Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I have mentioned that my father was an amature pilot, I grew up around little airplanes and little airports in Michigan and Florida.  I also mentioned that I was an uber camera nerd as a teenager.  I bought a lot of camera equipment, with money I earned.  Some of it I earned working on the family farm, but even more I made taking aerial photos of farms and businesses. 

If I am at all familiar with the geography, I am very good at finding things on the ground from the air.  If I know your neighborhood, I can find your house from the air.  

So here I am, taking a picture of my house from an Airbus A-320.  Not your typical aircraft for taking aerial pictures.  Above the wingtip, there are four (it may look like three) buildings that are kind of crescent shaped.  I own a condo in one of them.  The house in the DC burbs. 


  1. I see your house right here from sitting on my couch!

  2. Your father was not an amateur pilot, there is no such thing. He was probably a ‘Private Pilot’, as opposed to a ‘Commercial Pilot’ or an ‘Airline Transport Pilot’. That meant he flew for his own personal travel or pleasure, not as a pilot ‘for hire’. It also meant he went through the necessary training and testing to get his license from the FAA. He was in fact a pilot. Amateurs don’t fly airplanes.

    1. He had commercial and instrument ratings - achievements I know he worked hard for.

    2. Then why in the world would you refer to him as an amateur?

  3. It is great to grow up around the airplanes. It makes you dream about the sky and the freedom of flying.

  4. Amateur means one engaged in a study, activity, or sport for the love of the activity, not for money.

    However, amateur can mean someone who does something poorly, is not proficient. I think this definition is the one people are focusing on.

    This is not a criticism, but I did not understand at first because the word was spelled wrong and two different ways--amatur and amature. I just thought I was ignorant of a flying term. It is possible!

    So, your father performed his job on the expert level, just not for pay. We don't often think of pilots are amateurs. I would not want an amateur of the second meaning (performing poorly or not proficient) to fly me to the other end of the field. However, being an amateur in the first meaning, just indicates he did not fly planes for the money.