9:29 PM

Do it today.

Readers, I have some very bad news for you…you’re going to die. I know, that really sucks, but so far nobody has found a way around that part of life. Happens to the best of us, and sometimes, it happens when it shouldn’t.

Take Papa Louie for instance. Readers who have followed my writing career in magazines like AOPA Pilot know that Papa Louie was Louie Pimentel, my dad, and one of the greatest guys to every wear the badge of the Fresno Police Department.

Papa Louie would have made a great pilot, but he never was able to have the shirt ripped off his back and earn a ticket:

Family obligations always stood in the way for him to actually begin flight school. It wasn't until he retired from police work and was free of the financial burden of raising kids that my dad was able to finally get started on his private pilot certificate. As could only be expected for a guy who had enjoyed a love affair with airplanes for much of his life, he jumped in with both feet at age 62 and was well on his way to his ticket when fate dealt him a surprise blow. With 25.1 long overdue hours logged, my father died suddenly of a stroke, never having soloed.
If you want to read the rest of the story on this incredible man and how he fits into my own personal love of aviation, my original AOPA Pilot story entitled “Papa Louie, the Old Radio and Flying” can still be found here, if you are a member. If not, click here to download the story as a PDF.

Since that dark day when I received the news of his passing, many other friends and family members have also passed, from stroke, heart disease, and the big C…cancer. Too damn many to count in fact.

I’m writing all of this to just say one thing to anyone out there who has at some point in their life had a passion for aviation and wished they could learn to fly: Do it today…because you really don’t know if you’ll have a tomorrow, do you?

Don’t put it off, take the plunge, take a second on the house, rob the piggy bank, do it today. Do not let money be the blockade…it will be worth every penny, I promise. Call a local flight school, take that first lesson, and persevere until you solo and ultimately get your ticket.

Because you really never know. Do it today.

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