Biography of Flight.... By Anne Lenehan /Page 2
Everything Story has done in life is infused with his particular understanding of humanity,
technology and nature. This includes but is not limited to his roles as student, surgeon, astronaut,
spacewalker, poet, pilot and philosopher. However, one thing which really inspired me early
in the biographical process was Story’s special relationship to the world of aviation.
He had lived it for over fifty years, to the point where sometimes the boundaries between pilot
and plane were a little unclear: it was a celebrated partnership in which this particular individual
“listened” to and interacted with his machine, flew it with his fingertips, and
was attentive to details and performance to a pitch that only the most dedicated ever achieve.
At sixteen, Story rode his first airplane into the sky at Great Barrington airport, MA. He
drove the airplane around the fields, just like a tractor, until he was competent enough to
depart the ground. Leaving high school uncompleted, Story joined the Marines and subsequently
learned about airplanes as a mechanic at the end of the Korean War. However, it was not until
completing medical school in the mid 1960s and while commencing his internship and postgraduate
research in Lexington KY that Story gained his pilot’s licence and also began instructing
others. Soon he would be piloting charter planes and pursuing further competencies and civil
airplane ratings for powered and non-powered airplanes (sailplanes).