Macedon, NY

12:02 AM

When I was a little kid, I’d spread my arms as wide as they can go and run around. “I’m flying,” I’d scream.

Sitting around a campfire or staying up all night talking about nothing can lead to this question, “If you could have one power, what would it be?” A lot of us would answer the ability to fly.

Well today, I did it. I flew.

Marty told me I had nothing to worry about it as we drove over the flight park. Then he told me I had to sign waivers. My mind raced, but I was not nervous. He had been up in the air thousands of times and he would be manning the apparatus which I later learned was a called a trike or personal flight apparatus. As I filled out the waiver, he got the apparatus ready. It had a motorized propeller which set me at ease, but he still explained about the built in parachute which swayed my brain back to racing. I signed my life over and he got me ready. My energy was revved up as he said, “These are perfect conditions.”

The day was 65 degrees and sunny, but I layered up in t shirt, a long sleeve turtleneck, my dress shirt, a fleece, and my not too heavy winter jacket. My skull cap went on underneath my goggles, headphones (so we could talk), and helmet. As Marty strapped me into the seat, I had no nerves, just adrenaline. I’ve flown all over the country, but never like this. Without doors, without windows, or even a windshield. Just us and the air. He briefed me on some more rules, told me not to hit the throttle with my feet, and revved the engine. I waved to Diane and Rick and we pulled away into the field.

After driving the length of the field, we turned into the wind, accelerated, and lifted off the ground. It was smooth and the propeller spun and I screamed in ecstasy at the earth below. The wind hit us and my lips were instantly dry. It was colder as we rose into the air. The gauge read 600, 900, and then 1,200 feet. At 1,200 Marty chirped into the radio that we needed to be watching for airplanes flying into Rochester. Geez, just what I wanted to hear, a 737 might be flying into us. With the setting sun, it was hard to see when we looked to the west. Luckily, we didn’t see any planes.

We looped upward. 2,500 feet. I could see Lake Ontario to our north and the Finger Lakes to the south. Towns and villages were below us and I screamed a joyous expletive. Marty laughed. 4,000 feet and I could see for miles and miles. He said it was a little hazy, but I couldn’t have asked for better. As we rose higher, the wind became stronger. At one point we were going straight into the wind and were not making any movement forward. I could tell by looking straight down at the ground and seeing it stationary. Looking down is a weird feeling and I don’t recommend doing it for very long. But I do recommend doing it.

We floated and he showed me how to turn, straighten out, release to neutral, how to go fast by dipping and rise by pulling. There is a lot to flying and I could sense the checklists Marty was running off in his head by his words. He continually checked out for airplanes. I didn’t see any birds.

After about 30 minutes of me grinning from ear to ear, we made our way back to the flight park. It was similar to a landing in an airplane, except the runway is a patch of grass. And you are right on top of everything.

Our landing was as smooth as the takeoff and I hooted and hollered. Once I was unstrapped and back on the ground, the smile would not wash off of me. What a rush.

I am home. I am back on the earth. I was a bird.

Pictures are in the Photo Gallery