Our seven year old daughter returned to school this week — to an actual building, with a real human teacher and real human classmates. No iPads. No Zoom meetings. Just school, old school. We are thrilled! Teachers and students at this school strive to live by the following seven core virtues: Integrity, Responsibility, Self Government, Respect, Courage, Perseverance and Humility. I thought it fitting on this Friday afternoon to share my thoughts here on how these same seven core virtues apply to our work here at the flight school.

Integrity — Any business is only as good as its reputation, and we are no exception. We strive to live by “the golden rule” and treat others as we would want to be treated.

Responsibility — We try our best every day because we truly love what we do. We also recognize that we are imperfect humans. If we make a mistake, we own it and go out of our way to make it right.

Self Government — Inasmuch as our operation is highly regulated by the Federal government, we are proud and humbled by the American freedom we have to operate our business the way we see fit.

Respect — Our customers come from all walks of life, and from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Politics have no place in the cockpit of a small airplane. We respect our customers and demand the same courtesy and respect from them.

Courage — It takes a lot of courage to start and run a small business like ours. It also takes a lot of courage to try something new, like flying an airplane for the first time, or sitting with a FAA examiner for a flight test. Every day at Holladay Aviation, we are surrounded by strong, intelligent, bold people who are looking to enhance their life experience in some way through aviation. We applaud and support anyone who finds the courage to take a calculated risk, who is willing to make mistakes and learn from them.

Perseverance — To quote our daughter’s favorite book, Rosie Revere, Engineer: “The only true failure can come if you quit.” We would not be here today if we gave up every time we encountered a bit of turbulence.

Humility — Anyone who’s been in this business long enough has heard the phrase: “There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots. But there are no old, bold pilots.” We respect the airplane as a human-made machine that is only as good on any given flight as its human creators and human caretakers. We respect the wondrous and dynamic natural world we fly them in every day, and recognize the importance of setting personal limits and operational boundaries that maximize both enjoyment and safety.

We are trying to teach our daughter through example how she can practice these virtues in every day life. Flying is a great way for us to enhance her education in math, science and communication. The following video was shot the weekend before school began. We got up early in the morning to get used to getting up early for school, which starts at 8 a.m. Even though she was a little tired, she demonstrated perseverance by paying attention throughout most of the flight. After we landed (I wish I’d captured this on video!) she demonstrated courage by talking to the control tower. I wrote a short script for her and she read it perfectly. I was so proud of her for overcoming her “mike fright” which is very common with all new student pilots.