Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Today, I wore my aviator sunglasses and didn't feel like a poseur.
"In the event of an engine fire, you exit first, than you and I will stay behind and try and put the fire out. Please run away from the plane and PLEASE go and get help", my instructor Casey, said with complete calm and emphasis on the word, "please".
At this point, we still ponder why we didn't quickly and quietly exit the plane, run towards my car and never look back.
"Wanna do something fun", Casey asked mischievously.
"NOOOOOOOO!!!", I shouted, the words echoing through my over sized headphones.
Remembering my manners, I calmed down and said,
"Well, it depends on your idea of fun". Turns out his idea of fun and mine at 2500 ft are very different.
Peas is meanwhile grinning from ear to ear in the backseat as I struggle to steer the plane against the wind while simultaneously holding down my lunch. But despite it all I felt this amazing feeling of elation.
Casey had explained on the ground that when he says "my plane", I am to take my hands off the yoke and let him resume control. When I felt my stomach could take no more, I turned to him and gravely declared, "YOUR PLANE", similar to how one might shout "not it" for a loathed chore.
"You might want to grab your bag in the back seat", Casey left off the end of his sentence, which went something to the tune of ". . . so you can puke in it". This was his way of diplomatically prepping me for a reasonably rough landing. We didn't have any motion sickness bags and I could feel my turkey sandwich, migrating north with every turn and bump of the plane. Peas compared it to riding in a '69 volkswagon bug . . . in the sky. Dear Peas my ever faithful friend who would climb in a plane with me at yoke, furiously emptied out the contents of my Knoll tote bag, because in the worse case scenario I was going to vomit straight into it.
For those of you that don't know, I am terrified of flying. So terrified I have abandoned quite a few vacations and work opportunities for the last eight years, stricken with fear. But deciding that enough was enough, I took matters into my own hands and ran straight at the problem in the most dramatic way possible (because that's just how I roll). It was one of the best days of my life. I highly recommend it. It's similar to driving a car, with absolutely no power steering.
And if you're interested in taking a lesson, I cannot speak more highly of the Washington International Flight Academy. Nice, capable staff and an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. C'mon, jump right in.