Friday, March 12, 2010

Pilots are lovers

If you haven't been reading Paul Bertorelli's blog on AvWeb, you have no idea what kind of steamy hot prose you're missing:

I have fallen in love with airplanes. Again. Specifically, a J-3C Cub, a quarter of which I bought a couple of weeks ago. I flew my first Cub in 1972 and over the weekend, when partner Greg Woods was checking me out, it all came flooding back—that skip of excitement when the engine catches on the first blade, the whiff of exhaust you get in a right taxi turn, the kinda-sorta throttle response, the spoon-in-oatmeal trim system, if you can call rope and a crank a system. After we got down and nudged the thing back into the hangar, I sat on a step stool looking at this stupid thing trying to figure out why such antiques are so intoxicating.

. . .

Slow, underpowered, cold, uncomfortable and all the utility of a broken claw hammer, yet still I love it. Maybe it's just…the romance.

Please, someone just shoot me.

I swear to god when I read that I could have sworn I heard Marvin Gaye's "Let's get it on" in the background.

Let's face it, every single one of us who flies these stupid machines didn't get into it because they thought it was going to be a great career, or it would save them some time on business trips, or some other perfectly rational reason. Those are the reasons we say to our family and friends, but let's not bullshit ourselves or each other here. We do it because we're in deeply in love, and anyone who is that far in love is an irrational moron.

I fell in love at the age of four, when I traded my most prized possession in the world, my blanket, for a big awesome Tycho airplane. I fell back in love again in 2003 gazing at stunning photo of a Waco YMF's cockpit. That one photo cost me six grand in two years, for a plastic card that gives me the privilege to one day climb into that cockpit and take the controls in my hands (as soon as I can find a Waco I can get checked out in).

As pilots, we're so deep in love that we don't realize that other people who aren't in love with aviation just don't see things the way we do. Our love is so deep we think other people regard aviation just like we do and we don't communicate with them effectively. We give the rational reasons for flying instead of speaking from the heart.

As pilots we need to follow Paul's lead and broadcast our love more openly to other people. Yeah, we'll sound like idiots, dreamers, and boobs. But there will be some young kid out there who will listen, probably between the ages of 4-94, who just might fall in love as well.

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