Friday, July 17, 2009

Lofty Hope & Dream

Derek took his first instructional flight today in a Cessna 172 with Rex Damschroder as his instructor. He'll be 15 in November and his goal is to earn his student pilot's license by his 16th birthday. He can then earn his private pilot's license at 17. Rex reported that Derek has a natural ability and did above average in some of the skills!

I didn't get a photo, but there are two DC3s at the Fremont Municipal Airfield, both of which dropped paratroopers at Normandy on D-Day. One is in the process of being restored. Also, one of the NASA astronauts who is currently in space earned his pilot's license at this very airfield.

The poem, High Flight, has over the years become a mantra to pilots. It is reproduced here as a tribute to, and in memory of pilots of all generations.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941


  1. I think it's great when youths start to see their dreams when they're young. It builds confidence and gives them something really meaningful to do. Up up and away....

  2. Congratulations to Derek! I'm sure your heart will be in your throat every time he takes to the skies.

    'High Flight' is my very favorite poem.

  3. Nice poem - congrats to Derek - hope he achieves all of his goals!

  4. Oh! What a thrill! I'm sure you are so proud...but also terrified, too. (I would be!). But what a wonderful opportunity. He must be one talented and intelligent young man.


  5. Derek here,

    to "practice" I use a flight simulator. when the time comes I may make videos of the sim.

    blog link, this is my personal one,

    just copy and paste it into your URL bar (web address)

  6. What a thrill to have this opportunity.

  7. AMY!! Derek cannot be old enough to fly. Wow! How wonderful that he is able to pursue a dream!


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