Thursday, June 16, 2016

Please pardon the unprofessional caps...

I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I FLEW A PLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't know when I was told I would be given an introduction flight it meant I would get to take the controls. 

But first, let me start at the beginning.

The flight school in town is run by a woman who has three sons. The oldest son is a commercial pilot, the middle son is still in college but home over the summer, and the youngest is studying to get his license. Their mom is looking to hire an instructor for when the middle son goes back to school, but over the summer he is going to be the teacher.

The plane has been in their family for a long while. Their grandfather bought it for their grandmother. (Just the kind of man I want to marry.)

When I got to the airport at eight - you have to fly early in the summer in the mountains. I could go into the reason behind this but I shall spare all of you for the time being. But when I arrived the two youngest brothers were already there, The middle one - I don't like to use names online unless I have permission - grabbed up two sets of head phones and said we would drive out to the plane and take it up.

My jaw dropped. I hadn't been prepared for that. Not right off. I thought we would talk about how hard it is to fly first, how much time and money it takes. I guess I have come to the assumption that everyone, even pilots, try and talk people out of getting their license.

Instead, he talked to me about how I could improve my time between flying by studying. Then he told me - as we approached the plane - I would be taking the pilot's seat and he the co-pilots. He would help me take off, show me how to taxi, but once we were in the air he would leave the controls to me and only take over if needed.

The idea of being in control of a plane 8000 feet off ground scared me, but also made me extremely excited. I didn't say much, nor did I protest when he let me climb into the pilot's seat.

As promised, he taught me how to taxi and helped me with the check list. He told me how take off would work and helped me with that as well, though more he gave instructions of when to pull back on the yoke, how far, and so forth. (Basically, I had the chance to try take off for the first time.)

Once in the air he sat back and left the controls in my hands. Of course, he again said he would take over if needed. We flew in a wide circle for half an hour. We flew alone one beach of the lake, across the lake, up another beach, and over town. And I got to keep control the whole time. (He said I did surprisingly well for my first time and kept asking if I was sure I hadn't ever flown before. Personally, I felt wobbly and like I tipped the plane too much, but any credit I have for being able to fly so well according to him is through the manual I've been studying. I was able to recognize controls and have an idea of what I was doing.)

When we headed back to the airport he said he was going to leave most of the landing up to me to see how I did. THAT scared me the most. I had this image of me landing on one wheel and crushing his grandmother's plane. Thankfully that didn't happen, and we made it back down in one piece, and me with a ridiculously wide grin.

Are lessons going to be a thing now? FOR SURE! I have my first official one not next Saturday but the Saturday after. And I can hardly wait to go back up!

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