At a very young age I was intrigued by flight until the day of April 16th 1994 it just clicked… I want to be a pilot!
My sister, Holley who was a grade ahead of me in school was studying airplanes in the 5th grade. Her class was invited to the local airport (http://www.aopa.org/airports/3M2) for a demo flight by another classmate’s Grandfather. I tagged along not knowing that I might get a ride. After watching the airplane do a few take-offs and landings my mother told me to go with my sister to fly! I didn’t really know what to expect, I had flown before but only on a few 747s back and forth to Germany a few years prior. This was a much smaller plane, single engine piston, 1957 Mooney M20 (I still remember the musty smell). I was told to hop in the front (right) seat, couldn’t see out the window or the windshield so I curled my feet under me for an extra boost. My sister and another kid got in the back and off we went.
Going off of a 20 year memory, I believe we departed to the north on Runway 3, headed over beautiful Smith Lake. I remember thinking that everything was much faster to get to and was much closer than what I had imagined it would be. We were over the city of Double Springs in a min or less, we had just drove through Double Springs to get to the airport which took us about 5-10 min! Wow, I was mesmerized! Everything looked much different from above (1000-1800 feet altitude) as we went about our brief tour of the area. I tried taking it all in but it seemed like it ended much too soon, where did the time go? Who knows how long we were actually up there, maybe 5-10 min is my best guess but it seemed much quicker at the time at the ripe old age of 9.
After we landed back at the airport all I could think of was How could I get back up in the air… Until it hit me, I could get my pilot’s license and fly on my own!!! So that was it I made my mind up and set that goal without knowing what it might take to accomplish it.