In this episode, Jon talks about how important it is to take the skills, gifts, and talents in your life and share it with others. As Jon states, it is just a great feeling to give back to others with something you have that is a special gift. Not everyone has the talents or gifts that you have, so why not share those gifts with others so you can help make their life more special? In this episode, Jon takes several people flying in his 4 seat Beechcraft Bonanza airplane. These people five winners in a raffle drawing where the proceeds for the raffle went to charity. Jon donated the fuel and the time in the aircraft to help the charity. He will take the winners up two at a time for a 20 minute flight near Phoenix, Arizona.
It’s early on a Saturday morning and Jon is driving to his hangar at the airport. He needs to get the Bonanza ready to fly and then fly the plane to another airport to pick up the passengers. But first, he needs to clean the plane because there is popcorn on the floor from his last long distance flight. Plus, wipe down the plane and clean the windows. Flying two passengers at a time, taking turns with one in the back seat and the other in the co-pilot seat. Then land back at his home airport and swap out who sits in the front or back seat. What is interesting is that Jon flies so often in either plane, it is just as normal to him as it is for others to drive in a car. Yet, for most people, flying in a small airplane is a new experience for them. In fact, so new that they are nervous, excited, and with mixed feelings. Jon recalls how exciting it was for his first flight and knowing how excited his passengers must feel. Plus, going out and flying the airplane for a great cause will be fun! Normally, it is a practice flight for an airshow or traveling with either plane to some event. But today, he gets to take his skills and talents to a very fun level by sharing them with others in person.
The flight will take the passengers on a trip just south of Phoenix, Arizona. Here is the itinerary:
- Take off from Chandler Municipal airport
- Fly south to the WWII Japanese Internment Camp
- Fly over the ruins of the camp for a mini history lesson
- Fly to Jon’s home private airport
- Swap passenger seats
- Fly next to Superstition Mountain and over Saguaro lake
- Fly back to Chandler Municipal airport for landing
Some people feel that Jon is “crazy” because he performs extreme aerobatics hundreds of feet of the ground. He is known by others as a “stunt pilot” which makes him, in their view, a daredevil. But actually, to Jon it is like knowing how to drive on snow or ice with a car. Once you master that, it’s just a normal part of what you do. People then are worried that they will be doing aerobatics or the engine might quit. So it is important to put them at ease before the flight, letting them know that it will be just like flying in an airliner, but smaller.
The Bonanza airplane just had it’s annual inspection completed. So it is in tip-top shape and ready to take passengers up. Before the flight, Jon will have a briefing with the passengers letting them know all the safety and care that is taken for each flight. Teaching them briefly how an airplane flies and how to control the plane. That way, when they are in the front seat they can fly the plane if they want to. It is a cool morning and it is best to take passengers when it is cool. When it is warm outside, then the cockpit gets really warm and it makes passengers (and Jon) uncomfortable.
Bottom line, Jon has over 40 years experience flying airplanes with no accidents. Sharing the skills, talents, and his aircraft is just a great way to give back to others. It’s one thing to make money with the airplane and keep the business going. But it is a completely other thing to share the joys, excitement, and love of flying. Hopefully, everyone will enjoy the flight and tell others about how much flying is. Maybe one of them will want to become a pilot someday? As an aviation advocate, Jon loves talking about flying with others, but really loves to take them flying because hopefully they will want to become one too.