My First Solo Flight

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Ever since I can remember, I wanted to become a pilot. As the years passed my career steered me into the business world and engineering.

At the age of 35, I became seriously ill and it was then when I decided turning my dream of flying into reality.

I vividly recall studying in my hospital bed, sick of chemotherapy and how I never gave up. Today I am an airline pilot in business aviation and ambulance flying. I’m licensed to fly various airplanes in different continents and I’m enjoying every moment of my dream, now my reality.

What was the most thrilling experience during my first solo flight?

When my instructor informed me: “I think you are ready” (just like in Avatar, the movie when Neytiri told Jake he was ready to become a Matakaya). I replied: “Ready for what?” “Ready for take off!” he commanded.

The instructor never gave me a chance to answer as he was convinced I could do it. And so I took off and flew along the traffic pattern (a mere 5 minutes!)) around the airport. I went through my checklist, radio communication and just as I was about to downwind to the airport I realized (WTF!) now I have to land this thing alone! Within a second my adrenalin hit an all time high and blood pressure pumped to the maximum. I could hear my heart beating through my headphones as I was ticking off checklist for the approach, keeping track of procedures, proper radio communication and flew the plane in the requested speed and configuration.

As I was turning into final approach for landing and thank heavens I could see the runway in front of me, it was then that I kept my focus and confidence together and said NO to anxiety and uncertainty building up my head.

And then…A PERFECT LANDING!

I can’t explain or describe how it felt that day. That feeling follows me till this very day as I’m flying around the world delivering either patients or high profiled guests to their destinations. The feeling of flying creates a beautiful balance in my life that is filled with gratification, exhilaration, gratitude and the mere fact that I know that I’m capable of living my dream!

 My message to you: “Don’t allow an illness or anything of that matter to make you realize you should reach for your dreams, you just never know… Go and do it now! 

The story of Rony Vogel 

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