Friday, 14 July 2017

The Pilot

"An older gentleman called and reserved a one hour flight in our DC-3. At 73 years old he had enjoyed a long and impressive career in aviation.

But he wanted to fly a DC-3 and that was the only reason he was there. So, together we flew.

Although this was his first time in the left seat he handled the craft with smoothness and finesse, like this flight was one he had thought a lot about.

Back on the ground he produced his thick, black Pilot's Log Book and asked for my signature. The book was worn like his hands but it represented a lot of history and a lot of flight time.

I signed the entry line with the aircraft number - N143D, the date and the aircraft type 'Douglas DC-3'.

When I was done he took the book back. With a black pen he drew a diagonal line through all the remaining entry spaces on the page. I watched as he wrote the word END. He closed the logbook. Wrapped a rubber band around it, then shook my hand.

He said, 'This was my lifelong dream. I am all done. It's been a great ride. But it is too hard to keep my medical now and my vision isn't what it was. There is no better way to end my flying career than with this flight in a DC-3'."

Please don't wait until it is too late to follow your own dreams. Off you go now!

The sky is NOT the limit, so dream big!

Extract from interview with Dan Gryder in Together We Fly, Voices from the DC-3, by Julie Boatman Filucci.[2011]

Header photo from Hans Wiesman, author of The  Dakota Hunter and owner of PME aviation clothing Inc.

N143D Copyright Michael Prophet 2013