At 32, Josh Gunnemann is finally fulfilling his childhood dream to fly airplanes. A civil litigator with Rogers & Hardin, Gunnemann always wanted to be a pilot. As a young boy, he enjoyed riding in commercial airliners. He memorized the different types of planes and even drew pictures of them.
About two-and-a-half years ago, after riding in a friend's small plane a few times, Gunnemann decided it was time to act on his passion. Gunnemann spoke to the Daily Report about his favorite pastime and love of the sky.
What do you think draws you to flying?
I think it's a great mix. Freedomthe ability to really get out of the world you're used to on a daily basis. There's something that's completely unique about being up above the clouds, in the sky after a sunrise or a sunset flight that you just don't get to experience if you're on the ground. But at the same time, there's an immense challenge involved in flying. It takes a lot of focus, commitment, and you have to develop a skill for it. It's something you can spend your entire lifetime getting better at. Those two things are very different, but they both appeal to me a lot.
You have your sport pilot certificate and you're working on your private pilot certificate. What's the difference?
My sport pilot certificate lets you fly what's called light sport aircraft. It's a pretty new certificate. It's only been around about seven years or so. It limits you in what you're able to do. For example, I'm not allowed to fly at night. I can't fly a plane that's not a light sport plane, so I can't fly anything that has more than two seats and a certain number of horsepower. It's just a smaller airplane that's simpler to fly.
And with a private pilot certificate you can do a lot more?
You can fly larger planes with more passengers, and you can fly at night. You can work on your instrument rating, which lets you fly in clouds, in weather, and the like. So right now, for example, if I've got an out-of-town deposition, I'm not quite at the point where I'm taking my plane, but I'd like to get to that point.
When do you find the time to fly?
I try to go about twice a month, every other weekend … on Saturday mornings. I usually try to sneak in a sunrise flight once a month or so because I really enjoy those.