Pilots. They’re a rare breed – about .01% of the world’s population actually.

And if you’ve had the pleasure of knowing one, then I think you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say: Pilots are just that, pilots. It’s more than a job, or a hobby. It’s a way of life. An obsession. A part of their identity. If you ever told a pilot they could never fly again, I’m pretty sure they’d either punch you in the face or just meltdown in inconsolable sobs.

My dad is many things, but first and fore-most, he’s a pilot. And this is something I’ve known about him for as long as I can remember. One of my first memories is flying with him in a small Cessna. He would purposefully stall the plane for just a few seconds; enough to make the pit of my stomach jump, giving the feeling of a rollercoaster, as everything around us began to float. I remember it felt like magic, and I was in awe of the fact that my dad created it.

So in honor of Father’s Day, for my dad who has given me so much: Here’s 5 reasons why you wish your dad was a Pilot (and-as-cool-as-mine).

  1. He’s great with directions. Pilots have a strangely accurate sense of direction. My dad can remember exactly where things are in cities we’ve only visited once. Whenever I’m lost, guess who I call.
  2. He’s a personal weatherman. How did I learn why hurricanes, tornados and sand-storms form? From my dad. Not only do pilots understand at least the basics of weather patterns, but they usually get access to some serious weather forecast programs that are way more accurate than Google weather.
  3. He’ll teach you to fly too – and probably before you’ll learn to drive. I’m pretty sure my dad taught me the basics of flying, (even giving me brief control of the yoke) before I reached 7. Not too shabby.
  4. He’s a great conversationalist. Need someone to tell interesting stories at a dinner? How about a pilot who can’t decide whether he saw a shooting star that one night, or a UFO….
  5. Travel, quite literally, runs through your veins. Pilots are naturally curious people, and often adrenaline junkies too. So when they have kids, they tend to drag them along on their adventures. I wish I could go back to my 10-year-old self, and tell her to put down the CD-player, turn off the “I-hate-the-world” routine, and actually appreciate those trips across Europe.

For me, any plane, from F-16s to tiny little Cessnas, remind me of my dad…and how freaking cool his passion his. Although it hasn’t been easy to make a living doing it, he’s never given up. As no real pilot would.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

Leonardo da Vinci