Truckee couple hopes to prove "You Can Fly!"
Few images capture the essence of freedom like a bird flying high above the earth, unbounded by the land and the law of gravity. For humans, perhaps the closest we can come to that sensation is piloting an airplane – temporarily freeing ourselves from the confines of our everyday environment.Truckee locals Laurel and Tom Lippert, both of whom are licensed pilots, felt that the thrill of flying an airplane was something that too few people ever experience, so they set out to do something about that situation.The result of their efforts is the new book “You Can Fly!” co-authored by Greg Brown and Laurel Lippert, with photographs by Tom Lippert throughout.
Published in 2004 by Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc., and available in local bookstores, national chains and online, “You Can Fly!” is targeted at folks who have either thought about taking a flying lesson, dreamt about what it must feel like to fly a plane or were just curious about the process of becoming a licensed pilot.In 114 pages, the authors walk the reader through everything one needs to know about the prerequisites for becoming a pilot (there are fewer than you might think), how to choose a good flight school and instructor, what to expect during flight training and how to get the most out of it, general principles of aviation and many great ideas for what to do once you are a licensed pilot.An entertaining and enjoyable read, the book manages to be understandable, even if you are brand new to aviation. It is also full of details about the practical aspects of learning to fly.Sidebars and other useful information accompanies each subject when appropriate and the entire book is illustrated with hundreds of beautiful photos taken by Tom Lippert during his and Laurel’s many adventures in the skies over the years.”This is kind of like the culmination of our aviation life…” Laurel said of the book’s publication. “It’s just been so much fun to do this book and excite people about flying. That’s my mission – to get people up in the air.”
Both Laurel and Tom hope the book introduces new people to an activity that has changed their lives since they got involved.”The whole industry is extremely excited about this book,” Laurel said. “It’s filling a niche that no other book has done, which is giving prospective pilots … a clear overview of how the process goes and what to expect, how to assess how much time it’s going to take, what it’s going to cost, and yet include the romance, the thrill, the excitement of learning to fly.”Tom Lippert said he remembered when he thought about flying.”I said that I might learn to fly, some of those books you’d open up and there’s all this stuff in there that would just freak you out,” he said. “You’d say ‘I can’t do that.’ But this book simplifies it without being simplistic. It’s really neat. It’s good information and a lot of people who’ve seen it who are not pilots are fired up about it.”
For a book of this nature, it’s hard to imagine a better team of writers and/or photographers. Greg Brown has been a pilot since 1972 and is a nationally recognized flight instructor and author of five books on flying. Laurel Lippert is a freelance writer and editor (most recently for Pilot Getaways magazine) who learned to fly in 1988 at age 40. Tom Lippert began his photographic career in the ski industry, learned to fly while in his 50s and has spent much of his time since then taking beautiful aerial photographs of the Lake Tahoe area and the Sierra Nevada.Tom and Laurel Lippert are also longtime Truckee residents and were recently profiled in the 2004 edition of Truckee Locals published by the Sierra Sun.Since learning to fly, Laurel and Tom can often be seen flying in and out of the Truckee airport in their distinctive 1948 Cessna 170 airplane as well as promoting flying whenever and wherever they can.You’re invited! Meet the authors and help celebrate Laurel and Tom Lippert’s new book “You Can Fly!” this Friday, Dec. 3 from 3 5 p.m. at The Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks in Truckee (west of Safeway in the Gateway shopping center). Attendees can also enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine next door at the Truckee Trattoria. “You Can Fly!” retails for $19.95.