Top 10 reasons to be a pilot

You’ve dreamed about it for years. As far back as you can remember, you’ve hankered to be a pilot. And now you’re sitting on the proverbial fence. Can you do it? Should you do it? All you need is one good reason. Well—here’s ten:

Number 10:  It beats the heck out of driving!

Unless you’re into audio books, driving can burn up a lot of time. Consider a place you need to go that’s about four hours by car. As a pilot, you can make the trip in a Cessna 172 in a third of the time. In a light twin, like a Baron 58, it’s a tad over an hour.

Jump into your average turbo-prop and you’re down to forty-five minutes, give or take a few. Strap on a jet, and it’s a half-hour hop. Now, given those numbers, convince me you’re really looking forward to that next audio book.

Number 9: You don’t have to travel by cattle-car (a.k.a., the airlines).

Cows aren’t the only animals who stand in long lines, get prodded, travel in cramped quarters, and have to put up with strange smells (okay, maybe that doesn’t matter to a cow).

Of course, cattle don’t have to take off their shoes so they can pass security. So the next time you’re getting undressed at a TSA checkpoint, just remember: pilots have a better way to travel.

Number 8:  You become a member of an exclusive fraternity.

Surely you’ve heard of Wilber and Orville. How about Eddie Rickenbacker? (If not, it’s time for some homework.) Does the name Charles Lindbergh ring a bell? How about Amelia Earhart, Chuck Yeager, Jimmy Doolittle, John Glenn, Alan Shephard, Neil Armstrong, just to name a few. And the latest in a list of famous pilots: C. B. Sullenberger.

You can join the ranks of these men and women who made a difference in history. Only about .2% of the American population holds a pilot’s license. As a pilot, you can be one of them.

Number 7:  Flying scratches that itch that nothing else will touch.

Low and slow, or high and fast; it doesn’t matter. You can slip along in a Stearman at tree-top level and let the wind whip your scarf backwards while you glide over yellow fields filling your head with the sweet smell of hay or alfalfa. Soothing.

Or you can be at forty thousand feet, not far from the speed of sound, painting the sky with white contrails while

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