My journey with aviation began in 2005 with an introductory flight in a Cherokee 140. Like many fellow aviators, I caught the bug as a child and dreamed of becoming a pilot. I began earning and saving as much money as possible, mowing lawns and waiting tables. I took my first official lesson at the age of 16 in Sevierville, Tennessee at the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport. I still remember the tail number of the first airplane I soloed, N150DK. Just a year later I became a licensed pilot at the age of 17.
Wow, What a journey it has been! It is hard to believe a whole decade has flown by. It was just a couple years ago that I began to revisit the idea of aviation as a career. While having enjoyed a successful career thus far in sales and marketing. I still felt the beckoning call to one day pilot the airplanes I dreamed about as a kid.
I began aggressively building time and completing my instrument rating, commercial, certified flight instructor(CFI/CFII), and multi engine rating within just a few years. The picture above was taken on August 8th 2017 upon purchasing my very first airplane, a dream come true! She is a 1962 Cessna 182E. We have spent a lot of time together over the past 6 months building hours all over the South East. I anticipate what the future holds for aviation. I have come to realize that life is too short to not do what you love.
- Joel Mayo