I have been flying with Randon Aviation since May and it has been a dream come true for me. Despite being very busy in my work, I'm getting close to completing the requirements to get my private pilot's license. It is demanding and takes a lot of time, study and practicing but I'm confident that I will finish soon.
My Dad was a career Air Force pilot who flew during WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. He flew 30 missions in a B-17 in WWII bombing Germany, then over 100 missions in a C-47 hauling food and supplies during the Berlin Airlift. He was an instructor pilot in the B-50 during the Korean War. The B-50 was the upgraded version of the B-29 that dropped the atomic bombs to end WWII. My Dad has over 10,000 flying hours and is still alive and well and nearly 96 years old.
I also served in the Air Force and Air National Guard. I was a navigator and flew in the back seat of the F-4 Phantom for 13 years. I crossed both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans taking gas from tankers the whole way. I flew all over the U.S. including Hawaii. I also flew in Canada, S. Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Turkey. I have hit 1.8 Mach, been over 50,000 feet high, supersonic a few hundred feet off the ground and pulled 8-9 Gs while doing some incredible maneuvers. My last flight in the F-4 was December 27, 1989, flying out of Houston, TX over the Gulf of Mexico. My pilot let me take the controls, he told me I could burn as much gas as I wanted to. We were around 20,000 feet, I went into a shallow dive in full afterburner and accelerated to Mach 1.2 or 1.3. I then Zoomed it up over 40,000 feet, supersonic all the way. (Mach 1 is approximately 700 MPH depending on density altitude.) After a few aileron rolls, loops, etc., I turned the controls back over to my pilot to take us home.
My Dad's last Air Force flight was in 1967 in Okinawa, Japan. He missed flying so much that he built an ultralight after retiring from the Air Force. One of my mother's happiest days was when he finally sold his airplane. Whenever we get together, My Dad and I always talk about flying. I can't wait to take my Dad for a ride after I get my license.