Celebrate Your Freedoms


Celebrate Your Freedoms~Guest Blogger Bob Meder NAFI Chairman Emeritus

A co-worker of mine has always been interested to see what it was like to fly an airplane. A few days ago, I took him up for about an hour so he could have that experience. As with any introductory flight, I ensured that the ride would be on a nice day with little or no turbulence. We, of course, had a briefing beforehand covering the basics, including sterile cockpit, seat belt usage, what to do in an emergency, and so on.

What my friend hadn't expected was the part about exchanging controls. When he expressed his surprise, I told him that it'd be a lot more fun for him if he got to actually fly the airplane - besides, I already know how to fly.

Since my colleague is transferring to Omaha, I elected to fly him above the neighborhood where he and his family are planning to live. We flew to his neighborhood, coordinating with Omaha TRACON, and orbited a couple of times so I could take the controls and allow him to take a few pictures. Then we flew back to Eppley field where I coached him through a couple of landings. All in all, a great way to spend a weekend morning.

After we secured the aircraft and were admiring a couple of business jets taxiing onto the ramp, my friend surprised me during our casual debriefing. I asked him if he enjoyed his experience and if he had any questions. He responded that he had a great time and that he was amazed that, in his words, "we could wander around in an airplane like that." What was surprising wasn't his comment, but that I hadn't even
thought about how easy it was to essentially just point the airplane toward his neighborhood to do some sightseeing. It's just the way we do things.

That freedom is what I want to point out on this Fourth of July. We are indeed fortunate to be in a country where we can enjoy the freedoms to go where we want, express our views, and generally live our lives as we desire. Yes, there are political squabbles and social issues we struggle over, some of them serious. But anyone who has studied the history of the United States knows that this has always been true of our country. I, for one, am grateful for the wisdom shown by the founders when they established a constitutional form of government that anticipated that change and disagreement are an inevitable part of human nature.

So, as you enjoy the day and the fireworks (safely, please!) that are part of our great nation's birthday celebration, raise your favorite beverage and salute the people who helped to found it, the armed forces and first responders who have and continue to serve and protect us, and to each and everyone of us for continually striving to make it a better place for ourselves and our children. And, most important of all, a salute to all of the freedoms we enjoy.

Robert Meder Chairman headshotBob Meder
NAFI Chairman Emeritus
NAFI #18567






Blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent, professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinions or position of the National Association of Flight Instructors. NAFI does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Readers should note content may appear in various media, including print, email, enews without further notice.
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