on the world that only the gods can share.
On the ground I would often feel restricted, anchored to a surface and only able to move on a horizontal plain. When I jump into a cockpit I can leap into the air, move in three dimensions, travel across continents over the hills, seas, deserts. Freedom.
Contentment and happiness overwhelm me, it’s an addiction.
I want to share with you a famous poem written by the late John Gillespie Magee junior that captures the feeling perfectly.
‘Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air…Up, up the long, delirious, burning blueI’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy graceWhere never lark nor even eagle flew and, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space,Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.’