Sightseeing in Northern Michigan: Giving Wings Aviation

There’s just something special about flying. The freedom, the view, the adventure.

There’s a place where you can just go along for the ride, or learn how to be a pilot yourself.

Chief photojournalist Corey Adkins takes us high over Traverse City for this week’s Sightseeing in Northern Michigan.

“When you push that throttle in and release the brakes and feel the acceleration of the airplane, it’s hard not to grin. When you rotate the nose wheel off the ground and you assume a positive pitch attitude and climb, I would describe it like you’re Superman, you’re just not in that horizontal position,” says Eric Nuffer, Giving Wings Aviation.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to fly or get back into flying?

“Giving Wings Aviation started in 2011. I saw we had an opportunity for people to get their wings on and get back into the air, and so it created the business Give Wings Aviation with Bob Denton, of Denton Farms, and we basically help people get their wings on,” explains Eric

Giving Wings Aviation owns a fleet of small planes.  You can rent them, or they can teach you how to fly

Today we’re soaring over West Grand Traverse Bay in their 1968 Cessna float plane.

And if you ever wanted to land on water, they can teach you that, too.

“Taking off on the water you have different forces. You have the adhesive forces of the water that try to suck you down to the water and, of course, you have boats and their wakes and other traffic to be aware of in the water as well. But when you feel that drag release and the floats break free of that adhesive water  quality, and you feel that acceleration off the water, it’s quite remarkable,” says Eric.

Remarkable is a good word to use.

“A lot of the reasoning behind learning how to fly are designed to take off and slip the bounds of gravity is simply the love of it.  It’s an indescribable experience when you take the controls of an airplane and you take off the ground. And you’re flying like a bird, and you literally got your wings on,” says Eric.

Categories: Northern Michigan In Focus