Pilot/Journalist Barry Schiff Entertains Crowd

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Barry Schiff has been checked out in more types of airplanes than most people have probably even seen in a lifetime but his message is consistent. "It doesn't matter what you fly," he told the opening luncheon crowd at AOPA Expo. "What matters is that you fly." Schiff, who retired as a Boeing 747 captain in 1998 after 34 years with TWA, has more than 300 types in his logbook and he's aiming for 400. While aviation has been his job for his entire adult life, he said he's never forgotten to have fun with it. Schiff, who has written several books and numerous magazine articles on the subject, said he tries to make his love and awe of aviation infectious. "And I urge you to pass it to others," he said.

He said some pilots seem to be missing the joy of flying by being too focused on the destination rather than the journey. He said he frequently asks other pilots where they've flown and they usually answer that they've "stopped for fuel" at various airports. "I always ask them when they stop for fun," he said. Among his flying highlights (in 27,000 hours there've been a few) is soaring the ridges of the north shore of Oahu as whales passed by below.