How could you not be moved by something that looks like it's moving 600 mph just sitting there? I've always had a fascination for planes and a wild imagination for the places they could take me, lost in the wonder of impossible flights, each one more thrilling than the last.
The following photos and quotes are my attempt to share a life-long passion with you - a love affair with aviation - and maybe introduce you to this passion as well.
Aviation is a field immortalized by great war heroes, inspirational authors, poets and artists, all of whom "tasted flight" and forever helped us do the same.
Only one living WWII Triple Ace Fighter Pilot remains alive today to share his passion for flying. He's none other than 101 yrs-old, Brig. Gen. "Bud" Anderson, (in photo above).
The photo in his hands is one I took of his bronze statue standing tall outside Wings Bar & Grille at Auburn's Municipal Airport near one of his two homes in California.
Brig. Gen "Bud" Anderson, is a living legend and inspiration for all people looking up to the sky with wonder, hope, and infinite possibilties.
In his book, To Fly and Fight, Bud Anderson talks reverently about flying in a T-6 Texan (like the one above) for gunnery practice:
"This was no Piper Cub. This was flying," he said. "This was wheeling and soaring and diving fast enough to raise the hair on the back of your neck. This was fun. There was more grace and power than an eagle dared dream of, right there at my fingertips. This was how I'd envisioned it; how I'd thought being a pilot would be."
As a child I always admired the allure of aircraft, the sound of their engines, the smell of their oil and fuel. It was intoxicating then, it's intoxicating now.
Planes weren't meant to be tethered to the tarmac, they were meant to fly, that much is true.
But on the ground, tethered or not, they sure are fun to look at. They make your mind whirl with adventure, power, and freedom. "The experience of becoming part of the sky is something that leaves most of us wordless," says Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
“For most gulls it was not flying that matters, but eating.
For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight.”
~ Richard Bach, JLS
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth
with your eyes turned skywards.”
~ Leonardo Da Vinci
“The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who…
looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space…
on the infinite highway of the air.” ~ Wilbur Wright
“The airplane is the closest thing to real magic that we have.” ~ Charles Lindbergh
"Dad, why on earth did you name me after a seagull? Of all the cool birds out there, a seagull?" asked my son, Jonathan. To which I replied, "Read the book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull..."
"Within all of us is a varying amount of space lint and star dust,
the residue from our creation. Most are too busy to notice it,
and it's stronger in some than others...
"... It's strongest in those of us who fly and is responsible for an unconscious,
subtle desire to slip into some wings and try for the elusive boundaries of our origin."
~ K. O. Eckland, Footprints On Clouds.
"Never stop being a kid.
Never stop feeling and seeing and being excited
with great things like air and engines and sounds of sunlight within you...
"... Wear your little mask if you must to protect you from the world,
but if you let that kid disappear you are grown up and you are dead."
~ Richard Bach, Nothing by Chance.
Pilots say "it's clear on top," referring to the moment when their plane punches through the clouds and the storm falls below. A good analogy to keep climbing no matter what.
Winston Churchill put it another way, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
No matter how difficult your challenges, headwinds, turbulance, visibility... keep climbing... above the storm... where it's clear on top.
Hello! I’m Michael Kennedy, Olympic Valley, CA resident. I’m a teacher, freelance writer, and photographer. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it, please share with others. I value your attention, it means a lot to me and it helps others see the story. If you're interested in any photos in this post, or in my gallery: click here, let me know what size you want, and I'll send a quote. My email: email@example.com.