Yes. You’d be surprised, but I’m actually a more accomplished aerobatic pilot than the guy bringing you in to La Guardia. And The Sister is twice as accomplished.
I’m stealing these and copy/pasting them from a Gawker post about junior pilots, racing around the world to beat the Guinness book and dying in the process. Enough.
I was a child pilot and I don’t have any issue with teaching kids to fly, but when you add the competitive aspect, and the extreme range of conditions mentioned above, you have a recipe for disaster. These competition kids die. They DIE in disproportionate numbers. Because of a fucking deadline, because of ambitious parents, because they are pushed too far.
Tell it to this guy.
“I was a child pilot.” Do tell!
I think I’ve told it a few times before, but what the hell.
My dad was a natural-born aviator who could make clunky, run of the mill planes do anything he wanted. Unfortunately for him, he did not come from the class who sent their sons to university, so he was a Sergeant, not an officer. As a non-officer, he wasn’t allowed to be a pilot, although he would occasionally give flying lessons to those who were, and wanted to try something different.
Most every weekend he’d take us up in a rented Cessna, my sister and me, and do aerobatic manoeuvres these planes were never meant for. They’re good planes, though, and he was an excellent pilot, so it was fine. Eventually he taught us. My sister could do an eight point barrel roll by the time she turned ten. I wasn’t that good, and only managed a four.
But we didn’t compete, we never felt pushed, and if we’d rather have stayed on teh ground that would have been okay with my father. It would have saved him saying (as he did every time we landed) “Don’t tell your mother.”
Absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing even though you’ve done it before. I had no idea you had such an adventurous childhood. Dang.
Thanks. Actually, till I became a teen and started comparing myself to my peers, I’d no idea what we’d been doing was cool at all. Since high school, the only place it’s been cool is here, in the Gawker comment section.
PS still jelly my sister was the better pilot. We both went on to completely unrelated careers, her to high-level academic administration, me to (spam alert) The Cryptosphere.