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The Birth Of A Dream

Shane Watts

I was born barefooted, and naykid now that I think about it.  Who'd a thought that a naykid and barefooted country boy would grow up to give folks the opportunity to see sites unlike they'd ever seen before.  Although clothed now, the amazement of flying has never subsided in me.  Gravity Smavity,  I feel that I was born to fly.  I'm sure many other aviators have felt the same, and are realizing the same dreams that I am today.  Although I've not attempted to embark upon the commercial airline world of aviation, I don't feel that I'm missing anything.  I wish I could express in words the joy that I, along with my precious cargo, enjoy each time our wings lift from the earth and climb into the beauty above.  Its a sight that so many have looked at in silence and amazement.  It's no where like the picture that is presented from several miles above the ground when you fly with the airlines.  We're talking between 1000 and 8000 feet here, the colors are not meshed together, the roads and rivers are visible, and the  layout of the land is displayed in a manner discernable by each of us as we continue our journey along the path that so few get the opportunity to do. 

By the way, Who Is OTIS?  Take a look at the journals page to get the scoop.  Before you go though, be prepared to laugh, to cry, to visualize, and perhaps the most important, to dream.

My name is Shane Watts and have been involved in the aviation community for over 20 years.  I began my aviation career as an Air Traffic Controller serving America and the United States Air Force.  I truly enjoyed the time that I served and the opportunities that presented themselves along the way.  I did see the world, sometimes it was in 60 pounds of gear with the 1st Combat Communications Group, or sometimes it was in Bermuda shorts and flips flops.  Serving in the US, Germany, UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Belgium, Spain, and perhaps, just perhaps,  a few other places, I was given the opportunity to view many different lifestyles and learn from each.  For those young men and women contemplating the military as a career, I did enjoy it.  Ask questions along the way, it gives you so much of a clearer view of the world that's out there.  Have expectations and make them reality.

Okie Doke, so I served and learned for 15 years as an air traffic controller, and simultaneously began flying in September of 1997.  This flying thing is something that I had always dreamed of, and now there I was standing on the flight line looking at a Cessna 172 like it was a UFO.  Since I'd been around aviation most of my life I was somewhat familiar with most of the instruments, dials, switches, etc that were in the cockpit. Throughout my career I had held positions within the ATC community that were Pilot-Controller Liaisons (PICLs) and was lucky enough to get rides in T37's, T38's, UH-1's, UH60's, T43's, and an F16! All in all, 21 hours and none of it counted, hehe.  Anyway, the first couple of day's flights went really well and I soloed on my fourth training day.  When I had made up my mind to learn to fly, I tried to fly every single day, and sometimes twice.  I felt that if I flew once a week, half of the following weeks lessons would be spent on relearning what I had forgotten the week before.  This strategy seemed to work and 3 weeks later I was submitted for evaluation.  The FAA inspector that I elected to go with wasn't able to do it immediately so I had to wait for a few days, and from flight one to certification took 42 days.  I was certified and owned the skies!!! My wife (probably scared to death) hopped in the aircraft only 5 minutes after my checkride and off we went site seeing over the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon.  It was cooooool!

I now had my license to learn and learn I did.  I flew as often as possible and since my work-mates were air traffic controllers, I often took them with me and we shot approaches into Nellis AFB (Home of the Thunderbirds) and went site seeing up-range near where Area 51 doesn't exist.  That too, was cooooool!

I started my instrument training in 98 and realized that there was so much to learn.  Flying and precision flying are two very different things.  Not to take anything away from non-instruments pilots, but I honestly learned how to fly properly when I was given such a narrow margin of tolerance.  VFR drivers with bazillions of hours know this as well; it's a different world when you learn to absolutely positively control the movement of the aircraft within a very small flight path.  I would recommend instrument training to all pilots, if only to teach the pilots more about the aircraft they already fly.

Anyway, that's it in a nutshell.  I love to fly and I try to get airborne as often as I can. Take a look at the schedule and if you'd like to go, send me an email and we'll do it.  We share the cost of the rental aircraft so it's actually cheaper than you think.  I don't charge anyone for my piloting services.


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This site was last updated 01/18/04