So, owning a fighter jet isn’t a just a crazy dream anymore. This badass retired pilot Lt Col Art Nolls from the United States Marine Corps had been a close support pilot on naval carriers for the better part of his career in the military. He had made over 400 carrier landings and had thousands of flying hours to his credit. So, he is by no means any eccentric millionaire looking for crazy stuff to do with fighter planes. He is a guy who really knew his stuff before he attempted to land one of these beauties in his backyard. He also flew as a test pilot later on in his career in the uniform and retired later on, to pursue a career in the Real Estate business and made a company that made some serious bucks.
But, his love for aviation and especially fighter flying was never diminished and he purchased numerous propeller aircraft and flew them around in a local airfield. But, what he liked more than any plane else was the British Harrier, a carrier plane adopted in small numbers by the US Marine Corps and even though the Corps was never satisfied with it because it was foreign, he absolutely loved the plane and did great on it. After playing around with his slow piston-cylinder planes, he found out that the Harrier was going to be phased out from the British Military and probably around the world in the next ten years. As a result of this, many Harriers in perfect flying condition were going to be scrapped for parts on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
To him, it was the dawn of a new dream! He knew he had to get it to pursue his dream of owning his own fighter plane. So, he got on a call with the Federal Aviation Agency and asked them about it. First, the FAA guy laughed about how they could ever let some civilian fly fighter planes at all since it is not an easy job at all. But, then he listened to what Nolls had to say and then proceeded to tell him that maybe his request could be approved, but if Nolls were to step on any of the thousand lines of the FAA, he would be immediately shut down. Nolls was ecstatic and didn’t need telling twice.
So the 61-year-old retired military guy and his team of engineers went to England, got his plane and took it back to this country. He spent the next few months working hard on the plane as it had to be made flight-worthy and it is hard to restart something they hadn’t done in a long, long time ago. Once it was ready, the Colonel had a go on it and it was amazing for him to be able to hit the skies again in his beloved plane. He knew that within a few years he would be only one flying this aircraft and eventually, his body wouldn’t be able to take the fighter jet flying which is such a difficult thing to do in the first place. But, he is happy and wants to enjoy it and wants to leave his legacy as the sole civilian fighter jet pilot. He has since purchased two more Harriers and is in the process of converting them into a flying condition. So, engineers never give up on continuing on your dream no matter how hard or unfruitful it is. There isn’t anything in this world that can buy your raw passion and love for something. Of course if your passion is like this guy, it seems way cooler than the other ones, but it is definitely worth trying, no matter what it is! Check out the video for more: