Where it started

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci

1966 Cessna 172

First ride in a small airplane

When I was very young I was always fascinated with the idea of flying. When I was bored in school, I used to daydream that about flying and probably spent most of the time staring outside. My first experience in a small plane was on at the Eastsound airport on Orcas Island. My mom booked me on a quick scenic flight in a Cessna 172. I remember she sat int he back and let me ride up front. After that, I decided I needed to learn this skill — maybe even before I learned to drive.

After turning 17, I decided to revisit the possibility of flying again. After many hours of flying from Boeing field using the Microsoft Flight Simulator, I decided I would need to do this myself. I called up a local flight school at Troutdale Airport (KTTD) on the east side of Portland and scheduled a discovery flight. The flight was with my instructor Dan Geresh in a Cessna 152 and was amazing. He let me fly most of the time and even let me hang on during the approach to base and final. After the flight he gave me his card and said I should plan to get my Private Rating. That summer, I rode my bike across the Columbia River to Pearson Airpark to begin my flight lessons, Dan had moved shortly after my discovery flight. I received my ticket the following fall at 17. The next summer I completed my Instrument Rating and then began college.