Flying With Dad: Rachel's Memories

Rachel's story as told to AOPA.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Waite

When I was twelve I had the opportunity to fly in a small bush-airplane in Venezuela. When I returned to the US, I was confident that I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up. My dad, who has always been supportive of our dreams, made an agreement with me. If I earned the money for my private license by the time I turned 16, he would not only let me learn to fly, he would also take lessons with me. After mowing many lawns and finding random money making jobs, I went to my dad on my 16th birthday and asked him when we started lessons. That began one of the best years of my life. As the fourth daughter in a family with six kids, time with dad was limited. Once we started lessons though, I knew that every Tuesday morning was my time with dad. We would take turns who would sit up front during our flights, and after a year of our Tuesday lessons we were able to take our check rides on the same day. Our celebration, flying to Carrol County in Ohio to visit the Bluebird Restaurant and get a piece of pie.

Fast-forward several years, and a commercial job flying aircraft everyday, my favorite flights are still the simple ones. Flying a small tail-wheel, getting lunch at some small strip, mostly, spending time with dad. 

Thanks for the memories Dad!

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