The Liberty Gazette
March 18, 2014
Ely Air Lines
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Mike: Whether your type is stick-‘n-rudder, cyclic and collective, kerosene burner, quiet glider, full of hot air, or a ground-bound lover of aviation, this is your little corner of the paper for aviation stories from everywhere.
Did you know the average age range of today’s student pilot is in their 30’s? The average actively flying private pilot is in his or her 40’s, and many over 50 are now fulfilling their lifelong ambition to fly.
What draws us to aviation? Well, the view for one thing. Experiencing the dimension of altitude means your world is no longer flat, and we humans are attracted to fullness. The next time you’re in a store, notice how the displays fill the entire store. Retailers know this is appealing to consumers, and that “flat is bad.” Flying gives us an experience of fullness in a whole new way, a perspective on the world denied when gravity isn’t defied.
Linda: And how about challenge and accomplishment – the hunt and the capture. No matter how long ago it may have been, aviators remember clearly their first solo flight, from the moment the instructor stepped out of the airplane and cleared the way for the student to say, “I made that airplane fly – me, the boss, the pilot in command.” And yet we knew there was so much more to learn.
Mike: There will always be someone who has flown more or bigger aircraft, or has flown higher, faster, longer, yet stories from novice pilots are just as exciting, and that’s the fun we have here in these air lines; the people, the adventures… oh the places we can go.
Linda: Speaking of airports, I was amused by a Facebook post made by the amazingly talented composer, Eric Whitacre a couple of weeks ago.
This Classical composer with the rock star image made the following public admission: “Yesterday in the airport gift shop I hear this very familiar oboe solo wafting over the store sound system. I listen more closely and can't believe it: they are playing my 'Equus' for orchestra! I am so excited, take my magazines to the counter and ask the woman, ‘do they play this piece often? I wrote this music!’ She smiles at me strangely, and as I open my bag to take out my wallet I realize that the music is blasting from my iPhone; I must have accidentally started it at airport security. I blush like an idiot and get out of there as fast as possible.”
It’s nice to see the real and human side of someone who spends his life in the spotlight. He could so easily become what turns us off most about people in the public eye, yet he comes across as a likeable guy with a sense of humor. I’m thinking he needs his own jet…and a couple of pilots. Nothing against my airline friends, but this guy probably travels enough to justify a company plane.
And so, aviation nuts, propeller heads, jetti-sons, rotor rats, glider guys and gals, hope your next weekend includes some measure of aerial awesomeness. You can always go out to the Liberty airport and say hello to Jose and Debbie while you watch for airplanes. They’re great folks!
Give me a mile of highway and I can travel a mile;
give me a mile of runway and I can go anywhere.