- First airshow – Sun ’N Fun, Lakeland, Florida on April 24, 2015
- First flight in our 195 – from Waterloo airport to Alf Beam’s private strip on May 20, 2015
- First cross country trip in our 195 – to Burlington, Vermont on May 23, 2015 to spend the weekend at the Milton’s cottage
- First airline flight – to Vancouver, BC on June 20, 2015
- First helicopter ride – near Revelstoke, BC on June 25, 2015 for a 25 minute sightseeing tour around the mountain peaks and a glacier with Aunt Michelle
Kurtis was very interested in flying and airplanes from a young age, but no one in his immediate family flew. I think his Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Jim are ultimately the ones to blame for Kurtis being bitten by the “aviation bug”. For his 13th birthday they bought him a flight in a Decathalon and so began his journey into the world of aviation. He spent the next several years working summer jobs and part time jobs after school to save up enough money to get his pilots license. Kurtis got his license one month after he turned 18.
Growing up I had never really had any exposure to aviation. I think I was in high school before I even flew on the airlines. When Kurtis and I started dating, our first official date was to the Windsor airshow, which was my first airshow. He also laid out the dating ground rules early on and explained that he was saving his money to get his pilots license so we probably wouldn’t be going out to restaurants for dates and such. My first ride in a small airplane was as Kurtis’ very first passenger. Aviation has been the “third wheel” in our relationship right from the beginning!
Reflecting on Hudson’s firsts in aviation, Kurtis has commented a few times about how Hudson is going to grow up and never remember when he didn’t fly and how different that is from Kurtis’ own experience of having to work so hard to make flying a part of his life. There is also no guarantee that Hudson will be excited about aviation when he gets older, which is definitely okay with us. In any case, whether he likes it or not, he’ll have to come along on our flying adventures until he is old enough to stay home by himself!
Over the years aviation has certainly added a wonderful dimension to the Arnold household. It is definitely Kurtis’ passion (some might even call it an addiction 🙂 ). But his passion has spilled over and has even captured me a bit. We have been on some fantastic flying adventures and have been able to see the world from a different perspective. We have also met so many great people from near and far. It is exciting for us to be able to share the world of aviation with Hudson. Even if he doesn’t get bit by the “aviation bug” like Kurtis did we hope that the people he’ll meet and the flying experiences he’ll have will richen his life.