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James K. McLaurin Solos in a Cessna 150
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When I look back at my childhood and the things I was interested in, none of them seem to point in the direction of one day piloting an aircraft off the ground. Those of you who knew the twins "John" & "James" during these years thought that John might have been the one who actually became a pilot. Well low and behold, it was James. Growing up back in those days, I seen every plane that the armed services flew at that time everyday because my twin had built a model of all of them, and they all hung from the ceiling in our bedroom downstairs in our home. Our room was like a museum. His friends would come over just to look at this awesome looking room. Myself, it was no big deal. I had a basketball and that was all that I needed. Fortunately, that basketball did earn me a full scholarship to college, and fortunately, the skills that my twin acquired helped him through his college days, and he eventually became an engineer.

James K. McLaurin - 5th Grade. Joker, prankster, mischief maker, athlete,
John W. McLaurin - 5th Grade. Academic Scholar, modeler
This flight originated at Cleveland Municipal airport, Cleveland Texas, about 40 miles north of Houston, Texas. It was a pleasant December day. Sky clear and no traffic in sight. A great day to fly!
I guess through osmosis or something related to seeing all those airplanes day in and day out in my bedroom must have planted a bug in my head to try flying one day. Back in the late 1990's, one of my clients asked me if I wanted to take a ride with him in a single engine Cessna. He didn't have his license yet, a professional instructor would be flying in the right seat. So I said okay. After witnessing my client do some touch and go's, I thought the ride was nothing to be afraid of, and thought it was something I thought I could do too. So I signed up and started taking lessons on the weekends. One December day I was left on my own to solo in a single engine Cessna 150, and it is a day I will never forget. The video that you are watching seems very calm and uneventful, but rest assure that was not the case in that cockpit when the instructor got out. It was a beautiful day to fly and my solo went without any problems. Of course the butterflys in my stomach were huge, you absolutely get a gut check, but my training kicked in and everything turned out fine. Flying is an experience that only a handful of humans have ventured to do, and to this day, your first solo will never be forgotten. It is a lot of fun to pilot an aircraft. Try it someday, you might like it, and also discover something about your GUT!
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