As a child I always dreamt of flying and flying thousands of feet above land looking down and experiencing the sensation of perfect peace mingled with excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost. Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: what more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. The enthusiasm for flying increased as I grew older and at the age of sixteen I took a big step into the aviation world.
After my board exams for class X finished in April my dad and I went to the United states of America.
After a few days of visiting flying schools and having a look at them we finally decided on American Flyers at pompano beach , Florida. Learning to fly in a small four seater cessna aircraft was an amazing experience. It had never gotten old for me, flying. Never gone boring. Every engine start was a new adventure, guiding the spirit of a lovely machine back into life; every takeoff blending my spirit with its own to lift away from the ground and fly. While flying I was surrounded by the beauty of the earth and the sky. I could easily see the shores of continents , islands , great rivers , folds of terrain , large bodies of water, the brushed treetops with the birds , the leapt valleys and explored the cloud canyons I had gazed at as a child. The horizon dark blue, smoothly turning to black . These feelings of mine can be expressed with one word - Joy.
The cockpit was my classroom. It was a place where I experienced many emotions and learned many lessons. It was a place of work but also a keeper of my dreams. Almost everyday I would be learning different kinds of maneuvers, stalls and engine failure procedures and for a sixteen year old this was surely an unforgettable experience. I dealt with serious encounters, yet there I discovered much about life. I learned about joy and sorrow, pride and humility, fear and overcoming fear. I saw much from that classroom that most people would never see.
Soon the required thirty five hours of flying were completed and I was ready for my solo flight. At about four o clock in the afternoon I was inside the cockpit of the cessna gearing up for my flight.
'You're on your own' was all my instructor said that day. An emphatic chill went down my spine and I knew that here was my first judgement day. As I was taxing down to the active runway the hardships and perils of the past month were forgotten by the overpowering rush of excitement of the present. With a short dash down the runway, the machine lifted into the air and was flying. It was only a flight of twenty minutes , and it was uncertain, wavy, creeping sort of flight ; but it was my first solo flight and was the best. After my flight was done my instructor and I shook hands with each other , our hearts swelling with those emotions invoked by the achievement and the glamour of the moment.
Although I passed all necessary evaluation phases , including written exams and cross country within the two months I couldn't get the license as I wasn't seventeen yet. So I flew back to the US for my final test and obtained my License on 27th December 2008 - my 17th birthday. After Returning to India I was soon declared as the youngest private pilot in the country. The days of flying were , and will be , perhaps the supreme days of my life.