Always Keep Chasing That Dream
Opinion Editorial written by Chris Buckner — As many of our long time readers know, my path to the sky, like that of countless other people before me, has been much longer and winding than I would have preferred. As I am still in a state of what many would call, ‘treading water’ (sounds worse than it is for someone passionate about seaplanes!) I wanted to take the opportunity to hopefully offer a bit of motivation to others who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Giving insights on a bit more background, I currently hold a private pilot certificate, which took 5 years to earn, and have been working on earning my instrument, commercial, and CFI, while living and working full time as a teacher in Bremen, Germany for the last 4 years.
Something is always lacking; time, money, airplanes, FAA examiners, you name it. Now, this could very easily turn into one of those, ‘excuses why I can’t fly’ articles, but it won’t. What I want to do is share with you a few ways that you can stay in the loop and keep yourself motivated to keep chasing your dream, even when you have no idea when the next practical step will happen.
1. Use media to feed your passion
Obviously there are negative ways that media affects us. But, it can also be a very positive motivator. Fill your news-feed with aviation sites, news, and podcasts. Keeping yourself in constant contact with the dream you are chasing is an excellent way to continue to work towards it. Not every step of working towards a rating has to be hunched over a FAR/AIM tabbing out key regulations. Listening to a podcast while you go for a walk can be just as beneficial, and doesn’t feel like near as much work.
2. Share the passion of flight with others
Whether you live next door to the airport, or are 100 miles away from the closest runway, you can find a way to share flight with those around you. One simple way to do that is to start writing about aviation. Find a source that supports your cause, such as Seaplanemagazine.com, and share what you are passionate about. Whether that’s researching antique aircraft, planning disaster responses, helping to open new airports, or actually training- tips and tricks for flying aircraft, there are people out there who would love to see and read your stories. If you are able to actually get to the airport, you can listen and share stories of those around you who are spending time in the air. Who knows, this could even turn into flight opportunities, if you run into the right people.
3. Practice your skill with a realistic flight simulator
With major advances in technology, having an affordable, realistic flight simulator is much more realistic than in years past. Having a simulator, with at least a yoke, rudder, and throttle is relatively affordable, and if used responsibly and with some guidance, is a great way to practice skills and stay fresh. Of course this doesn’t actually help if you are only playing around and not actually making an effort to practice in a realistic environment. But, if used correctly, a simulator can be an excellent, and fun tool to use. I would also highly recommend combining the last two points and sharing flight simulation with others. Whether it’s teaching someone the basics of flight and taking the time to show them the fine skills needed or challenging a fellow pilot to a skills based test on the simulator, it’s a great way to have some cheap fun, and build your skills at the same time.
These are but a few small examples of ways that a pilot or future pilot can stay on track and stay motivated while waiting on their own time or resources to take the next step in their own adventure. This list is far from complete and is just meant to get you thinking about what steps you can take in your own life. Of course, if you are reading this, then you’re probably already on the right track, the only question left is…What’s next?
Chris Buckner is the Co-Founder of Seaplanemagazine.com and held the post of Chief Editor during the sites launch-phase in 2016. He is a teacher at the International School of Bremen, where he has inspired the school to provide students with a flight simulator to bring the passion and concepts of aviation closer to them at an earlier age. Chris is currently studying for his Instrument and Commercial and CFI written exams and will be seeking employment as instructor upon finishing his training in the U.S. His preferred industry to work in remains centered on seaplanes! Get in touch with him via Email!