Sunday, November 27, 2005

A new pilot (taking Sam and Neil flying)

A month or so ago, my friend Neil called me and asked me if we could take his daughter Sam flying. I have taken her flying two times before, the first after she saw the Blue Angels flying over Spirit airport and decided she might like to be a Blue Angel. Few things in this world are as rewarding as showing a new person the world of flight. I have taken many people for their first small airplane flight, and the look on their face when they see the world from above is priceless.

In Sam's case, I first took her flying when she was four. I used a pillow as a booster seat so she could see over the instrument panel. I let her handle the controls and was delighted to see that she has some real inborn flying ability! I told Neil this and asked him to bring her back as long as she stays interested.

Sam is now seven and doesn't need the pillow anymore. I took her and Neil up on a nice fall day, just before a cold front pushed through. As before, I turned Sam loose on the controls. She flew the plane for over 5 minutes without any major assistance from me. I even gave her some headings to roll out on and she was able to do it. After she flew for a bit, I found some clouds to play with and we circled them for a bit, so she could see them up close. After a bit of that, we headed back and landed.

Sam now has three entries in her logbook. She is well on her way to having a lot of fun with Aviation if she stays interested in it. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to introduce her a little bit of my world of flight (thanks Neil)!

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