“The Grum” holds a special place in my heart.

On a balmy Colorado evening in the fall of 2006, a friend of mine took me for my first ride in a small airplane. At the time, I was both afraid of flying (an irrational response to air turbulence) and fascinated with aviation. I thought a new perspective on flying might quell my pteromerhanophobia. It didn’t. We hadn’t even taxied on to the runway at Denver’s Centennial Airport (KAPA) before I was panicking and insisting I be let out. My request was denied, and we were soon climbing into the night sky at 500 FPM. The night was absolutely perfect- not a cloud in sight and the air was as smooth as silk. I nevertheless continued to flip out as we flew north toward Boulder (KBDU). At one point, the pilot told me to “sit on your hands and SHUT UP.” But by the time we had landed, I was hooked. I didn’t overcome my fear that night. But from then on, the thrill of flight overcame the anxiety I felt.