Erland Källén: My Father’s Passion for Flying and His Mortal Accident
My father was fascinated by flying since his childhood in Göteborg. He finished school in 1944, a time when many young boys in Sweden aspired to join the Swedish Air Force as pilot cadets. I asked my father once why he never did this, he answered that he would have liked to do it but he thought that his physical abilities were not up to the standards required by the military. In the early 1960’s he was invited by a colleague in the US to come along on a weekend flight with a Cessna airplane. I think this was the triggering event that made him decide to try it out himself. In 1964 he took up flying lessons at an airport in nearby Malmö where an aeroplane club offered the possibility to rent single engine small aircraft. Initially he mostly regarded flying as a hobby, but he was also very keen on developing his flying skills so he could use flying for transport in connection with business trips. To achieve this it was necessary to obtain an instrument rating, i.e. to be able to fly in weather conditions where you cannot see the ground or other visual references. It took some years to reach this goal, in addition to training and theoretical exams he also needed to accumulate flying hours. I frequently accompanied my father on evening flights and other activities that he undertook in order to gain experience and collect flying hours. I became fascinated by flying, in addition to experiencing the technical and visual excitement I also came closer to my father. We both shared the fascination for flying.
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