December 11, 2007
December 11, 2007
The View from Up Here
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Mike: We’ve been talking with Josh Sullivan, one of our hometown pilots, about his military career thus far and what it’s like to fly the big iron.
Is there a “best” so far in his flying career? You bet. And it’s not what you’d think. Josh knows you don’t have to serve in the military to fly. In fact, it might surprise you to find out that what he describes as his most impressive flight is more deeply rooted in his faith than anything.
“My most memorable time in an airplane has to be one of the hardest things to nail down, as you can imagine, but with all the hair-raising and exciting times I've had in airplanes, the most enjoyable is not one you'd probably guess. I was returning from my first cross country flight in my first phase of pilot training. I was in the front seat of a T-34C Turbo Mentor with my instructor in the back. The learning curve on this flight turned out to be pretty steep, as they tend to be on most training flights, and things were hectic. We were en route from Houston back to Florida. It was one of those times when we both just put the training on hold for a minute, and took in God's amazing view. The sun was just starting to set, and there was every color one could imagine in the sky. I've never seen anything more beautiful. It may have only been 60 seconds, but it seemed like eternity. I know how special it was because my instructor pilot, who, having well over 5000 hours has seen the sky quite a bit, was speechless as well.”
Linda: So a spectacular sunset and all the colors, the glory of God’s creation, Captain Sullivan marks as his most memorable flight to date. Noticing his white t-shirt with “Lift Ministries”, I inquired further about his faith. “I’ve been involved with ministry since I was in high school,” he says. “God is my life.” When he’s stateside Josh works with recovery groups, supporting, praying for, encouraging, and ministering to people with any type of addiction. He’s played guitar for youth groups and hosted Junior Bible Quiz.
“Flying for a living is such a blessing,” he adds. “While it takes a tremendous amount of work and preparation for each flight, my "office" is a cockpit as opposed to a cubicle. I'm not knocking office work by any means,” (because when he’s not scheduled by the squadron to fly, he’s doing his fair share of office work otherwise known in the Air Force as "additional duties") “but it's really cool when your "office" has things like an airspeed indicator.” I agree, that’s really cool. But that’s work. What about good ol’ fashioned flying, as in general aviation style, the kind Josh’s dad and many others do?
Come back next week for a final installment with Captain Sullivan. Till then, blue skies.
Mike and Linda can be reached at Texasavi8r@aol.com.