child flying an airplane
My first lesson, age 5! With the official logbook entry, this counted towards my license.

I’m Aaron Simpson, a professional pilot currently specializing in contract imaging pilot services. My first flying lesson was at age 5, though it wasn’t until college that I began regular flight training. Any time I could rub two dimes together, I’d burn them up in an airplane engine.

It took a while, but I finally earned my Private Pilot Certificate on March 8th, 2012. Like many new pilots, this actually meant I began flying much less. Over the next year or so, I’d only log another few hours, mostly thanks to a dear friend bringing me along on trips to Friday Harbor, WA and Victoria, BC.

A small red airplane with eyes painted on the cover
We take the cover off for flying, but it certainly makes her easy to recognize at the airport!

Eventually though, it was time to meet the love of my life, the 1974 Cessna 150 Aerobat that we call “Scarlett” after the heroine of Gone With the Wind. I own her in partnership with Fred Lundahl, a retired diplomat and admired business owner in my hometown of Langley, WA.

Together, we’ve had many adventures, but it was an impromptu journey to Northern California that finally inspired me to pursue a pilot career in earnest. Many pilots, particularly those of limited means, never travel further than 60 miles from their home airports. This trip would take me over 500 nm away from my home airport, sending me along a majestic mountain range, through multiple weather systems and left me with the determination to spend as much of my life as possible strapped into these glorious, living machines that so readily became a soaring extension of my body.

man stands on wing of multi engine airplane
The steel horse I earned my multi engine rating, the venerable “8 Charlie Mike”

Over the next few years, I’d take on extra jobs, scrimp, save, and borrow to earn the certificates I needed to become a professional pilot. The long hours studying were anything but tiring. My passion for flying feeds me, whether I’m doing, dreaming or learning. The licenses earned, I’m now on a year long journey, flying around America conducting aerial surveys as an independent contractor.