One For The Sky (Original)

There are a ton of things in the world that irritate me, only one of which will be of interest to you. My story comes to you as hearsay alone, as I can proudly say I have not knowingly experienced this myself. This is how the story goes.

A co-worker, fond of telling me the highlights of her social life, comes into my office on Monday. "Hey John, youll never guess what happened this weekend," she says, as I filter through tons of paperwork on my desk. "Do I want to know?," I ask sarcastically. "I believe you do," she says confidently as she plops down in a chair across from me uninvited, and proceeds without invitation. "Friday night, I met the girls for happy hour after work, and got to talking to a really interesting man at the bar…..blah….blah….blah." Interesting, huh? Why was he interesting? Does he do scientific studies on the effects of alcohol on the social gatherings of men and women? Was he there doing research as you two spoke? I continue pondering the meaning of interesting as she plods on and on through the meaningless details of the conversation, actually listening only when something really interesting came up.

"Turns out hes a pilot. Maybe you know him. He says he flies in and out of the Albuquerque area on a regular basis….blah…blah…blah," she continued on with more tedious time consuming details, as I took control of the conversation in my own mind. Wow, this conversation might actually mold itself into something meaningful. First I was counting the minutes before she got out of my office; now I wanted to hear more about a fellow aviation buff, a man who lives for the wind beneath his wings, someone who at any given moment could be sharing my skies. Interesting.

"Anyway, we talked pretty much all night, had a few drinks, danced, had a few more drinks…..blah…blah…blah." Okay, get to the part where he is mature, educated, and responsible. The part where he asks you to go flying with him one day and you agree. The part where you two take to the skies, let the safety of altitude harness your budding relationship. The part where you become a member of the Mile High Club…..blah…blah…blah… "He asked me to fly with him Saturday morning," she says, right on cue. "but I said no."

What is she talking about? How could she pass up the opportunity to fly? Had she just filled my head with a bunch of unnecessary dating garbage that resulted in nothing meaningful? I could feel my hands grasp firmly to my hair as I started to yank some out.

"Why didn't you go?" I cried to salvage the conversation. "Haven't you been listening to me?" she asked accusingly. "I just finished telling you we stayed up all night drinking. No way would I get anywhere near that man in an airplane!"

There it was. And so I began to write this story. I heard a saying once that went something like this: Those who hoot with the owls at night should not fly with the eagles by day. My co-worker believes this, I believe this, but not every pilot who shares my skies believes this. I am an eagle. I fly for the love of flying, yet I am endangered often by those who take to the skies after a night of hooting. Fly for business, and for pleasure, but please, fly sober.

For those of you who still don't know what this story is about please review FAR 91.17 for clarification.

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