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F E A T U R E ting, the lights [on the ground] become bright, and you’re really at one with the airplane. It gives me an extraordinary sense of peace and contentment and a feeling that all is right with the world. It has a real centering effect. When I get out of an airplane or helicopter after a flight, I’m always extremely calm and all the jagged edges of my life seem to have settled down. All my frayed nerves are calmer. I don’t know if I could actually get through life very well without it”. “It’s still joyous to go through the process of a pre-flight, getting the engine warmed up, and getting the airplane off the ground. There’s nothing like it. And if there’s nobody there at the end of the flight, you can look in the mirror and say, ‘You did a good job,’ or, ‘OK, I made a couple of mistakes today, let’s find out why, and I’ve got to improve upon that. It is very absolute: you either did it well or you didn’t. Your landings are absolute; sometimes you make a greaser, and sometimes it’s harder than you thought it was going to be. But you always get to come back and try again.” “I just love the airplane,” Williams says of his 1978 Navajo Chieftain. “I call it the poor man’s King Air. It’s been an ongoing project. I got it five years ago. It had more than 114 squawks. We stripped out the aircraft, we just went at everything from the guts out. I got factory remanufactured engines, and redid the interior and upgraded the avionics… I’ve got basically the closest thing you can get to a new airplane. It’s been a great platform for the family.” “I used to dream about flying as a kid all the time, and I was always fascinated by airplanes. I always wanted little pedal things that looked like airplanes, I loved airplane books. In fact, I’ve got one coming out in June. [Air Show, Hyperion 2010]… It’s really a little book, my way of saying thanks for so much fun flying airplanes, and just a kind of way of saying how much I’ve loved doing this for so long.”

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PilotMag-May/June 2010  

Aviation magazine

PilotMag-May/June 2010  

Aviation magazine

Profile for pilotmag
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