Hello and welcome to my website/blog (Well once I start blogging)! I’ve never been much on writing “About Me”, but I’ll give it a try. You’re either curious to know about who I am, bored as hell, or stumbled across my page by happy accident. Either way, thanks for checking out my Skyhawk Heavy page! So where do I begin?
The short story about the life of Skyhawk Heavy
Well, I was born at a very young age in Elizabeth City, NC. You’re welcome! See, I’ve already enlightened your life and haven’t even asked for a credit card number. Sure, I know what you’re thinking; “Damn this is an awesome site and all for free!” Just trying to do my part by bringing some humor and filterless posts into this world. I just do what I can do, when I can do, while I can do, that’s all I CAN do. Sure, you can use that. Since my birth, I’ve graced many with my presence and the number of people receiving that privilege increase daily! I’m not even going to lie and say I try to accomplish this. When you’re me, hell it just comes naturally.
I was born at a very young age
Now where was I? Ah yes, my birth. I am proud to say that I am a true Tar Heel! I was bred, born, and raised (well, for a few years) in North Carolina (The Tar Heel State). My father was stationed there in the United States Coast Guard. Shortly after, we moved to Clearwater, FL., back to North Carolina, back to Florida, then finally, here to Mobile, AL. This is where my father retired and I graduated high school. Out of 12 years of school (not including college), I went to 10 different schools. This is probably the main reason why I am so quiet and shy today. Ok, I’m neither of those, but I have moved more than I could ever want to.
I’m a procrastinator, but I’ll tell you more about that later.
When and how I discovered aviation
As far back as I can remember, I have always been amazed by aircraft. How they work and how that much metal could get in the air. My very first flight was when I was around 6 years old in a Piper Archer in Clinton, NC. I was immediately hooked. The pilot, Mr. Jim, even let me fly the plane for a little while doing basic turns, straight and level flight, etc. It was known then, that one day, I was going to be a pilot! Visiting the airport every chance I got after that just plane watching, dreaming, and “hangar flying” with pilots. I always enjoy meeting other pilots, regardless of their experience, and sharing stories. It’s amazing how much you can learn just talking with others about their experiences.
Aviation is such a vast community. However, one thing I love about it, is that you seldom meet strangers. We are all brothers and sisters that share the same passion!
As a Coast Guard Brat, my passion for aviation always grew stronger
Anywho, my desire to fly and my passion continued to grow over the years. As I mentioned, my father flew on C-130s in the United States Coast Guard for over 20 years. I’m sure you can imagine, aviation runs in our blood. Growing up around C-130s, HH-3s more than being around my friends. I could never get enough and wanted to be near aircraft as often as I possibly could. Whenever my father would stand duty overnight, I would stay on base with him. Just to go out and get on one of the planes in the hangar. Loved making name patches for flight suits or just helping in the ASM shop (now AST). Learning how to replace rafts or other survival gear and equipment on board. Hell, I enjoyed just sitting in the cockpit. No matter what I needed to do, I was there every chance I got! Still, that was not even close to enough. Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely love the USCG C-130! Sadly, my father retired before I ever got the chance to fly in one. Can we say “selfish”? LOL
Following in the footsteps of my father, sort of
After graduating high school in 1992, I started working at Mobile Regional Airport. I started as a ramp agent for a ground support company and worked there for a year. This lead to me getting a job with Northwest Airlines/Airlink, where I worked for 15 years on the ramp. Pushbacks, powerbacks, loading, unloading, fueling, marshalling, and everything else you can think of, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience it. Also, I worked on many different airframes (from turboprops to 747s, and even the former 707 Air Force One). Words cannot express how much I miss my years on the ramp. I didn’t care if it was 15º or 150º, I loved being outside working on the planes. I’m thankful for so many wonderful memories of my years on the ramp. Not to mention, the life-long friends I’ve made on the way! I could write so much about my 15+ years working on the ramp, but I’ll keep it short here. Perhaps I should write a book. Of course, it would be a best-seller!
I really do love the smell of jet fuel in the morning. Well, any time of the day or night! If it was a car scent, I would hang it from my rear view mirror in my truck!
I finally become a pilot
Even though I have flown a great deal in my life, I finally got my private pilots license in 2000. Solo’d at 9 hours and took my FAA checkride with only 42 hours! The greatest day of my life was becoming a father. The second greatest day was becoming a pilot! It seems like only yesterday. You can imagine how my passion magnified even more! Yes, I wanted to fly commercially and was working hard towards my goal. Then, the unfortunate and tragic events of 9/11 put a damper on my goals of becoming an airline pilot. Seeing so many of my friends being furloughed made me nervous. After much thought, I decided that it was best for my family to not take that risk as well. Though I never got to be an airline pilot, my passion for flying continued to grow. I am just as happy to still be able to fly in general aviation! Building up hours in different aircraft but primarily in the Cessna 172 Skyhawk! Definitely plan on owning one in the “hopeful” near future.
Any landing you walk away from is a good landing.
So what do I do for a living now?
Did I mention that I’m passionate about aviation? Well, that passion has driven me onwards and upwards. I am fortunate to work for a software developer that shares my passion for aviation! Flying Development Studio developed a mobile flight sim, Infinite Flight, that is nothing short of amazing! Working for a company that affords me the opportunity to work from home on a flight sim. How awesome is that? Even better, I get paid to do it! Allowing me to “fly” even when I’m not flying, is the next best thing to flying itself! Not just fly, but fly with friends from all around the world. Fly anywhere in the world and with live ATC! Not only that, but I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made all over the world. Friends that share the same passion that I do for aviation! Other real world pilots, real world controllers, aviation photographers, aviation enthusiasts, airline personnel, and of course the occasional dumbass. All bridged through this amazing mobile flight sim, Infinite Flight. Also, the fact that they have been fortunate enough to cross paths with me (You’re welcome)! If you haven’t already, you need to check out Infinite Flight through your app store. When the weather grounds your flight, pick up your tablet and fly anyways!
Skyhawk Heavy and FlightCast
Hell, while you’re flying, you can listen to FlightCast, the podcast that I co-host with close friend, Jason. Well, if I’m honest, he’s more of a brother. But that’s enough compassionate bullshit. You can read more about that under the FlightCast section on my page or you can check out our website by clicking here. We have guests from all over the world. The guests range from aviation enthusiasts, pilots, controllers, artists, photographers, and so many more! If you haven’t checked us out yet, make sure that you do ASAP! You’ll be glad you did. As always, you’re welcome.
Photography and Aviation
Well, my passion for aviation continues to grow (I seriously can’t get enough). I have ventured into the world of aviation photography, which has lead me to have this website! Though I am still a noob with photography, through trial and many errors, I’m learning more daily. Learning tips and tricks from some great friends that I’ve made along the way has been amazing. I have learned a lot from their experience as aviation photographers. Thanks for your patience and advice! I certainly hope to share with everyone the majestic beauty of aviation! Anything and everything aviation! From paper airplanes to the rarest of aircraft (yes, even the occasional Airbus). I hope you will join me on this life adventure. I continue to learn and grow as a photographer daily, so I can only get better. Come along as I explore, attempt to entertain, and “try” to photograph or video aircraft in their natural habitat. Perhaps even inspire someone to take their passion to the next level!
For the record, panning is from the pit of hell!
I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead, and hope to provide you with some beautiful photography, a little comedy (mostly through my blog), and more than not filterless comments (you have been warned)! Thank you for stopping by and reading a little about me. I look forward to meeting you at an airshow in the future! You’re welcome!