Lakewood As Seen From The Air

The author doing what she loves.

On my 74th birthday, in 2018, I rented a single engine Cessna 172 airplane and a Certified Flight Instructor. I hadn't flown since 1975, so I was not Current, which is why I took a Flight Instructor. My grandmother DIED at 74; I FLEW at 74! You could say that I GOT HIGH ON MY BIRTHDAY!

I flew from Zone Aviation at Burke Lakefront Airport. I got my Flight Training from Freedom Field Airport in Medina, Ohio, back in the 1970's. It was my dream to become a C.F.I. I used personal loans for my training, and got as far as my Commercial Pilot License, but was not financially able to to take out additional loans since I had to get an apartment. I never lost my love of flying. An airplane is so not a car!

It's so nice having Burke Lakefront Airport right downtown. A church friend drove me to the airport. That day was really covered in prayer! I can still see the Divine in the photos I took. The color of the sky and the lake was beautiful. And, the air was as smooth as glass. It is usually bumpy in a small plane.

I just love the Cessna 172. It is a four seat airplane, and the Cessna has a high wing design and a back window! My Flight Instructor was a young woman who was eight and a half months pregnant. She walked around the plane with me, refreshing my memory of Preflight.

We got into the airplane, me in the left seat; the Pilot in the Command seat. My instructor handed me a headset. In my day, we used a hand held microphone and had to shout to the person sitting next to us! I turned the key and started the engine. Ah! Music to my ears; AIRPLANE ENGINE NOISE! I love the way an airplane roars to life and vibrates all over in anticipation of FLYING! I also enjoy the use of rudder pedals while taxiing on the ground. Again, so not a car!

I did the run-up, checking the intruments and setting the Directional Gyro to the Magnetic Compass heading. We got clearance for take-off. I gave the plane full power and started down the runway. I was very rusty! I wobbled some as the plane picked up speed. Some gentle back pressure at flying speed, and we were FLYING! My favorite part of flying is feeling the wheels leave the ground at take-off! We go from a ground vehicle to the freedom of flight! I also love looking at everything in miniature.

My instructor told me to stay over the lake, but I told her I wanted to fly over Lakewood, especially the West End. We headed West, still over the lake. The coastline is really pretty from the air. The green trees that make Lakewood Lakewood look like broccoli from high above. I recognized the Soltice Steps as we headed towards Rocky River.

We flew over the Cleveland Yacht Club and the Rocky River. Beautiful! I flew over the Westlake Condominiums at an Altitude of 2500 feet above sea level. My instructor took the controls while I took a picture of the Harbor View Apartments, the pink building on the Lakewood side of the Rocky River. I got the Detroit Avenue Bridge in the photo as well. We couldn't go any farther South due to the controlled air space from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, so we headed back out over the lake. When we got back to Burke Lakefront Airport, I let my instructor do the landing as it had been a very long time since I landed an airplane.

All too soon, we were back on the ground at the Terminal. My FLYDAY was over. But, it sure felt good to be at the controls of an airplane again! The memories will stay with me the rest of my life. I wish everyday was FLYDAY!

Volume 19, Issue 6, Posted 12:10 PM, 03.15.2023