The Liberty Gazette
January 29, 2019Ely Air Lines
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Linda: Oh, the complexity, the plurality, the many faces of the moniker, "the flying Dutchman." Of course, it may have all started with that myth about the ghost ship, the one nineteenth century composer Richard Wagner wrote about in his opera of the same name. While I generally love Wagner’s music, that opera fell short of my expectations for entertainment. Mike, however, liked it a little better than I did.
The opera is based on the legend of a ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever. The myth probably originated from the 17th-century golden age of the Dutch East India Company.
But wait, there’s more.
Soccer star Robin van Persie plays forward for the Feyenoord team in The Netherlands. He will probably retire this year, going out as possibly the greatest striker of his generation. When you watch him go for a header, he really does look like he’s flying. It’s low-level, of course – even lower than crop dusters – but he sticks his arms out to the sides and sails across the air before skidding back down across the grass. He earned the nickname "the flying Dutchman" doing this.
When van Persie was just a babe in grade school, auto racing champion Arie Luyendyck drove his racecar so fast at Indy that everyone said he was the flying Dutchman. He won the 500-mile race twice.
And then there’s the seafood restaurant on the Kemah Boardwalk. And the liquor store in Nassau, The Bahamas. The owners of the former like to use the tagline, "It’s not just a story, it’s a local legend," playing on the infamous ghost story. Owners of the latter were fortunate enough to snag the coveted URL, "flyingdutchman.com." It’s hard to get a domain name like that these days.
For what it’s worth, not one of the above examples has ever actually flown. Van Persie probably came the closest.
However, ladies and gentlemen, it’s girls to the rescue. When nothing makes sense, when you cannot find any so-called flying Dutchman who actually flies, we chicks can sort out the mess once and for all.
Her name is Michelle Gooris, and she is "Dutch Pilot Girl." This is the name she chose when she was between jobs and started a YouTube channel. She uploaded a simple video of a solo flight and her channel became a big hit. Since she was reaching so many people, receiving thousands of emails, she decided to use the opportunity to help others reach their dreams of becoming a pilot.
She had learned the keys to achieving goals: responsibility, motivation and perseverance and felt she had something more to say, so she wrote a book titled, "Become an airline pilot." She believes she has become a stronger person because of setbacks in her career, because she’s not one to fade away in a headwind. You can buy her ebook on dutchpilotgirl.com.
Finally, a real flying Dutch.