Aviation DayAugust 25, 2021
What is your aviation story?
August 19 was National Aviation Day. To celebrate, we asked our followers, donors, and Members to share their aviation stories.
From attending airshows as children to marking the 50th anniversary of a first solo flight, aviation unlocks different memories and inspirations for us all. As many shared, "it is everything."
Read on to see how aviation has inspired, influenced, and shaped the lives of some of our followers and Members!
Remembering airshows from 43 years ago, Jeffery Stawowy always respected and found comfort in aviation
"Living between Willow Run, and Dayton my dad had us at airshows our whole lives. Vintage, jets, private...I learned respect for the benefits and flaws of each aircraft, I learned respect for air crews and pilots. I never took up flying myself, but always find comfort on a sizzling tarmac, with the sun in my eyes, roaring aircraft overhead, eating cold dogs on stale buns, greasy potato chips, and drinking watered down soda. I love that life, thanks dad!" – Jeffery Stawowy
Still flying after 50 years, Dennis Bohn has "no shortage of good memories" in aviation
"I turn 72 in a few weeks. I have loved all things aviation since I was three. Still flying thanks to BasicMed. I flew on the 50th anniversary of my first solo in June. The three highlights of my aviation memories are: the day I got my Private Pilot License, my A&P License, and my IA. Also had the pure pleasure of owning and flying a North American T-28B for 13 years. No shortage of good memories!" – Dennis Bohn
From newspaper clippings to books and movies, Mark Connell always had his eyes on the sky
"I have been interested in flight since I was 10 years old. I was especially interested in space flight and always wanted to be an astronaut and go to the moon. I kept every news clipping of the Space Shuttle launching. I read about Chuck Yaeger. I loved watching movies about space travel, especially “The Right Stuff” and “Apollo 13.” This interest drove me to study aerospace engineering and dream about being a pilot. I never became a pilot but aviation still had a huge impact in my life and USAF career." – Mark Connell
From a 33 year career as a pilot to restoring our Seabee n6255k,
"aviation has been my life" said Robert Gould
"It was my chosen career since I was 11, and became my actual career in 1965 when I was hired by Northwest Airlines. I retired 33 years later as a senior 747 captain in Honolulu, at which point aviation became my hobby as I finished the restoration of my Seabee N6255K that now resides at the Museum. Those are my two favorite airplanes! The flight instructor who gave me my private, commercial, and instrument ratings gave my son his private license in 1988 shortly after he got his driver's license. He now is a captain for Frontier Airlines.
So basically, aviation has been my life!" – Robert Gould
From our followers
"I was an air traffic controller for 33 years – 5 Navy, 28 FAA. I even worked at Ford Island, part-time, in the early 80s, while I was stationed at NAS Barbers Point. Without aviation my whole career wouldn't have existed." – Tim Crowder
"Freedom, adventure, and a separation from the world's nonsense." – Max
"Everything! My life, my heart, my soul." – Shane
"Making sure history is remembered and inspiring the future." – Ella
"I’m the son and brother of pilots. Aviation shaped my whole boyhood. I can’t imagine a life without it." – Matt
"For me, aviation means freedom and is a tangible link to our past, present, and future. It allows us to touch and connect with the past. It permits us to think three dimensionally, with infinite boundaries that can be limited by only our imaginations and desire to push the envelope. Without aviation, we as a species are terrestrially bound and unable to advance further." – Justin
"History past, present, and future. Gateway to equality for all." – Natalia
"It was my passion in the 60s! Once you've been up there, you're always looking up!" – Herb
"WW2 aviation is what made me interested in military service as a kid!" - Rick