Aviation or Flying? Take Your Pick

First published in 1967, this timeless essay by Richard Bach perfectly captures our vision in starting Why Fly. It provides two seemingly disparate answers to our favorite question, then rises to a philosophical crescendo and transcends them both. (re-print for our new readers).

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Important Letter from the Editor

Right from the start, we knew what we wanted Why Fly to be – an unashamedly romantic take on the world of Aviation.
We believe that an examination of the content Why Fly has posted to date shows we have made a good start re all of the above.
And we have many more exciting plans in the offing.

But … there was one question we couldn’t answer until Why Fly went live.

Is it possible to support a venture like Why Fly by membership alone? Or would we have to follow the example of others on the Internet and fund our Journal by more standard methods (advertising, third party sales, etc.)?

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Armchair Pilot?

Since I am now part of the Why Fly Team, I might as well bore you, our readers, with my own little column. And please don’t expect me to turn out literary miracles like Michelle or Glenn. First, English is not my mother tongue. Second, I am not a licensed pilot. Fortunately Glenn IS a licensed pilot and also a licensed Editor. So he’ll cut my blabbering in half and present you with the remainder. Or not, as the case may be.

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Serendipity

You might think that finding an airplane of your own to buy is a logical matter of prioritizing needs and wants, then looking through online listings. But in Glenn Norman’s experience, seller and buyer are often brought together in a decidedly more mystical manner.

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May Day!

It was supposed to just be an easy flight to an air show. The first sign of trouble came in the form of a strengthening headwind about 45 minutes into the flight. Something felt wrong, but 13-year-old ultralight pilot Scott Burris didn’t know exactly what it was. Then he looked up …

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Why Buy?

Are you planning on buying your own airplane soon? If not … why not? No matter what your particular excuse, you may just begin to think about aircraft ownership a little differently after reading this motivating piece by Glenn Norman. It’s not as hard as you think, he explains. And owning your own airplane will transform your flying experiences forever!

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First Stick Time

Pilots tend to focus on their first solo flight as the event that changes everything. There’s an argument to made though that the real milestone is when you simply take the controls for the first time, and experience the thrills of controlling an airplane for yourself. A lifelong aviation fanatic, François Dumas was pretty excited when he took his first flight—in a jet—in 1985. But when he actually got some stick time in an Aviasud Mistral ultralight a few years later, well … that was really flying!

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Jim Miller

It’s a rare airplane story that’s told from the perspective of the airplane itself. This terrific story by Robert Bach is rare in other ways, too. His words will gently grab your imagination, transport you back in time, and then take you forward through the years alongside a certain TravelAir 4000. If you don’t already believe that airplanes are living breathing beings with hearts and souls, you will …

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Sky Candy – T.J. & The Widge

[Complimentary Content]
Given the phenomenal response to Michelle Goodeve’s moving essay, “A Memory of Choice,” we thought we’d let you experience a flight in “T.J.” for yourself. Sit back and enjoy the view as Michelle takes you flying in The Tiger Boys’ Thruxton Jackaroo!

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The Eyes of a Pilot

It’s not often you find an airline pilot whose skill in a cockpit is balanced by creativity and eloquence behind a keyboard. We believe we’ve discovered such a talent in Scott Burris, and we’re happy to present his first Why Fly contribution to you. It’s the stirring retelling of his first solo flight—in an ultralight—at an age you won’t believe!

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Photo Essay: Great Canadian Anomalies – Part 3

For Part Three of “Great Canadian Anomalies,” Michelle Goodeve takes you to an event that’s near and dear to her heart. Each fall, Tom Dietrich’s “Tiger Boys” throw an Open House for friends and family at Guelph Air Park in Ontario, Canada. Michelle’s been flying their antique aircraft for more than 15 years. The 2009 event was particularly special as Ed and Kathy Lubitz brought in their Silver Dart Replica (Canada’s first aeroplane) to celebrate the country’s Centennial of Flight.

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The Incredible Flying Milk Stool

When Glenn Norman bought a steal of a 1955 Piper Tri-Pacer in 1994, he intended to fix it up to resell at a profit. It took a few years for this pilot with an “extreme tailwheel bias” to admit he actually liked flying “the best-kept secret in aviation.” His epiphany came during an uncharacteristically utilitarian trip from point A to point B, in which he learned that while a Tri-Pacer is no jet … speed is relative.

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Speedmail

If a lineboy tells you he’s pumping gas and hauling boxes to get his foot in the door, he’s only telling you part of the truth. The rest has to do with the sights, sounds, and smells he gets to experience on the job … alluring hints of what’s to come. Journey with Robert Bach back to Corpus Christi in 1931 for a real nice story of aviation love at first sight.

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