This year is going by entirely too quickly. My half birthday is August 16th, and I have so many more goals to accomplish before the big 3-0 rolls around in February. I did check one off my list last weekend, though…
✓ Take a flying lesson
My dad is into planes. Big time. Nearly every year of my childhood included an outing to an airshow; most were on the hottest possible summer days for taking to the tarmac. We visited air museums, watched documentaries, listened to the Top Gun soundtrack, all of that good stuff. And I got a little bit of the “need for speed” bug—though mostly mine is satisfied with driving over the speed limit.
Fortunately, Dad is friends with a certified flight instructor, so he has taken a few lessons over the past several years. When he hinted at my birthday present and said, “I think you’re really going to like it,” I had a pretty good hunch what was coming my way.
And so, on July 21st, I donned my headset and took to the wild blue yonder. My daddy is a brave, brave man…he sat in the back of the tiny little Cessna while I co-piloted. I pulled back on the yoke to get us up into the air then control our pitch and roll; I even got to take over all by myself for about half the flight. And it was a smooth ride, if I do say so myself.
My instructor, Steve, also took us through a couple of “zero gravity” maneuvers—a sharp incline followed by a steep descent—like how the astronauts train, except on a much smaller scale and without the barf. I’m not a fan of roller coasters, but that negative G business in the plane was just about the coolest thing ever.
When our time in the cloud playground was over, I helped land the plane. <— that is a complete lie, because I couldn’t see over the control panel on our descent, so I basically just made sure we kept even with the horizon.
Nevertheless, it was another happy landing…and a wonderful birthday present 🙂