Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Man has always looked to the sky and wondered what it would be like to soar with the birds. I was 14 years old when I flew for the first time. I was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and our Officer in charge arranged a flight in a small four seat Cessna for those of us who had never flown. I didn’t know what to expect, and as we lifted off I became a little queasy. It was warm in the cabin until we reached an altitude of 2000 ft. I then began to settle down and enjoy the flight. It lasted twenty minutes and when we touched down, I couldn’t wait to fly again.
After I joined the Army, I flew to and from training, then across the Atlantic to my duty station in Germany and back. By then I was getting used to flying and never gave it another thought. I dreamed of taking flying lessons for years, but never could afford it and even if I did, I did not own a plane nor could I afford one. Then in 1986, I was introduced to the world of “Ultralight aircraft.”
My neighbor Bill, owned an ultralight. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ultralights, They are basically a lawn chair with wings and a motor. Bill had a nice one with an enclosed cockpit and double fabric wings.  He invited me to fly with him the following Saturday, so we went to a small grass strip where he kept his plane. He took me up and we flew around for about an hour before landing back at the strip. I fell in love with the idea of owning my own plane that was easy to maintain and cheap to run. I took lessons and got my certification to fly ultralights.