While out on a drive over the weekend, D and I spotted a small bright yellow float plane tied up to a public dock. The reason I wanted to be a pilot in the first place was to be able to fly a float plane someday. So I talked D into parking and heading over to take a closer look.
It was obviously built by hand and a few minutes into our inspection, the owner came over and said Hello. After exchanging hellos D started walking back but I didn't want to leave yet so I asked the gentleman some questions about his plane -- Was it loud, what type of horsepower/engine, does it have a heater, how much did it cost etc.
He thought we were pilots! I told him no, not yet. And we continued on to compare Cessna vs kit planes for visibility. He was a fan of Diamond air crafts and when I brought up that my heart was captured by helicopters he gave me a hard look, broke into a wide grin and said "helicopters are fun!". I nodded in response, grinning myself.
He was getting ready to leave so we got to help him point and steady the plane for take off. Such a gentle demeanor while explaining wind directions to us. Makes for a great teacher. We thanked him for taking the time to answer our questions. He told us to keep an eye out for him in the winter as he replaces his floats with ski and lands on the snow/ice! I'd love to see that.
And the ultra cool thing? He was one of the pilots for the movie "Fly Away Home" and was wearing the T-shirt for Operation Migration. I cannot remember if he still flies with them today or not. I saw the documentary but not the actual movie so I have it on hold at our library.
You never know who you'll meet out there!