Do you love the smell of jet fuel?
That may seem like an unusual question, but it’s not if you’re a pilot or hang out with one.
Today is National Aviation Day, established in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a day that marks the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday.
There are many ways to honor the aviation holiday like the time I celebrated with aviation friends at Wichita’s Colonel James Jabara Airport in Midwest Corporate Aviation’s hangar. The annual event provided networking opportunities for attendees that included journalists from the Wichita Business Journal, pilots, and aviation buffs.
While I’m not a pilot, I grew up in the Air Capital of the World listening to Rockwell B-1 bombers fly over my house. The windows shook.
The girlfriend of a flight instructor, I live the “pilot wife” life. I worry about the weather. I make him text me when he lands. I fight for the TV remote after I’ve had my fill of YouTube aviation tutorials. But I have total respect for the industry and its hard-working pilots. I even shocked myself and agreed to fly from Kansas to New York in a Cessna 172 last summer.
Aviation is fascinating. This commemorative day acknowledges the pioneers of the industry, and Wichita’s passion for flight is very much still alive.
PRO TIP: If you love aviation history, you’ll definitely want to get a glimpse at one of two air-worthy B-29 Superfortress left in the country, Doc. When the warbird is not flying to airshows, it is viewable in its beautiful Wichita hangar.