Sunday, July 15, 2012

Toledo, Ohio: Area man achieves his dream of becoming a pilot

Flight student Don Coburn, from Sylvania, does a preflight check on a Cessna 182 before proceeding with Instrument flight rules (IFR) training with Suburban Aviation, Inc. Flight Instructor Nick Zink. 

Don Coburn grew up with the quintessential childhood dream that for the vast majority of us is far, far out of reach.

 He wanted to be an astronaut or a fighter pilot, a person who challenges gravity and wins. Then comes reality, that great equalizer that sends all but a tiny percentage of us on to jobs hauling freight, staring at computer screens, crunching numbers, or some other prosaic, unexciting gig.

"Flying has been in my blood since the day I was born," said Mr. Coburn, a 41-year-old Sylvania-area businessman. "I was just born wanting to fly. I wanted to be an astronaut, but my vision wasn’t really good enough to be an astronaut or fighter pilot."

Unlike a lot of guys, he actually did something about it, accepting his limitations and then learning how to fly planes both for pleasure and business. He recently began training for his instrument flight rating, which will allow him to fly into clouds and use only his instruments to navigate in low visibility.

An aeronautical engineer with a degree from Ohio State University, he has been in sales for the past 15 years and runs a business that helps other companies cut their overhead costs. About four years ago he earned his pilot’s license and he owns a share of a Cessna 182 Skylane with a group of other people.

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