, Nashville

, Tennessee

, United States

Posted on
2020-02-13 19:49:10
“All my life I’ve wanted to be an airplane pilot. About 6 years ago I was going through a very tough financial time and had to start all over in a new (much bigger) city from the bottom. I scrimped and saved tips from my fast food job to buy a $40 ready-to-fly micro airplane – the Mini Vapor by Horizon Hobby. I was IMMEDIATELY hooked on radio control aviation from the first moment of that (very brief) first flight. RC flight helped me forget about the tough times I was going through by simply enjoying the spectacle of flying a tiny airplane around an empty parking lot and knowing it was because of my control input. This was the tiniest taste of my lifelong goal of flight. As this hobby tends to go, and as my quality of life improved, I was able to grow in the hobby and enjoy nicer planes that looked much more like the full scale aircraft I had always dreamt of flying. The pride of the collection right now is 1/12 scale F-14 Tomcat that I’ve custom painted to replicate Maverick and Goose’s jet from the movie Top Gun. I took this F-14 to a large gathering for electric jets in Indiana last summer where the jet earned a plaque for “Best Foam Jet”. As I rebuilt my life from the ground up, RC model aviation helped me reconnect with who I always have been at my core – an aviation enthusiast. Along the way, I’ve made so many new friends and met some truly incredible people I otherwise might not have crossed paths with. One great example? NASA Space Shuttle Commander “Hoot” Gibson. He and I get together and fly our model F-14 Tomcats from time to time at our local club’s field. Speaking of the club, ours gives free lessons and I am one of the instructors. When I reached a standard of living that would allow it, I began taking flight lessons. I had my first solo flight in a Cessna 172 (N5146R at M54, runway 19, Aug 27 2016) after only 7 flight hours. There’s just no way I would’ve accomplished that feat with so few flight hours had I not spent so much time flying RC airplanes. The RC hobby had already taught me so many principles of flying! I passed my private pilot check ride with 60 hours in my logbook and have loved every second I’ve spent fulling my lifelong dream of being the pilot of a real airplane. A little over a year ago, I bought my own airplane and started a small business that leases my airplane to the flight school where I learned to fly. When I’m not enjoying the freedom of flying my own Cessna 150G (which was made ADS-B compliant in May 2019), the school is renting it out to students learning to fly and to instructors who are building time so that they can move onward to the airlines. My story began when a humble $40 ready-to-fly micro RC plane helped reignite one of my deepest passions, and continues to this day as I enjoy flying my full scale airplane as well as my radio control planes. I sincerely hope that the FAA is able to find a way not to stifle our hobby in their quest for safety and autonomous UAS integration. I’ve linked to a couple of pictures of my Cessna 150, and a couple of my F-14 pics (including one that has “Hoot” Gibson with his F-14). I had a hard time getting photos to attach properly, so I hope this link works:″