Aviation – a Love Affair Sharing the Love with Family, Friends and Peers

Shelair's unique aviation blog series.

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I was never one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Yet in the spirit of February, seeing hearts and flowers, my mind led me to think about how my ‘love affair’ with aviation has impacted the lives of so many around me. I am blessed to share this love affair with so many family, friends and peers in my life, taking even their memories to new heights. 

My ‘Love Affair’ With Aviation – Shared, Enjoyed, Inspired

February 28, 2024 – Blog Post #10:

I usually get the rolling of eyes from female friends on my disdain for a commercialized holiday such as Valentine’s Day. But, this year, I worked to embrace it by continuing to share my love for aviation with others. I’ve been told by family members and even in relationships “you talk too much about airplanes and aviation.” Or, “do you not have any other hobbies aside from flying and airplanes?” Even, “you tend to deflect some conversations back to aviation.” I’ve reflected on this over the years and even for a time, stepped away from ‘talking and writing’ so much about aviation to give everyone a break. Yet, in doing so, it impacted me and folks saw me become more distant. Is aviation really all I have? Is it my only hobby or love outside of family and relationships? Can I see and experience more than just ‘aviation?’

As this Valentine’s Day rolled in, all these thoughts and conversations came back into my mind. First off, just so everyone is aware, I certainly do have hobbies outside of aviation. I paint, love riding horses when I can, hiking routine or new trails, travel and adventure (not associated with my airplane) and of course the most important, time with my family, the man and friends. However, aviation is not only my livelihood, it’s a part of me and one that I enjoy sharing with so many others. I am blessed to not only have aviation, yet the opportunity to share it.

When I look at the collage of photos part of this blog, I am able to look back and remember so many great stages in my life, my time in the industry and using aviation for good will. For example, putting a young person in an airplane who was previously scared of heights, now able to face life differently. Giving an entire group of media professionals the chance to cover a vintage C-47 in air with others that once dropped paratroopers behind enemy lines during WWII. Back in September 2023, I was able to take my father, the one person who supported the crazy kid who wanted to fly, to a VIP aviation event in Pittsburgh. He loved it and could translate much of his experience fixing up cars and his need for speed with corporate jet and business aviation pilots on site. It was magical to see his face light up in those conversations! In early November 2023, I put my mother and stepfather aboard the historic C-47 Miss Virginia to experience a flight with Mary Jean Eisenhower – the granddaughter of president Dwight D. Eisenhower.

There’s the many opportunities I took John flying – in warbirds, general aviation aircraft, fun flying over the red rocks of North Las Vegas – experiences some have never had. Even outreach events, giving away scholarships funded by Aviation Influence, I Hart Flying Foundation, facilitating a global flight around the world – all of these impact lives. One of my favorites, spending time with a 101 year old WWII D-Day veteran, hearing his stories having flown in combat at the ripe age of 19, fighting for our freedoms. Flying with the former Aeroshell Aerobatic Team – now Titan Aerobatic Team – and getting kids excited about airshows and what aerobatic flying is! I’ve logged dual instruction in various DC-3s across the D-Day Squadron and still bring more people aboard to experience the nostalgia of warbird flying. Flying to Kitty Hawk, another historic moment, to intercept Zara Rutherford on her global solo flight allowed Elayne and me to bring the Cheetah Grumman and share a unique airplane with youth that same day. A few years ago, I took my sister flying in the 1953 Cessna 150 (5346Q) out of the private airfield south of Fayetteville Regional. She of course had comments about the old bird and concerns getting in the air with her. I reminded my lovely sister, these aircraft can really take a beating and are well maintained! We were able to fly up the coastline close to Wrightsville Beach where they spend some weekends with my two nieces – Jemma and Sofia. Heck – there was even a time I helped a couple get married on a WWII veteran C-47 in flight at 13,000 feet! 

As I write this, I am getting ready to head back to Florida where we will have Lady Liberty and Boss Bonanza on display at the annual CFBAA BizAv Day hosted by Sheltair KDAB, Daytona Beach International Airport. The display will be managed by young professionals getting their start in this industry – as their aviation love affair grows. We will give away two flight experiences as a way to continue sharing the love affair of aviation!

If you’d like to share more in this aviation love affair, reach out to us and learn about ways we help others SOAR! Check out this webpage: Aviation Influence – Flying Platform

Click the arrow to see the next image in the gallery. 

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As I advance this themed monthly blog with Sheltair, you will become more intimately involved in special projects FAC has oversight. Some of these, just to give a teaser, involve WWII aircraft, a presidential aircraft restoration, global flight missions, female flight training scholarships, and more! FAC is now a team of 10 and growing. We love to have fun, we all enjoy the freedom of flight, engaging with industry, and supporting this sector with everything we have. We invite you to learn more about us here: FunDAvConsulting.com

 

Stay tuned for the next blog post!