Monday, September 19, 2011

Flying, not just for the birds

In my 26 years on Earth I have never been on a plane.  I guess I never went anywhere that required taking a plane.  Because of this, I was apprehensive about flying.  I don't like roller coasters and I get car sick, so I really didn't know what to expect.  When I found out I was going to have to fly to Dallas for work I got really anxious.

Michael knew how much this was bothering me (to the point of losing sleep laying awake worrying about it).  So he contacted his mom's boyfriend (Mr. Vaughn) who has a plane.  He graciously offered to take me for my first flight and teach me all about planes and flying.

When we pulled up to the airport and I saw this tin can (literally, it's made of aluminum) sized plane I started to panic.  But I had come this far so I had to do it.

After a 20 minute lesson on all the parts of the plane, why the plane flies and all the inside controls, it was time to get in.

This is a small plane that only seats 4, but its surprisingly not cramped inside.  But it is hot.  There is no a/c.

Smaller planes like this are steered on the ground using pedals.  Mr. Vaughn let me drive the plane to the runway.  This is incredibly difficult!  I was supposed to drive on a straight yellow line, but if there would have been police around, they would have pulled me over for drunk driving!

We got to the runway and tested the engine, checked the gas, controls etc.  Then it was time to take off!  This plane has to go at least 75mph before it will take flight.  So as we were going down the runway I began to brace myself.  While I was deciding if I should close my eyes when we went up, we were already in the air!  I had barely even noticed!  My ears started popping as we rose over the houses and trees.  But the sight was beautiful!  Everything looked like colorful geometric shapes. We flew over the Mississippi River and could see for miles!

Then, it was my turn to fly the plane!  It was so easy!  The plane basically flies itself.  There were a few bumps as we hit air pockets and clouds and such.  But the plane just leveled out naturally.  I flew around for 30 minutes, then we made two circles (which made me a little sick) and then landed.  It was an amazing experience!  I am so thankful to know that flying is not scary!

Mr. Vaughn said I was smiling the whole time.  And afterwards my face was sore!  I can now check 'fly in a plane and FLY a plane" off my to-do list.

Maybe next I'll learn how to swim.

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