My First Flight

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piper arrow IV

photo by pilot_micha

My First Flight

My first time to slip the surly bonds of earth occurred at Lawton, Oklahoma. I was 14 years old. The vehicle, a Piper Arrow IV. The pilot, Jim Huddleston.

In my early teens I made the decision that I would be a pilot. The only nuance was I had never flow in an airplane, not even an airliner. I grew up lower-middle class so jetting off to exotic ports of call during my youth wasn’t in the cards. In fact it wouldn’t be until I was in my 20s and flying professionally that I would fly in the back of an airliner for the first time.

My dad made the decision to see me up in a plane before my obsession grew too pronounced. Better to find out now if flying was right for me.


piper arrow cockpit

photo by Jaydee!

Since the local trainer/rental airplane had been crashed, he made arrangements at the FBO in Lawton.

The Arrow was turbo-charged and with 4 seats, my dad got to ride along in the back.

The Arrow is a pretty capable aircraft and it seemed like we were off the ground in no time.

I was mesmerized. It seemed unworldly to be in the air looking down on this miniature rendition of the Oklahoma countryside.

Since Jim was an instructor, he let me take the controls and do some turns, climbs, and descents under his direction. He showed us some steep turns along with chandelles – I was loving it.
Jim had me fly us back to the field where he made the landing.

From then on I was hooked and I haven’t gotten over it since!


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