Photo courtesy of Paul Loschiavo
When I was about fourteen, I was driving my parents nuts asking to "take flying lessons." Finally, after the four hundredth discussion about it, my mother said "Fine. We'll go to the local airport tomorrow."
I was way too excited to sleep much that night, and the next day, she drove me to Zahn's Airport in Amityville, New York. There, we met with the chief instructor who explained the process and happened to mention that it cost $19 an hour for instruction in a Piper Cub.
On the way home, she casually asked "How do you plan on paying for it?"
Huh? I hadn't exactly thought it through.
The next day, I went looking for a job and got hired at a local Chock Full 'O Nuts where I earned $1.35 an hour. Basically, it took me two days of working in the kitchen for one hour of flight time. I ended up cleaning that kitchen a lot.
I soloed just after my sixteenth birthday and got my private license after my seventeenth. I went to to become a Marine Corps helicopter pilot and retired from the Marines as a colonel. Now, I'm a senior vice president with Merrill Lynch and own a motorglider.
That simple eight word question"How do you plan on paying for it?" was a life changer.