Well the week is finally here, the week that every college student hates the most. FINALS WEEK!! I’m sure I share the struggles with all of you when I say I’ve been cramming for the past few days which is why this post is a little late which I apologize for, but school comes first. Also, I wish you all good luck on any finals or check rides that any of you have in the upcoming week. I hope you all also took the time to remember Peral Harbor last week, as well as the passing of John Glenn the first man to orbit the earth.
For this week’s blog, I thought I would share with you all one of my all-time favorite aerospace movies “October Sky” based on the true story of NASA space engineer Homer H. Hickam, Jr. and how he got inspired to become an engineer for the U.S. space program. I’m sure many of you have seen the movie, but for those of you who haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it especially if you are thinking about having a career with NASA or any other space program for that matter. So, let me give you a quick preview, as well as my review of the movie.
It’s 1957 in Coalwood, West Virginia a town that as you would guess is a leading producer of coal for the state. John Hickam (Chris Cooper), the mine superintendent, loves his job and hopes that his boys, Jim (Scott Miles) and Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal), will one day join him in his mine. However, Jim appears to be on the path to receiving a football scholarship, while Homer hasn’t decided on what his plan is after high school. That is until word reaches the town of the Soviet Union successfully putting Sputnik 1 into space causing a huge fuss of possible war or attacks by the Soviet Union. One night as Sputnik flies over the town, the towns people decide to gather outside to watch it fly over. After watching it fly through space and over town that’s when Homer gets the idea that he wants to go to college to become a space engineer. Homer soon begins to gather his friends and a school geek to create their own rockets to successfully launch into the air. Initially, his family and classmates think he has gone crazy and is wasting his time, his dad even told him to stop since he would be working in the mines with him, and Homer thought about quitting due to many unsuccessful launches. That is until he and his friends made a few corrections and soon their launches not only become successful, but also becomes a popular site to watch for many of the towns people. It even got to the point where their teacher Miss Riley encourages the boys to enter the state science fair to compete in a nationwide science competition. That is until one launch lands the boys in huge trouble since it starts a fire (or did it?) and a major accident happens at the coal mine causing for Homers dad to be out of work for quite some time. So what happens to Homer and his dreams of becoming a NASA engineer? Well I you will have to watch this beloved film to see what happens to Homer and his friends and family.
Personally, I absolutely love this movie since it is one of my favorite aerospace movies, even though the story line is a little cheesy, it still is a great movie. I love the fact that the relationship between him and his father is sort of one you would expect growing up during that time from telling your son to stop doing something that is frowned upon in society, to being one of his biggest supporters. I mean just look at the career that Homer had while working for NASA. It also is sort of that rooting for the underdog since Homer comes from such a small town, especially one focused on coal rather than rockets and space ships. Also I love this movie because it truly shows that when you are passionate about something and you want to make a career out of it, you will stop at nothing to achieve it just like I am with flying, I will stop at nothing to become a pilot. Finally, just on my personal level, I love the theme song (band geek) it just has that sad, yet hopeful feeling to it and perfectly fits in with the movie.
Well guys that’s it for this week, and again if any of you guys have upcoming finals or check rides I wish you all the best of luck. Also, I know probably a lot of you will be traveling for the holidays, so be safe on your travels and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. Don’t forget guys to check out https://blog.globalair.com/ for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”