One Pilot’s View: Want to feel like a millionaire?

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By LORAN MALONEY

When I was growing up, No. 1 on my Bucket List was becoming a pilot.

My first memory of being hooked on becoming a pilot was when I was just 8 years old in 1955. My dad went on a business trip, departing from Lambert Airport in St. Louis. Back then, you could walk to the departure gate to see your loved ones off on their journey.

Through the windows, I could see his plane, a Trans World Airlines Lockheed Constellation, also known as a “Connie.” It was the biggest airplane I’d ever seen — and the first one I’d seen up close.

A Trans World Airlines (TWA) C-121 Constellation taxies on the runway at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB) in Louisiana, showcasing a bygone era in civilian passenger air service, during an Open House and Air Show, held on base in 2004. In the background are US Air Force (USAF) B-52H Stratofortress aircraft, which were rolling off the assembly line around the time the four-engine propeller driven airliner was being retired.

We watched as Dad climbed the stairway and entered the plane. Mom then drove us to a public viewing area at the west end of the main runway. We got out of the car and waited for Dad’s flight to depart.

I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest as the roaring Connie flew directly overhead at perhaps 200 feet. I thought I just saw a miracle.

And then I said to myself, “I gotta do that someday.”

“Someday” came in 1997 when I earned my private pilot certificate. I have been flying for over 20 years now.

Although I will never command four roaring engines or an aircraft the size of the Connie, I can tell you that when I am taxiing my Cherokee Warrior towards the active runway, I feel like a million bucks.

Loran Maloney standing next to his Cherokee Warrior II.

I know what is coming. I love what is coming and I want more of what is coming.

Want to feel like a millionaire without actually being one? Become a pilot.

This is the debut of a new feature called “One Pilot’s View.” Pilots are encouraged to submit their own views about flying and being a pilot. Send them to [email protected].

This post was originally published by General Aviation News on . Please visit the original post to read the complete article.

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