Community Spotlight: Once a Pilot, Always a Pilot

One of our dear moderators, IgigikJane would like to share a story about a wonderful pilot he once came into contact with named Soni Blevins.  Soni was his friend’s mother, and they met on a few rare occasions in the past. She recently passed away after a long fight with cancer, but her son found an old briefcase in the attic and asked our mod to join him to peruse its contents. 

In 1969, Soni earned her private pilot license in the southern United States and flew around in a beautiful Cessna 172. She spent hours in the sky, falling in love with the world around her.  Her husband, on the other hand, was not a fan of airplanes or flying, and Soni was asked to choose between family and flight. After mulling over the idea, she decided to dedicate her time to her family and packed up the suitcase forever.

Looking back, her children found this decision to affect them in many regards. Times where different, but they believe if it were to happen in this day and age, Soni would to tell future women in aviation that they didn’t have to choose between either option — that they could choose to love family and flying all at once.

Inside the old briefcase, they stumbled into her pilot logbook and flight plans. There were hours and hours of logged times. Her first solo flight was lovingly marked, along with a piece of the shirt she wore on her first solo flight. Her love for flying was evident, and she would soon discover a whole new way to fly.

Soni learned about FSX one day when she heard the sound of a Cessna 172 engine coming from her son’s room. She had no idea that her son had also fallen in love with flying, and was thrilled to see him playing the sim. Though she was too old to properly play the sim, she began to tear up when she saw what FSX could do and reminisced on the passion she once had for flying.

We would like to take this time to remember Soni Blevins and the happy moments when she took to the sky, and we encourage any future pilot or those thinking of becoming pilots to continue to pursue their dreams. We are humbled to hear stories where our sim has helped someone no longer physically able to fly to sit in the pilot’s seat once again. We hope to continue to bring passion and nostalgia back for any pilots who would like to experience flying again with our latest iteration of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Thank you for this beautiful story, and for the impact it brought to many of us!


-The Microsoft Flight Simulator Community Team-