Pilot Story: The Romance of Flying

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Tally One user “Kaiser” for this story – it makes you appreciate those peaceful night flights! 

The Romance of Flying: Dinner For Two

The vast majority of pilots are romantics, they just don’t admit it.  There may be vibrato in the stories they tell, but deep down there is the poetic part of their soul that hides in the corner of their heart.

A long, long time ago, before airports took on the air of bus stations, they were a special place.  Not long after the Will Rogers World Airport opened in Oklahoma City, I took a date out to dinner at the airport restaurant.  They had a special on Saturday night, Dinner For Two, by candlelight.  One wouldn’t know it was an airport restaurant except for the occasional rumble of jet engines.

The restaurant had the ambiance of a five start restaurant in NYC. While there, two other couples, who had flown up from our home town, arrived.   We decided that we would fly back to Duncan together in loose formation.  To this day it is as clear in my mind as if it had happened yesterday.  We took off in formation.  The air was as still as a baby asleep and one could see all the way to the horizon.  As I flew alongside the other plane, I trimmed my controls until it was no-hands flying.  There was the soft glow of the red instrument panel and the light from the stars above.  There were the lights from the plane to the left of us and one could see the glow of their cockpit lights.

There was also the glow of the lights on the ground, the stars in the sky and off in the distance the flash of the rotating beacon at the Duncan airport 80 miles away.  While pilots will talk about their exploits of fast and furious g-load flying, deep down they “feel” the romance that the marriage of science and nature brings when they “slip the surly bonds of earth” and “touch the face of God”.