A pilot soars to new heights — with his writing

Edward Chevrette

Edward Chevrette 

Edward Chevrette of Guilderland has a passion for piloting.

As a kid, he made model airplanes and drew pictures of planes. He looked up to relatives who had been fighter and bomber pilots in World War II. With the support of his family, he took flying lessons as a teen— working an airport job in exchange for flying time and mowing lawns and running a newspaper route.

Chevrette had his first solo flight at 16, passed a private-pilot test at 17 and a commercial-pilot test at 19, and was a certified flight instructor at 21. He went on to have a charter service, train Navy recruits, and fly Learjets.

“Your reference point changes,” Chevrett says of flying at 40,000 feet.

Flying, he says in this week’s podcast, simultaneously gives you a feeling of freedom and also a feeling of control.



Retired now, Chevrette has written a book, “Wings of Fortune: Personal Tales from the ‘Golden Age of General Aviation.’”

General aviation, he explains, is flight that is not airlines or military, and the Golden Age — when companies were making faster, bigger, more expensive planes — matches the era of his career as a pilot, from 1959 through the mid-1980s.

Chevrette used his pilot log books to chart his memories and studied English — a subject he hadn’t done well at in school — to write his tales. Striving to achieve a goal, he says, is when you are happiest.

A flight instructor taught him a lesson he never forgot. When you’re climbing a stairway — one step at a time — you have something to look forward to. The problem comes with success, when you get to the top.

“You’ve got to open a door,” his instructor said. Chevrette asked his instructor: What if there is no door?

The answer: You cut a hole in the wall.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer


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