Pilot Profile: Bill McGonagle

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1. Where are you from?

        Canton, MA

2. Where is your favorite place to fly?

        Nantucket

3. What is something most people don’t know about you?

       That I get as much out of this program as those kids do

4. How long have you been a pilot?

       18 years

5. How did you hear about ATC?

      Saw them around the airport as I flew recreationally

6. What made you want to become a pilot?

      It’s just something I always wanted to do. I love to challenge myself and share the adventures with family and friends

7. How long have you been involved with ATC?

      About 2 years

8. What is the most memorable experience you have had with ATC?

      Receiving an email from a mother of my Dream Flyer. His dad (who was a commercial pilot) had passed away. When we flew I said “I bet your dad is sitting out there on the wing”. Her email indicated that our flight was a “life changing experience” for her son. Hearing that made my day too!

9. What do you like most about volunteering for ATC?

      Sharing my passion and making kids happy

10. How do you think ATC is changing lives?

      It gives kids that have seen so much adversity hope and joy.

11. Talk us through a typical fly day you have with these kids

      I like to engage and teach my Discovery flyer. I let him do a pre-flight with me and try to explain some “basics” to him. My last Discovery Flight took us to Martha’s Vineyard, where I treated him to hot chocolate in the airport restaurant. He face-timed with his mom as we landed so she could enjoy the experience from home. We saw the Cape Cod Canal, tons of cranberry bogs and even a prison. When we got back, he helped me cover the airplane and keep it nice for the next flight.

12. What do you love about flying?

      A sense of freedom

13. What is your flight background? 

      I have a commercial certificate and an instrument rating

14. Where do you want to fly that you haven’t?

      Oshkosh…someday when I own my own airplane!

15. Is there something I haven’t asked you that you want to say about ATC?

      Many people commend the pilots for their efforts but honestly, we have the easiest job….all we have to do is fly airplanes. The real stars are the amazing ground crew that coordinates what I call “organized chaos” on a typical Dream Flight day. There is SO much that needs to be perfect and they are the ones that really get their hands dirty to make it happen!

16. Do you do dream flights? Cadet flights? Discovery Flights?

      Dream flights and Discovery flights. I’m on my 3rd Discovery Flyer

17. Describe ATC in one word:

      Giving

The Power of Awe

      “A dramatic feeling with the power to inspire, heal, change our thinking and bring people together.” This is how “awe” was described in a recent article I read titled “Feeling Awe May Be the Secret to Health and Happiness.” The article discusses how recent studies are showing that “awe” is now thought to be a “basic part of being human that we all need.” It states that there are many ways in which awe affects us, including binding us together, helping us see things in new ways, making us nicer and happier, and altering our bodies.

      This article reminded me of the important impact Above the Clouds is having in the world by changing the lives of children facing all kinds of serious adversity, including for example, those who are ill, underprivileged, at-risk or abused. Most of the kids we get to know have never even been in an airplane let alone been given the opportunity to fly one. This seems like it might be something so insignificant but flying in the co-pilot seat with Above the Clouds makes them realize that we are all a part of something larger. Many of us get caught up in our busy lives and forget to see the forest and not just the trees. When these kids soar high up in the sky they get a new lease on life and a refreshed outlook on their world.

      Awe is “a positive emotion that has been proven to reduce levels of stress, and is a necessary part of being a healthy human being.” Above the Clouds makes awe accessible to kids who feel like they have been forgotten or need to be reminded that they are special. The power of awe doesn’t necessarily have to be something like seeing The Grand Canyon for the first time or meeting Nelson Mandela. Awe can be experienced when you witness a random act of kindness or by giving kids a chance to fly in an airplane. That is the true power of awe.

 

For the full article click here:

http://parade.com/513786/paulaspencer/feeling-awe-may-be-the-secret-to-health-and-happiness/

 

 

Jet Blue Tour

Amazing time at JetBlue last weekend. Nine of our Discovery and Cadet Flyers joined us to get a behind the scenes tour of the airline. We sat in the cockpit, viewed the tower ops and talked to pilots, mechanics and airplane operations personnel. An amazing time was had by all. Thanks JetBlue!
Check out our Album!

Discovery Pilot Michael Kolowich Teaches about Drones

A Drone. An Experienced Pilot. Cameras. Students learning. Amazing aerial footage.
Simply Awesome!

TV Production teacher Mr. McDonough and the CHS student team coordinating the upcoming CHS LipDub worked side-by-side with Pilot Michael Kolowich and his son Robert — and their drone — to capture aerial footage of the CHS campus during the December vacation.

Mr. Kolowich donated his time to teach the Canton HS students how to navigate the drone and record a variety of shots. The results (which will be featured in the CHS LipDub) are breathtaking and the learning experience was priceless.

A big thank you to Mr. Kolowich and his son Robert! A big shout out to Nick Buser for setting this up! Kudos to Mike Noone, Mia Tess, Jason Kaplan, Nick Buser, Steve Gorham and Mr. McDonough for working so hard to make the CHS LipDub 2.0 great. The LipDub is scheduled to be filmed in early February.

Photo Album of Drone Adventure

Amazing Presentation!

What an amazing visit we had from Glenn Gonzales of Honda Aviation. Glenn spoke to our Cadet and Discovery Flyers about his career path (which includes a stint in the air force where he flew F-!5’s!). All in attendance were inspired by his experiences and moved by his words of wisdom. Remember the 5 D’s in the Success Spiral: Dream, Data, Decision Making, Discipline, and Determination as well as the 5 C’s in the Success Spiral: Character, Courage, Capacity, Communication,P1020520 and Competency. Words to live by. Looking forward to Glenn landing his AWESOME Honda Jet at Norwood in the near future!

Another Discovery Flyer Adventure!

Last weekend Derek & Estuardo visited Hanscom Field in Bedford Massachusetts. The visit included a complete guided tour of the airport grounds and a local flight school. To conclude their visit Estuardo got to fly the Redbird FMX full motion flight simulator at Executive Flyers Aviation. Derek set up the simulator for a short flight around the traffic pattern of La Aurora (MGGT) in Guatemala where Estuardo flew with his dad in a Beechcraft Bonanza. A good time was had by all and Estuardo is looking forward to flying again with Derek soon!

Halloween Flying!

In Discovery Flight action, Dave Roberts took Liam to do loops over Ipswich and Salem.  They saw the football field and the water tank with the witch logo on it.  Happy Halloween!  They also took a look at some interesting aircraft in Beverly.  Great day of flying!

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Esmael and Bill’s First Discovery Flight!

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On this very cool morning , Esmael and I departed runway 35 just after 10am. The visibility seemed endless as we turned towards Boston then eventually south to Cape Cod. A good wind to our back made the trip down pretty quick. I asked him to look for traffic as an additional pair of eyes. Once straight and level, Esmael took the controls and steered us towards the canal. Cranberry bogs were abundant along our route of flight. I pointed out the entire length of Cape Cod, visible all the way to Provincetown. We flew along the coastline on our way back, flying past Plymouth Harbor and Marshfield. We called the control tower about 10 miles out and they eventually cleared us to land back on runway 35. It was a little breezy and bumpy on this flight but the visibility more than made up for that. The colors of fall are starting to look awesome from the sky!

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