Here We Go | Teen Ink

Here We Go

October 20, 2014
By Matthew Collier BRONZE, Westfield, Massachusetts
Matthew Collier BRONZE, Westfield, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I can never forget the day that inspired me to pursue a career that came from an after school club back in middle school. This was the day I first flew an airplane. Right as I jumped out of bed that morning, I checked the weather on my iPod – 22 News said it was clear skies with only a soft breeze. The flight group was just as excited as I was to be in the Wright Flight program and to have this opportunity. Knowing our schedule, we hopped on a bus from school and raced up to Barnes Airport. Now the nerves started to kick in, but I was more optimistic than nervous. Maybe it was just my body reacting to the idea I was going to fly a plane. Our teacher Mr. Dufraine reassured us all by saying that being in a car was three hundred times more dangerous than being in a plane. I looked out the dusty window and saw parked twin engines, private jets, and helicopters in and out of their hangars. Before we got in the cockpits of our reserved planes, we took a brief tour of Westfield’s Air National Guard base. The F15s were definitely a lot larger than they looked in the air, but still the same aircraft. My flight instructor Jack and I met up after the tour and began walking towards our blue and white Piper Warrior on the tarmac. The plane was a real beauty; it put a huge smile on my face when we got inside. Its interior had brand new avionics (controls and indicators) and brand new tan leather seats. The Warrior had that new car smell to it, but nevertheless meant to fly. Jack then instructed me to do our preflight and pre-takeoff procedures. If I messed any of this up, the jeopardy of the flight was at risk, so I paid close attention to everything Jack instructed me to do. “Okay Matt, turn the ignition” he ordered. The prop made a coughing noise which quickly transitioned to a humming as it began to revolve. Jack taxied our plane up to one end of the runway. Here we go. A push forward on the throttle and we were gaining major speed. Accelerating at fifty, sixty, sixty five, then seventy miles per hour, I began to pull back on the joystick. The warrior’s nose went up, and then I no longer felt the bumps of the runway. My hands were deadlocked on the joystick as the plane’s altitude increased each moment. Our movement felt so smooth, like a hot knife through butter. The sky showed off its vibrant blue color as we left the Earth and the jitters left my body. After all those months of hard studying in Wright Flight for this moment; I was finally in the air. It felt like controlling my own rollercoaster and we followed the flight plan and route. I banked the wing to the left and was able to see my school and house from thirty five hundred feet up! Wow everything DOES look like ants from up here I imagined. Something hit my mind at that moment which convinced me that this is what I wanted to do for a living. I fell in love with the aviation career field as I got to see Westfield from the sky. After all, if you grew up here, it’s hard to ignore looking up and watching the planes coming out of Barnes. I knew that the road to becoming a pilot was tough and full of obstacles, but I wasn’t going to let it stop my newfound passion. The landing back at the airport was smooth with a little assistance from Jack. We made it. My mom ran up to me back in the terminal building and gave me one of those deep and warm motherly hugs. There were tears in her eyes, but I knew she was truly proud of me. It’s not an everyday thing to see a kid in seventh grade flying a plane. “Oh thank gad that’s over!” she said with a smile. “No Mom, this is just the beginning.” I replied.

The author's comments:

This memior represents me persuing my future aspirations. I hope people can take my story and apply the theme to their own lives.

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