This book is not about heroes like military pilots who risk their lives protecting our country, or commercial pilots who wing their way across the world transporting us from one place to the other or general pilots who daily perform tasks that can only be done from the air. We owe all of these pilots a great respect and gratitude for the job that they do. Most of the books written are about them. This book is about the private pilot who is the average man or woman who does not intend to risk their lives flying an airplane. This book is about those people who simply want to take to the air for the joy of being airborne and for the intellectual challenge of keeping up with the birds. If I thought for a moment that flying was not safe, I would not step into an airplane. For years I felt that flying was for the foolhardy until by chance I discovered that flying is safer than driving a car if you learn how to fly and follow the rules. This book attempts to describe the transition from becoming a land person to becoming an air person and the pleasures experienced on the way.
—John O. Lewis
My first adventure with John as an airplane pilot gave me the surprise of my life. After vehemently refusing to go flying with him, I agreed once and for all to join him in the cockpit for a brief tour around Chicago. Once airborne my imagined fears were replaced by sheer joy of seeing the sights and realizing the wonders both above and below. This initial flight was the beginning of adventures of our lifetime. Never again was any coaxing on his part needed for me to join him on flights.
—Edna M. Lewis
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