So recently I told you I was taking a flight and didn't really know where. I will now let you in on *why* I didn't know where. Part of the problem on the 19th of May was that I was hoping my father would join me. If he had, I would have tried a bit harder to fly out to the Hudson VFR Cooridor. However, the other problem that day was that the Pope was in NYC, and they had moving TFR's all over the place. Now, none of them were over the Hudson, but some of them came close. So, as I was alone, I went to Lancaster instead and visited the pilot shop (One of the best in the Philly area in my opinion) and also to have lunch. While I was there, a plane came in which was going to carry Senator Clinton to her next Campaign stop in Pittsburgh.
All in all, it was a good flight. It was relaxing, it was fun and I managed to get some good swag from the store.
As I was flying home, I realized how lucky I am. I can fly airplanes. Now I realize this may not be a major revelation, but I learned how to fly. And then I remembered an interview I had heard with the actor John Travolta. In that interview, he claimed that he would never have learned how to fly if not for Scientology. To that I tell him, and anyone reading this, horse hockey! (To quote Col. Potter of M*A*S*H fame) Learning to fly is a combination of five factors.
4) A sense of adventure
Yes, money is listed twice, and I will explain why.
1) Money - You need to be able to pay for the lesson, the plane rental, the instructor, the insurance and the gear. It isn't cheap.
2) Time - You need to have the time to learn. This cannot be done in a day. The FAA alone mandates 40 hours minimum before you can take your Exam, so that precludes this from happening in a day no matter what you do.
3) Dedication - If you don't want to learn, you won't. It is, in a sense, part of time as dedication takes time.
4) A sense of adventure - Let's be serious for a moment. We who fly do it for the adventure. We do it to call up primordial memories of the Wright Brothers, of Leonardo Da Vinci's early designs or even just the Greek Myth of Icarus.
5) Money - Yes. You need money. Once you have your private pilot certificate, the money doesn't stop flowing. As a matter of fact, it may flow more, especially if you buy a plane. Think of the maintenance involved in that.
So, can you learn to fly by Religion (Any religion, not just Scientology)? The answer is simply no. No religion can teach you to fly or make you better at it. Sure Scientology may have study techniques, but I'll bet you good money that if John Travolta had been a poor schmo making $40,000 a year, being a Scientologist wouldn't have helped him get his pilot's certification at all. Without the money to afford the lessons, the time to take them, the dedication to see it through and the internal sense of adventure, John Travolta would have been a pedestrian. John, I respect you as a pilot. Please wake up as a person and get out of that greedy cult.
And now, my next Podcast! Assuming weather permits, I will do my next Podcast from Niagara, NY!! Right at the famous Falls!! Keep your ears open, it should be up sometime in mid May. Also I will be talking about some usefull things you should keep in your flight bag and trying to get an Interview with someone at my local FSDO so stay tuned!!
-Martin A. Lessem, JD
PP-ASEL, HP, CXL
AOPA Project Pilot Mentor
Passed 100 hrs!!! (116.1 at the moment)