To start things off I will explain how I decided on the blog title and my username.  This may seem mundane or silly to care but I wanted to start off on the right foot and I like being a bit clever/witty. Both are a nod to aviation, a true passion in my life (even if lack of time makes it difficult).

Leonardo da Vinci

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

This quote is by Leonardo da Vinci, a guy who has never actually flown!!  I have flown many times, ultralights and jumbo-jets, and I get how amazing flight is, but it has always struck me to think about someone of that time period imagining what flight is like.

While I was waiting to meet with a professor, during my hunt for graduate schools and funding, his secretary said the test to determine if you should be an Aerospace engineer is if you instinctively look up when an airplane or helicopter flies over.  Well I do (eyes skyward).  It doesn’t matter what I am doing or who I am with, I will always try to at least sneak a glance to try to identify it.

Analogously, I feel like I am always looking forward and up in various aspects of my life: getting a PhD, dreaming up my next DIY project, what I can learn next in a book or through experience, or my next fitness goal.  This can get in the way of the now but I like dreaming, its fun! 🙂


As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire I had a job helping people with various computer programs (MS Office, image and video editing), and I had the fortune of helping a local aerobatic pilot edit some videos from his shows.  I learned about many of the different maneuvers, one being the Lemcevak.  The word ‘lemocevak’ is Russian for hangover and was originally done by Slovak aerobatic pilots.  It may sound crude but it is a well-orchestrated maneuver that gives the allusion of the pilot being out of control.  I feel like this is my life, a daily struggle to control something that feels out of control, each day I (hopefully) get a better feel for the controls and how I react to variations in wind conditions, motor performance, and airspeed.