This question was received recently from a 13-year-old boy asking how difficult it is to become a pilot:
My grandfather was a pilot and flew in Vietnam and helped design the F-22. I was wondering is it really complicated to fly? Do you need to know a lot of math to fly a plane? I ask these things because one day I want to fly jets in the Air Force but I don’t know if I can on account of me not knowing math.
Our answer? It’s a challenge well worth the effort:
You can be assured that, if you are willing to make the commitment, you can, indeed, learn to fly. Flying, more than many other things in life, requires effort and study over a long period of time. The fact that you do not currently know everything you need to know to fly, including the required math, should not concern you. Nobody is born knowing everything they need to know to fly. That is why we have to study. If you decide you are willing to put in the effort to learn to fly, you will never regret it. Flying is one of the most rewarding activities in life.
I would like to thank john and martha for helping me with my flight lessons, you are the best.
Thank you, John and Martha! Now that I am an elementary school teacher and no longer at the Marine Room, I’m going to post this child’s letter and your response in my classroom, along with a picture of me flying!