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My Reverse Bucket List of Aviation

It is always nice when you come across something that just makes you want to write.  Over the last few days I had seen a certain article come up a few times on social media, but never stopped to actually read it, sorry Sarina.  Well this evening I finally opened the article and I am glad I did.

The article, which I highly recommend, was written by Sarina Houston for Plane and Pilot, and was all about writing a reverse bucket list.  She gives a much better description than I will, but the short version is that instead of just writing a list of things you want to do, you should also take the time to write the things you have done to help you appreciate how much you have accomplished.

I am a little cautious about posting this because I don’t want it to sound like bragging, but in reality I would also really love to hear about all of the cool things that other people have done in aviation.   Please share in the comments or send me a message to share.  Hearing other people’s lists sounds like a great way to find new aviation goals.

So without further ado, and really just listing them off the top of my head in no particular order, my reverse bucket list of aviation:

Visiting the airport with my dad as a kid, which I had no idea was referred to as planespotting, if it was even called that back then.

Visiting The Boneyard at Davis Monthan right after all of the B-52s were brought there post Cold War.

Going back to Davis Monthan 20ish years later and seeing those same B-52s all chopped up.

Flying in a 747.

Flying in a 787.

My first flight in a 172.

Flying solo for the first time in a Piper Cherokee.

Flying solo cross-country like a real pilot.

Passing my ppl checkride and becoming a real pilot.

Getting my Navigator wings.

My first flight on my beloved C-130H Hercules

My very first air drop.

Dropping on the islands of Micronesia for Operation Christmas Drop twice.

Flying into Kathmandu, Nepal.

My very first live MAFFS drop.

Putting out a wildfire with MAFFS airdrops.

Planespotting at Paine Field, WA. (part 2) (part 3) (part 4)

Watching the Blue Angels show 6 times.

Watching the Blue Angels practice over my house for a year and a half.

Seeing the B-2 Bomber.

Returning wounded soldiers to their homes on an aeromedical evacuation mission.

Meeting John McCain while he was running for president while working at the FBO in Austin, TX.

Flying in the T-6 Texan II.

Hearing the growl of a P-51 Mustang.

My one and only combat airdrop. (We delivered Thanksgiving dinner.)

Attending Aviation Geek Fest 2015

Attending the Reno Air Races.

Airdropping at the Reno Air Races.

Flying over Lake Tahoe.

Flying in a Piper Cub on Christmas Day.

Flying in Alaska as part of Red Flag Alaska.

I probably could keep going for a while, but these feel like the most meaningful ones to me.  Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have the job I do.  I haven’t gotten to do everything I would like, but I have done some wicked cool stuff over the years.  Some of the ones I listed have links with them if you want to go back and look at the stories I wrote about the events.

The other important thing worth mentioning is that almost all of these events included people who I hold dear in my life.  I was talking with someone about upcoming aviation events in 2019 and the one thing I want to do is go to some of these events so that I can meet more of the people who I love to interact with on social media, like Sarina and a host of other people.

The planes are cool, but it is the people who make aviation special.

December 16, 2018 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.

Sun ‘N Fun Kicks off in Sunny Florida #SNF12

As I sit in my house getting ready for work listening to the Blue Angels practice, like they do every Tuesday and Thursday, I can’t help but wish I was getting ready to go to Sun ‘N Fun.  Obviously, most people would rather enjoy a day in sunny Florida admiring airplanes and enjoying the atmosphere of such an event, but I am around planes everyday.

Like I said, I get to see the Blue Angels practice a couple of times a week.  I work in military aviation, and I really enjoy it.  It is worth all of the long days, the changing schedules, and the general frustration that goes along with any flying career.  That being said, sometimes we need to get away from the work side of it, and enjoy the fun of it.

If I was in a position to own a small plane and go out and enjoy it, then I would do that, but what I really want right now is to enjoy the fun of an air show.  Just being around the people at air shows that love aircraft is so awesome.  It is not a competition or a challenge where we are looking for a winner, it is simply a celebration of flight and all of the wonder that it entails.

Flying was born on the dreams of adventurous men and women who did it because they loved it, not because it was really profitable.  It has proved to be profitable for many people, but that is not where its roots are.  It is rooted in the hearts and dreams of every little boy and girl who dreams  of touching the sky and experiencing what relatively few people have.

Many of those dreams were born at an air show that was visited with a parent who has that love of aviation and wants to share it with the next generation.  I hope that everyone who has the chance to attend Sun ‘N Fun this week has a great time and is able to enjoy the wonder that is aviation.  I guess there is always next year for me.

I would love to live vicariously through you and hear about some of the experiences being had.  What is your favorite part of an air show?

March 27, 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.