the glory of flight

plane and a glorious sky at dusk

We’ve all got a List of Things. What I’m referring to is similar to what some may call a “bucket list”, or things one may want to do during his time on this earth… similar, but not quite. My List of Things is things that I want to do in life, but I never want the list to become too concrete. The list is fluid, dynamic: it’s not written, it’s never going to force me to do something, and I can always remove things if they cease to spark my interest. It’s a “wow, it would be really awesome if someday I got to ” list.

sam's flying the plane!

Learning how to fly a plane has been on my List of Things for quite some time now. After choosing to pursue my mechanical engineering degree, and learning how to change my oil, all while maintaining a business peddling cute stuffed animals and undoubtedly girly things, I had a desire to add another “thing that boys usually do” to the List.

clouds & lots of windmills

The long, long term goal on my mental List was to earn my Pilot’s License. Of course, I knew nothing about the process. I know now that it costs around $15,000 in instruction and plane rental… that, along with the time investment, slides the goal to the bottom of the List. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t eager to hop into a plane when a pilot friend of mine offered me the co-pilot seat!

sam and the tiny plane

Here’s me and the plane. In his words, “we pilots like to take pictures with our planes because we love them. and, if we end up crashing to the ground, they will see how happy we were before the flight.” Such optimism in my flying ability!


I got to steer the plane and keep our altitude steady (or as steady as i could get it!) for the majority of the ride – it was certainly challenging! I can’t imagine flying solo! It was a really fun and wonderful experience and I learned a ton about what it takes to be a pilot. I’m not sure I’m brave enough. And I’m not sure I could ever have the confidence required for a takeoff or landing. The thought of piloting the plane myself terrifies me, so much so that the actual License bit may no longer be included on the List.

But it is an amazing thing to be floating so high above the earth, yet close enough to see every ridge and river. Little planes are awesome. I will certainly never pass up a little plane ride!