A head for heights

A head for heights

Gordon Brown, who heads the commercial team at Gordon Brown Law Firm and specialises in commercial property, feels that in another life he might have cruised the skies as an airline pilot

My dream of a career as an airline pilot began at what many would consider to be fairly late in life. It wasn’t until I was 31 that I realised it was something I would love to do day in, day out.

I have my nephew to thank for my first flight experience. I took him to a local airfield for his fifth birthday present. Before that, I’d never sat in the cockpit of a light aircraft. But that first flight convinced me I had caught the aviation bug. I wish I could say my nephew enjoyed the experience as much as I did. However, he looked a little green by the time we had touched down!

The feeling of complete escape and release when taking to the skies has to be experienced to be understood, and anyone who has ever flown a plane will echo my sentiments – there really is nothing quite like it.

I went on to take regular flying lessons and achieved my official pilot’s licence in 1985. Then at 35 I bit the bullet and submitted my application to British Airways, to become an airline pilot. However, it wasn’t to be – my application didn’t make the cut (to this day I still blame my age at the time!) and the rest, as they say, is history. My wife and I were starting a family and my career as a solicitor was reaching alternative heights. So I put flying on the afterburner.

These days, I’m more than happy with the odd hour’s flight, which occasionally comes my way via a friend or family member in the form of a generous birthday or Christmas gift.

Despite my aviation career never officially taking off, I have found in the law a fulfilling profession, and it’s an area which I’ve enjoyed for over 35 years now. The UK business landscape is shifting, but at Gordon Brown LLP we are embracing the change it brings.

I feel it is a major achievement for a number of people at the firm that we have navigated the business sensibly through good times and bad – in many ways much as a pilot should! We have a loyal customer base with whom
we have fantastic relationships.

The airline pilot dream didn’t work out, but life has given me many “happy landings”. My career as a solicitor has been an incredibly rewarding one, although not always in the financial sense. That’s not to say that if I won the lottery I wouldn’t be tempted to buy a Beech Baron 58 and take to the skies more often!