"It's pretty amazing to feel the plane accelerate down the runway and, as you pull back on the wheel, lift off and begin to climb toward the clouds.
"There's a sense of power, of being in control and defying nature and gravity."
That's a feeling we pilots know. And thanks to AOPA's program to promote learning to fly, it's something that a quarter of a million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are beginning to appreciate as well.
That's because Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Bob Cox took his first flying lesson, offered by AOPA, and then told his 258,000 readers all about it.
This is another success in AOPA's program to help the general public understand general aviation better - and perhaps take up flying themselves.
One of the biggest obstacles to helping the non-flying public understand GA is a reporter who shares the public's misconceptions. AOPA is working to change that - one reporter at a time.
Working with flight schools around the country, AOPA is arranging for reporters to take a discovery flight themselves.
The flights take some of the mystery out of flying and give the reporters a hands-on understanding that they can use when covering GA stories.
And the flights pay an extra dividend, because the reporters, in turn, are telling their readers what a thrill it is.
"Top Gun I'm not. But I had piloted a plane and soared with the birds," wrote Cox. "I just might do it again."
You can help introduce a reporter - and the general public - to flying. Take one of your local reporters up in an airplane.
It's easier to do than you think. Download this small brochure that will show you how to "Take 'em Flying!"
April 19, 2006