This WWII advanced trainer was used by many cadets on their way to our battles in WWII. The Pratt and Whitney R-1340 600 Horsepower engine and 9' 2" propeller makes this plane a true classic. Photo by Curtis Guillet.
I learned to fly in 1968 in Magnolia, Arkansas. I was 17 when I started and had no one to guide me through the maze of general aviation. My mother and father were divorced and my mother owned and ran her own clothing business. Her knowledge of aviation was very limited, and mainly focused on telling me how dangerous it was, and how I should never get into an airplane. At least that was the story for many years early on. In her later years, though still somewhat worried about me, she gave in to my flying and actually enjoyed talking about her son the pilot to anyone that would listen.
The bottom line was that I had very little guidance growing up, and most of the things that made me who I am were leaned in spite of her efforts, and not in alignment with her efforts. Aviation was one of those defining skills that I personally believe shaped me and my future to a large extent.
People go into aviation for a variety of very different reasons. Some simply want a way to travel quickly from city to city. The businessman needing to travel often learns to fly for this reason, and later learns that if the world was perfect and the weather was ideal, this would work at least in a marginal way. Given all the other problems with cost of operation and maintenance of general aviation aircraft, the true advantage to general aviation is much diminished. When you add in the uncertainty of weather, often times the nice idea proves less than functional in practice.
I am often asked if I fly to a lot of fun locations, or do I fly to locations for my LSUS conferences or seminars. I always say, no. Unless you own an instrument capable airplane and stay current on instrument flying technique, VFR (visual flight rules) is simply not reliable enough to stay a day or two at a destination, and have reasonable confidence you can return. Even in the summer where your main obstacles are thunderstorms, and not low visibility and clouds, navigating around large areas of thunderstorms is problematical.
I have very little association with the pilots at my local airport who are business or even recreational cross country fliers. Neither do I have a lot in common with those who simply rent an airplane to fly around the field and take passengers. My area of flying is different. It is based on the fun and feel of commanding an aircraft through what might be called non-standard flight—aerobatics and the related flight practices that yield the more extreme side of aviation.
On this website, I have broken down my flying past into what I call “My Kind of Flying,” and also “Airshows.” To me they are closely related, but yet different in many ways. To me my aviation history seems to be somewhat divided along those lines. Please feel free to browse my photos and discussions of both aviation areas. Please let me know if I can answer your questions.
"How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
Copyright 2013 by Gary R. Boucher. All Rights Reserved.