Soaring With Sagar - February 2010

The First Passenger

By Sagar Pathak

Gratitude with a little attitude…Sagar takes his dad flying for the first time. Of course, it was his dad who encouraged his son’s lifelong love of aviation. The attitude: Sagar demonstrated his skills with a steep turn and dad held on tight! (Sagar Pathak)With my ticket in hand, I was ready to fly to the far reaches of the globe. Or at least as far as my Piper Cherokee could go before I had to land for fuel or return the airplane to the flying club. But before I flew away, I noticed that somewhere during the last seven months of my training, I had accumulated a substantial list of people who wanted me to take them flying: Friends, cousins, co-workers, random cute girls in the bar, and a few not so cute ones.   

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Soaring With Sagar - January 2010

A License to Learn

By Sagar Pathak

Sagar Pathak, associate editor for In Flight USA and newly licensed private pilot.After two weeks of trying, she reached over and offered me her congratulations on becoming the newest private pilot in the United States. But this story began years before this moment. At the young age of 10 months old, I took my first flight from India to Germany to the United States. And for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to fly; and I didn’t care how I got in the air. Jumping off my bed for that millisecond of freedom from gravity, to staring skyward watching planes lumber overhead, or flying across the country alone to spend the summers with my family in Philadelphia. And during the past 30 years, I managed to have dozens of aerial adventures, from doing night-time aerial refueling over the Atlantic ocean, to flying in an open-cockpit biplane, being shot off an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, flying with the Blue Angels, breaking the sound barrier in an F-15E, doing inverted flat spins in an Extra 300 (and not passing out), to loops and rolls in a helicopter, and a lot of things in-between. But the one thing that eluded me this entire time was being at the controls of the plane by myself. To be able to go where I wanted, and when I wanted to. To turn to someone and say “Why yes, I am a pilot.”

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