Thursday, April 8, 2010

The one about flying

Somewhere in one of my journals is a bucket list. And I can guarantee you that "flying a small plane" wasn't on it. But now, thanks to my obsessive list-keeping, I will put it on there just for the simple pleasure of crossing it off.

Yes, you read correctly. Crossing it off. Yes, that means I flew a plane.

The technical part of me wants to specify that I more temporarily guided the plane because in reality I had nothing to do with the preflight routine, the taxi-ing on the runway (which I always want to spell as run-away), the TAKE-OFF (hello! pretty important!), reaching cruising altitude and speed or just ensuring the overall safety of my passengers.

The non-technical part of me will show you this picture, PROOF that I did fly the plane!

My eyes are intently watching where we were going and the control that indicated our altitude. While the pilot snapped the 'proof' pictures, I gave myself a headache (not really) trying to maintain our altitude of 6,500'. And not turn too violently to the left or the right.




I think around the 6,100' mark I started panicking because I couldn't remember in which direction to manipulate the joystick to gain altitude. This would be a serious problem in my piloting skills - not remembering at critical times what I'm supposed to do.

"I don't remember how to get us back up," I said. Thankfully, he did.

Here's the runWay and you'll be glad to know that at this point, I was no longer in control.

Daniel, for one, was very glad about this. He told me after we landed that when I took over, he was veryVERY nervous.

"The first thing we started doing was veering to the right and to the ground," he said. It took me a few moments to get adjusted to the control.

But, just in case, we did have a parachute that could be activated upon emergency. A parachute for the whole plane. Genius.

Some thoughts (in list form) I had when landed:

1) the take-off and landing were so.much.smoother then what I was expecting.
2) I actually believed we would make it back alive, which were not the thoughts I had when flying in a small plane at the age of 12 - an experience I don't clearly remember except for fear.
3) it was nearly as comfortable as riding in a car.
4) I never once thought we were going to crash.
5) my town looks even smaller from the air.
6) I am definitely not smart enough to actually fly a plane.
7) there's probably not a lot of people brave enough to get in a plane I was flying!
8) the one picture that didn't work was of me and the pilot

We were pumped; it was such a neat (unexpected) experience.
So, check. On something I didn't even know was on the list.


Mary Zolene said...

That is freaking awesome....Haha..

Anonymous said...

That's great, Holly.

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

Hey! We can both say we've done another same thing in our lives :) Except I think I was about 12 and 4-seater puddle-jumper and only was in control for a minute...and when I say minute, I really mean nano-second...and when I say nano-second, I really mean not at all because the pilot had her hand lightly on the controls at all times. hahahahaha