Blog Post Number 8 Written: 05-23-2021 Posted: 03-11-2022
I don’t know why, but I love airplanes. Okay, I have lots of reasons why I love airplanes but, I guess a better way to put it, would be to say I don’t get a choice in my love for things made of metal that fly. I inherited it.
Without going into too many personal details, my father nerded out about airplanes long before I was born, and for medical reasons was unable to join the air force. I was born shortly afterwards, so he was a nerd, that had been denied the nerd thing that he loved and was especially dejected about it. So from before I could read, or speak, or likely before I could even walk, it was ingrained in me from the begging. I grew up with airplanes at every turn, posters, books, history, computer games, models, toys, everything, always. I built so many airplanes out of Lego’s it’s silly. Built and painted models of my own. (I actually still have a couple I need to finish still.) I went to college and got multiple degrees for avionics technology and such. Then I too, tried to join the air force, and for medical reasons, I too wasn’t allowed in either, though for different reasons than my father.
Instead, I managed to find a civilian job working on big commercial jets. The very first airplane I worked on was a 747. Just for giggles, I’ll include a list of all the airplanes I have worked on at the end of this. I got to do all kinds of weird stuff there, even cut a 757 in half once. That’s a different story though, we did a lot of things to that airplane before it got scrapped.
Anyway, I learned lots about aviation, being the youngest newest guy at the hangar they made me crawl into all the dark, dirty, sweaty cramped uncomfortable places and do the safety wire in the awkward angles dangling off the side of a 747’s number 4 pylon and so on. The way massive machines work, and all the subsystems that go together to make the aircraft work. I feel that helps lend an extra layer of realism and relatableness to my writing, to the scenes with broken spaceships and people scrambling to put things back together and floating in the complete darkness that only the silent inside of a dormant machine can offer. I feel that airplanes are greater than the sum of their parts, that they have souls and I am saddened to have helped scrap so many of them, though the astronomical cost of maintenance and parts in the aviation industry makes me wonder how any airline stays in operation.
Like the many planes I have worked on when you spend enough time with a machine, you learn its personality. I hope the ships that my characters save, and the ships that save my characters play big enough roles in the story that they have personalities too. When describing them, and the people wandering inside them, I went back to my memories from my work with the silent giants. The heat, the darkness, the feeling you way rough oddly shaped passages where people weren’t necessarily meant to fit, but something is broke and you have to get there anyway.
I love airplanes, and motorcycles, and old trucks, and anything with an engine really, even a good mountain bike will catch my interest I guess. I hope that my love and experience with such a wide variety of machines has spilled over into what I have written and makes it better. Helping with the description, layout, and personality of the spaceships and other machines that appear in the books to come. I hope that it adds to the realism, that my first-hand experience adds that little bit of spice that brings just enough tingle to the story to make it a little more palatable than the science in some of the other science fiction I have read.
I love airplanes, and I don’t know how to explain it to someone who doesn’t. Like those little kids that get super excited by trains. I’m still like that with airplanes, after more than twenty years.
Aircraft: B747, B747SP, B767, B757, B717, B777, B737, CRJ200, EMBR190, A310, A319, A320, A321, MD11, DC9, MD80
Simulators: Lear 31, Lear 35, Lear 45, Lear 55, Lear 60, Challenger 601, Challenger 604