Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Greg, flying

A couple of months ago, Greg decided to pursue something that's always been a dream of his.  He is learning to fly a plane, working towards his private pilot's license.  The photo above was taken the day of his first solo flight (yes, you read that right) - he's pictured with his instructor, Dennis, and with a Cessna 172.

It's been a strange couple of months in our household, adjusting to Greg's new project.  While I'm used to him disappearing for hours on end to manipulate shapes built out of wood, metal or PVC pipe, I can't recall him ever pursuing a hobby with any seriousness, unrelated to juggling.  And, like Greg, this one is a bit of an extreme - of course he's not going to take up bowling or jigsaw puzzles.

Flight lessons suit his personality well in many ways.  There is a science behind all of it, requiring hours of textbook study on the physics of flight and the operation of these fairly complex machines.  The flying itself is a kind of manipulation, a high-stakes one that Greg seems to thrive on.  He's always been an analytical, highly controlled (if sometimes aggressive) driver - now he's taking those skills to a new level.

People have asked me if I'm nervous about Greg's flying.  No, I don't fear for his life.  He's taking a very prescribed course of study with professionals, who I don't think are going to let him crash the plane.  If anything, I am disoriented by his many hours away from home (on top of his regular long work hours) and I'm perplexed by the fact that these Cessnas only hold 4 passengers.  But, practical or not, convenient or not, I'm still proud of him for pursuing something that's a bit daring, extremely challenging, and above all, something that is for his satisfaction and accomplishment alone.  Our time on tour has allowed me the time and freedom to pursue lots of things... yoga, running, Russian study, leisure reading .... and I'm glad that Greg has found something he can do as well.

So here it is, a video of Greg's first solo plane landing.  He's all by himself!  Flying a plane!  Wow!


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