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Dreams Can Come True

Essay by review  •  January 7, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,386 Words (6 Pages)  •  791 Views

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Dreams Can Come True

"I think my passion for [flying] started when I was in high school", Gary Chambers told me as I sat down in his beautiful home in the hills of Serrano, a very upscale, gated community in El Dorado Hills, California. He was wearing a tropical shirt and bahama shorts with a pair of Teva sandals on his feet. He offered me a soda and then sat down across from me. We were sitting in matching black leather love seats with a tan and gray granite coffee table separating us. Despite the fact that he agreed to the interview and seemed eager to talk to me, he seemed uncomfortable during our conversation. He indicated to me that he wanted to get started right away. I was given the impression that he was a guy that did not like to waste time, but instead liked to get right down to business. I started asking him questions and I could see his eyes light up as he was talking about his zeal towards flying. He was like a burst dam flooding me with the story of his life and how he became his dream.

He was just your typical high school kid until he decided to take Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps). Springing out of bed each day, showering and dressing as quickly as possible, he rushed out of the door, saying goodbye to his parents and hurried his way to school. The journey to school was not as bad for him as it was for other kids because he resided right down the street. He was not anxious to get to school, but eager to go to his Air Force ROTC class. Although he did not love the Air Force, his passion for flying was what motivated him to come to school early everyday and talk to the Colonel that was teaching the class. He was a dry sponge and he wanted to soak up all the flying knowledge that the Colonel had. Gary continued to probe the Colonel for erudition until he graduated.

After he finished high school, Gary moved on to college. He chose to matriculate at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago where he received his Batchelor's Degree in civil engineering. The Air Force, he was hoping, would be able to give him the career he desired. Disappointingly, the position that Gary wanted was not available at that time through the Air Force. He was then offered a job with Cal-Trans (California department of transportation) in Sacramento. He enthusiastically took it. The job required him to become a pilot. He had studied and researched so much in his life that he already knew

what school he wanted to go to. That school was Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. This was not an unknown school to him. It had been highly recommended by almost every pilot he talked to. It is one of the most prestigious flight academies in the United States of America.

The job he had allowed him to continue working while going to classes at night. He was just working during the day and obtaining his Master's Degree in aeronautical science at night. The classes he took were at a satellite campus at Travis Air Force Base in the bay area. It was very convenient for the level of education he was getting; he was able to work and still attend a highly accredited university at night. This was like a dream come true for him. Upon receiving his Master's Degree, Gary was ready to conquer the world. He was still doing the same job that he had been doing but with his Master's Degree, he had a lot more opportunities for advancement.

One such opportunity arose for him not long after he achieved his Master's Degree. He was given the opportunity to supervise a team of 4 people. His job is very complicated. He is an inspector of all non commercial airports in California. Being the leader if his team, they are responsible for two hundred and forty six airports throughout California. Every airport from San Diego to Eureka is in their AO (area of operations). Each airport is inspected once a year. The airports are inspected for runway debris, takeoff and landing clearance, runway light functionality, and safety measures. When an airport does not pass the inspection they are given a chance to fix their discrepancies. If they fail to do so they can be fined and the last measure is to shut the airport down. Gary has a normal Monday through Friday work schedule and has weekends off. It was during one of these normal work days that a very unforgettable event took place.

Gary had taken off from Sacramento Executive Airport and was climbing through the clouds on his way to cruising altitude, ten thousand feet. It was at this time when he received a radio transmission unlike anything he had ever experienced in



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