Flying Cheerleaders

Learning to fly, and continuing to fly after earning a pilot certificate takes desire, passion and commitment. It take a great deal of effort to learn to fly and those of us that have taken the plunge of flight lessons and come out on the other end with a pilot certificate are all the happier for it.

As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”

I’ve been flying for many years, more than 16 to be exact. As much as I love flying and as much as I know that flying has been a passion of mine for many years, I know that it took more than just me to get there… During the time I’ve been flying, initially my continued success at attaining certifications and ratings was due to the consistent support of my family and friends. In recent times, when it has come to staying up in the air it is due to my friends and most recently my girlfriend. These people have all played an important role.


Just after my first solo flight on my 16th birthday!

My parents drove me to the airport for my early flight lessons and they were there waiting at the fence watching my first solo flight on my 16th birthday. Their support went a long way towards helping me earn my pilot certificate. Similarly, the flight school staff, many members of my, “flying family” like Dave, Kelley, Phil, Roger, John, Jeremy were there encouraging me along the way, helping me in their own way!


Peter, a former student of mine, now private pilot & aircraft owner. One of my flying friends who played in a role in supporting my flying over the years since our first lesson together!

In June, I took a flight with an instructor at a local flight school. It was the first flight other than a ride in a seaplane I had made since moving to Florida. I had been away from flying for too many months and I missed it. Emily (girlfriend), drove me to the airport, a lover of aviation herself, she knew it was important for me to fly. She was there waiting when I landed with the same smile I have after every flight. Later, more recently, she was one of the motivating factors for me to complete my flight review, so I could take her flying, of course…

Photo Jul 04, 4 04 28 PM

Emily, my flying cheerleader! Really she just wants to go flying too…

Throughout my flying there have been so many people who have been supporters, from my parents to my flight instructors to my students who I taught to fly, to coworkers at the flight school to friends in the aviation program while I was in college to Emily now. Flying is a team sport and the success of a pilot is often the result of support of others in addition to their effort.

Thank you to all of my flying cheerleaders!

-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9


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