Happy Saturday, FighterSweep Fans! I ran across something this evening, something I felt compelled to share with all of you. If you have a passion for all things aviation as we do here, you’ll definitely identify with these words.

So for all the pilots, navigators, flight engineers, loadmasters, and other aircrew, here is an ode to those who fly:

Once the wings go on, they never come off whether they can be seen or not. It fuses to the soul through adversity, fear and adrenaline, and no one who has ever worn them with pride, integrity and guts can ever sleep through the ‘call of the wild’ that wafts through bedroom windows in the deep of the night.

When a good flyer leaves the ‘job’ and retires, many are jealous, some are pleased and yet others, who may have already retired, wonder. We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times. We know in the world of flying, there is a fellowship which lasts long after the flight suits are hung up in the back of the closet. We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.

Because we flew, we envy no man on earth.”

~Author Unknown

"Rhino" prepares to start a Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor for a training sortie at Tyndall AFB, Florida. (Photo by Scott Wolff)
“Rhino” prepares to start a Lockheed-Martin F-22A Raptor for a training sortie at Tyndall AFB, Florida. (Photo by Scott Wolff)

And it’s absolutely true. Being a flyer affords you a taste of freedom that precious few ever truly get to experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the controls of an F-22 Raptor like our friend “Rhino” here, earning a type-rating in Cessna’s Mustang like Rachelle, flying Pharrell Williams around in a Gulfstream IV like Megan does, or flying CASEVAC sorties in a UH-60 Blackhawk like Jessica.

We’ve said it before, and it’s worth saying again: at FighterSweep, we love all kinds of airplanes and we love flying. We are driven by that passion, but more importantly comes the responsibility of sharing it–to honor famed aviation pioneers from the past, respect and support those flying in the present, and inspiring future generations of flyers.

That is our charge, and we don’t take it lightly.

(Featured photo by Scott Wolff)