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Making a Little Girl with Cancer’s Dream Come True in the Air

That face right there is what makes all of this special.

That face right there is what makes all of this special.

I don’t know that there has been a time in my life where the news makes me more depressed and angry.  There is just so much anger and hate amongst members of the government, and even the people who support them.  So today I wanted to share a story about a beautiful little girl and how one of her dreams came true in the air over Utah.

Brylee is an adorable little three-year old who can make you melt just by looking at her smile.  She has big dreams and a big heart, but unfortunately many of those dreams will never come true for Brylee.  See back in March of this year Brylee was diagnosed with a tumor on her brain stem called a DIPG.  Five months later her and her family were told she most likely won’t make it until Christmas.

Having a three-year old myself I honestly can’t imagine how devastating that news must have been for her and her family, but I am incredibly impressed by their reaction, at least as I have seen it.  Rather than sulking about the situation the Olsen family opted to make every minute they have left together count.  In order to make sweet Brylee’s dreams come true they created a Facebook page entitled Brylee’s bucket list.

The list includes simple things like having a tea party and putting her hand into cement, but it also included things like going to Disneyland and Yellowstone, as well as riding in a hot air balloon.  As someone who loves anything in the air I could certainly understand that last one.  However, I don’t know anyone with a balloon, and honestly I didn’t know anyone with a plane in Utah.

However, through the wonder of modern technology known as Twitter I had found someone who did in a matter of hours. I simply reached out to my #AvGeek friends on Twitter asking if anyone in Utah had a plane and would be willing to take a little girl for a ride.  Within literally five minutes I was referred by multiple people to someone they thought could help.

Look at all of the big smiles and simple excitement of flying.

Look at all of the big smiles and simple excitement of flying.

Cory Robin (@flyctrobin) is the proud owner of a PZL 104 Wilga 35, that he fondly refers to as the WilgaBeast, which he uses at air shows and such to fulfill his mission: “We promote aviation.  We honor the military.  We preserve aviation history.  We LOVE TO FLY.”  On this day however, he would be honoring a beautiful girl and her family.  Cory responded immediately to my request and told me simply that he would make it happen.

He was able to arrange the flight with the organization that has largely been organizing Brylee’s bucket list, Children and the Earth.  They are an organization based out of Sandy, UT that is dedicated to making the dreams, both big and small, of children with terminal diseases come true.  After fighting the weather and some scheduling conflicts they were able to get Brylee and her family up in the air.

Just looking at some of the pictures here remind me of the wonder that is aviation.  So many smiles and excited faces.  It is one of those things that no matter how old or young you are it still contains a certain level of wonder, especially in smaller planes like the WilgaBeast.  It is not only the wonder of the plane though, it is the people.  Everyone who was part of this will be talking about the experience for a very long time.  Aviation is just one of those things that almost everyone likes to talk about if you give them the chance.

Brylee and her family getting ready to fly.

Brylee and her family getting ready to fly.

This story reminds me of everything that is right with aviation and the people who make it wonderful.  I’ve never met Cory, or Brylee for that matter, but through a chain of strangers she was able to enjoy something that very few people ever experience.  It never ceases to amaze me how generous people can be when there is something genuinely important that needs support.

So for all of us that have been influenced by your beauty Brylee, I wish you and your family all of the best, and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.  You have inspired us all.

If you would like to learn more about Brylee and her bucket list please visit her Facebook page, or her mom’s blog.

To support The Children and the Earth organization please visit their website.

To look at the awesome and generous work that Cory is doing with the WilgaBeast please visit his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @flyctrobin.

October 9, 2013 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

The Wonder of Flying: The Sights, Sounds, and Smells

I am currently in training as a Combat Systems Officer for the Air Force which is an 11 month program involving massive amounts of academics, seemingly innumerable simulator missions, and some fun flying in the T-6 and T-1.

Right now I am in the midst of a long stretch of time spent in a building with no windows studying, which can be incredibly draining when you go days without seeing the sun.  As you can imagine it is easy to forget about the wonder of flying when you are in a classroom watching presentations and listening to lectures.

That being said, all it takes is a step outside and seeing a jet fly overhead to remind me why flying is so wonderful.

Pretty much anyone can appreciate the wonder of flight in all of its many facets.  There is just something magical about a giant piece of metal soaring through the air at extremely high speeds.  I have spent countless hours just watching planes take off and land.

While many people enjoy flying or even watching planes, there are not many people who would say they like the sound.  I, on the other hand, absolutely love the sound of jet engines in the morning.

Hearing the igniters firing, the engine light-off, and the slowly growing whir of the turbine, really gets my blood pumping in the morning.  Even more incredible than that is hearing a military jet push the engines up and seeing the whole airframe shake just aching to be let go and lift off into the sky.

It is the type of sound that works its way into your whole body and is not just something that you hear, but something that you feel in every part of your body.  The kind of feeling that cannot be described with words, but that can only be understood by those who feel it and love it.

I am paraphrasing here, but I love the saying that, “Once a man has flown in the air he will never be content to be on the ground because his heart will always long to be back in the sky,” and that is more true than I could ever have imagined.

I am incredibly tired of being in classes, and spending week after week in a closed off building, but it is a small price to pay for a career which gives me the opportunity to spend hundreds of hours a year in the sky, in essence living where only the birds do.


February 14, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.