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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Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear (Episode 5): Solo Cross Country – With a Twist

A pilot’s first solo cross-country flight is usually rather exhilarating in and of itself. With the instructor on the ground, it’s the first opportunity to actually go somewhere … alone. In this episode of “Those Thrilling Years,” our hero confidently departs Buttonville for Peterborough, as enthusiastic and proud of his new skills as any student pilot ever was. What he encounters 30 minutes into the flight though, would make even a seasoned aviator sweat!

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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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Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear (Episode 3): To Fly Like a Bird

The problem with turning big dreams into reality is that reality is never quite like what we imagine it will be. In the case of a wannabe pilot’s first flight, the experience can be wonderful … or terrifying . If you’ve ever taken a bold leap only to find yourself asking, “What the hell was I thinking?” you’ll identify with Glenn Norman as he recounts his first—humbling—flying lesson.

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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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