Man's fascination with flying has brought so many improvements to the lives of ordinary people that they can hardly be counted. Most people are not even aware of how much flying has contributed to modern day conveniences, and learning to fly airplanes now has become somewhat passe. This is unfortunate! I remember my first exposure to flying airplanes - it was as a small boy watching "Sky King" on our black and white television. Sky King flew an old Cessna 310 in the series, and I remember going to our local county fair where a Beech Bonanza was on a rotating pedestal, red beacon rotating on top, as the aircraft went round and round. I just stood there in amazement, and couldn't leave. I knew right then and there that I wanted to learn how to fly. I finally got my chance after I joined the U.S. Air Force and joined a flying club on the base. As luck would have it the flying club folded when the base commander lost his physical, but I continued on at a local fixed base operator in Cessna 172s and got my Private Pilot License. Over the next few years I accumulated a few hours of flying time, but when I left the Air Force and started college at Michigan State University my flying career really began. Soon I had a Commercial Pilot Certificate, followed by a Flight Instructor Certificate. Since then I accumulated many more ratings, including type ratings, started, owned, operated and sold an aviation insurance agency, and still fly airplanes to this day. What I find discouraging is when I go to many of the airports where I did so much flying and find them deserted, void of almost all activity, and it saddens me. Student starts are at an all time low, and general aviation seems almost a dying vocation today. Fortunately, however, there are still some adventurers left who see the value in flying and keep working to advance it. One such pioneer is Yves Rossy and his Jet Wing. I encourage you to visit him at Jetman and learn more about his adventures, but in the meantime the following videos give you a flavor of what he is up to: Preparations: Bleriot 11 - first aeronautical crossing of the English Channel in an aircraft Red Bull "Birds of Prey in Flight": How do you feel about the state of General Aviation? I would love to hear your thoughts. In the meantime keep your wings straight and level Hersch! Please share "Man's Fascination With Flying" with your friends using the buttons below. Thanks! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7+ ps: Don't forget to sign up for updates via email for "All Things Aviation" here!