Words on Wednesdays: For the Love of Amelia


November is NaNoWriMo

“I hear, you have a new Certified Flight Instructor.” said the sweetest, gentlest voice, I ever heard. “I’ve heard great things. I hear he is a great instructor, not like …” the voices faded,

“Yes, what of it, Amelia Mary Earhart? Are you ready to commit to lessons?” taunted Chung, loudly.

“You know it is not Earhart, but Aaronhart. Is he in?” persisted the sweet, gentle voice.

“Maybe,” replied Chung, irritatingly.

“Come on Chung, I want to talk to him, please,” begged the sweet, soft voice.

“For you anything, sweet Amelia Mary Earhart. Anything!” responded Chung.

After, what seemed ages, “John Francisco Adams!” barked Chung. “There’s someone here for you.”

“Hello.” I said as I turned around the corner as swiftly as I could. Being unemployed and in search of any student, I was desperate to get up in the air.

“I’m John. Are you looking for an instructor?”

“Hi, I am Amelia,” said the most beautiful, absolutely, breathtaking person I had ever come across in my entire life. I gazed  unabashedly, awestruck by what I saw. It felt surreal. This can’t be real?

“I am looking to get my private pilot license,” she said. “I work at AvTech, on the field” she pointing over her shoulder to a large hanger across from the flight school.

“When would you like to start? Have you ever flown in a small aircraft before?” I asked.

That was how I met the love of my life.  Although, it would take me almost two more years to get the courage to ask and commit.

Over the next few months, I taught Amelia to fly. It was almost towards the end of her flight instruction before her check ride, that I managed to find the courage to ask her out to coffee. We spent two hours laughing and talking, and then walked over to the diner for a burger and a pint.

Over the next few weeks, I trained Amelia and helped her obtain her private pilot certificate. Six months later, we were living together. Amelia was like a sunshine in my life, and I could not imagine my life without her. It happened so fast, that sometimes I wondered, if it was too good to be true.

Amelia worked at AvTech LLC. She had recently graduated with a degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of California in Los Angeles. AvTech was a unique organization. Since 2001 when the in aftermath of 911, the aviation industry had suffered immensely and airlines have gone out of business or retired their fleet, the graveyard came into being.  AvTech had one of the biggest graveyards of all in the Mohave Desert.

For me, I couldn’t imagine my life without Amelia.

Words on Wednesdays: Chung


November is NaNoWriMo

“It’s time”

I revolted. “Now, ” I asked.

It can’t be. I thought desperately. How can it be now. It was still premature. I hadn’t seen anything or suspected anything to make me think a change was needed.

“He is highly erratic and uncontrollable. He has been saying things. Once he had a drink, he is beyond control.”

“It’s Nathan! Dammit! We were in Nam together…”, my voice petered out.

“Are you telling me you wont do it? Is this the time you are telling me that you are not capable of doing the things you promised?”

I had gotten myself into things far beyond me. I couldn’t do this to Nathan. All the visions we had as teenagers, about country, about the world, about freedom, and all the good we could do.

Nathan, who had saved my life. Who was going to save him now?

Words on Wednesdays: The Struggle to be Heard by Lane Wallace


“’I’ve spent the past 3 years researching and writing a book on the importance of a woman’s voice (Speaking Up: The Hard-Won Power of a Woman’s Authentic Voice). And a fascinating phenomenon has emerged, as I’ve begun talking about and showing the manuscript to other writers, editors, and professionals. I didn’t expect men to fully “get” how a women’s struggle for voice feels, any more than I can fully “feel” or “get” the pressure men feel to be a provider or suppress vulnerable emotions. But I thought they’d at least be aware that the struggle existed.

I was wrong.

—–

In my 30 years as a writer, I’ve never encountered such a dramatic and total gap in understanding. There are no shades of gray here. It’s night and day. So what gives? I found a clue in one of the few exceptions I’ve encountered so far. The man who’s most intuitively “gotten” what the book is about; well enough that he could even elaborate on some of its points, also happens to be African-American. And I think that point is telling.

If you happen to be born into a group on top of the power structure in a society—which would still be white men, in America—you have fewer constraints on your ability to be yourself. Your group, after all, is the one that set the rules. And since you were born with the privileges that come with that power and freedom, you’ve never known any other experience. So you often aren’t aware that those perks and advantages aren’t enjoyed by everyone else.

It’s like a story a friend of mine tells about a beautiful young woman who goes into a pizza parlor. The man behind the counter, dazzled by her looks and trying to curry favor, gives her a free piece of pizza. After she leaves, she says to a friend, waiting for her across the street, “I don’t know how that place stays in business, giving customers free pizza.” Indignant, the friend exclaims, “They gave you free pizza???” The beautiful woman looks genuinely perplexed and says, “Well, yeah. Doesn’t everyone get free pizza?””

Continue to read the full article here.

Words on Wednesdays: Seems like yesterday


I almost missed this milestone.

This month marked two decades since my first intro flight when I officially began my flight instruction. Has it really been that long?

I still fondly and vividly remember that day like yesterday, when I flew my first solo.

Or that first cross country I made to King City, that made me nervous I would get lost. Or better yet that second  long cross-country to South County airport that required two go-arounds, to the ire of others in the traffic pattern.

Or the first foray to Bakersfield after getting my ticket and getting lost for dialing in the wrong VOR frequency and having a non-functioning transponder! How about that first ILS approach into Watsonville in actual  IMC after getting my instrument rating ?

Or that time I took my friend from college to Monterey and experienced my first instrument failure.

Or the long solo cross country to satisfy the requirements for commercial pilot license.

Or the uncomfortable attempts to achieve the minimum night time requirements, or flying night solo cold turkey or the single night solo cross country flight or later the single night and IFR flight.

Seems like yesterday 🙂

See Also:

Logging Memories I

Logging Memories II

Logging Memories III

Logging Memories IV

Logging Memories V

Logging Memories VI

 

Words on Wednesdays: Flypocalypse


Three years Ago

Early Saturday, a glitch in automation in the Washington DC area caused an “ATC Zero” in ZDC (Washington Center). Departures from all three airports: IAD, DCA and BWI were essentially in ground halt.

day2

This has caused untold inconvenience for people, visiting the DC area and hoping to return home. FlightAware posted a MiseryMap visually showing major airports around the country, affected by this glitch. For each of the major airports, the  delays by time  and  number of cancellations at each airport are listed.

This doesn’t even include the airport I am stuck at. So you can imagine how much more misery is being shared across the country 🙂  In fact, none of the news agencies have even started to talk about arrivals into DC area.

Continue to read here.

Words on Wednesdays: When Life was Simple


Soaring on Top of the World!

And I dream I’m an eagle
And I dream I can spread my wings
Flying high, high, I’m a bird in the sky
I’m an eagle that rides on the breeze
High, high, what a feeling to fly
Over mountains and forests and seas
And to go anywhere that I please

               — From the Eagles by ABBA

We took off under our own power and climbed in circling turns to about 12,500 ft. “Where are the thermals?” I had asked Bob as we prepared to take-off. “Over there, where the clouds are,” he responded. Once the engine settled down and cooled, he prepared to turn it off and closed the air  vents.

Five years ago today… Continue to read here.

Words on Wednesdays: Immigration #1


Pre 1790

Historian’s  believe that the first human beings came to the America from across the Bering Straits about 20, 000 years ago.

These were the ancestors of the many Native American cultures, which would people the landscape for thousands of years.

Around the year 1000, a small number of Vikings would arrive. Five hundred years later, the great European migration would begin.

Crossing the Atlantic meant two to three months of seasickness, overcrowding, limited food rations, and disease. But the lure of available land and the hope for political and religious freedoms kept the Europeans coming.

In some places, the meeting of Europeans and Native Americans was peaceful. In others, the cultures clashed, leading to violence and disease. Whole tribes were decimated by such newly introduced diseases as small pox, measles, and the plague.

Continue to read the timeline here.

History Always Repeats Itself


Scopes Monkey Trial

Henry Drummond: I say that you cannot administer a wicked law impartially. You can only destroy, you can only punish. And I warn you, that a wicked law, like cholera, destroys every one it touches. Its upholders as well as its defiers.

Judge: Colonel Drummond…

Henry Drummond: Can’t you understand? That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we’ll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!

The Hidden Meanings Inside Your Flight Number — Scott Beale Aviation


Anyone who has ever taken a flight, international or domestic, knows that the number on your ticket is the key to everything. It tells you where to go, it helps you find your flight on the departures and arrivals board, and it is one of the main ways that you keep track of yourself and […]

via The Hidden Meanings Inside Your Flight Number — Scott Beale Aviation