March 13th, 2010

airplane outside

future planning... my first passenger?

Last week I was whining to Mom about how I wasn't going to be a pilot because weather sucked so bad, and I was upset because I wouldn't be able to take Dad on an airplane ride when he visited around the 20th. She asked if I could just take him along with my instructor. She really seemed to think this was an awesome idea. I told her it wasn't... there was no way I was going to make him sit in the back and ask an instructor to take us sightseeing when I'm literally two flights away from being able to do it myself. But I did think it was sweet of her to suggest it, because (I assumed) she didn't want me to feel bad about still being a student.

A few days later I was still thinking about the instructor thing and what an unacceptable idea that was when a thought crossed my mind... "She always feels better when I'm with an instructor, anyway... wait, maybe she doesn't want my Dad to be my first passenger?" I mean, mom is a brave woman in many ways, but when it comes to airplanes she's really not. She does not like flying in anything, a little single engine has got to be out of the question. She's proud of me for flying, but it's always made her nervous. She's said she does not want to fly with me, and it's got nothing to do with me personally, it's just airplanes. When it comes to dad, they've been happily married for many years and are in spectacular health, ready for decades of quality grandparenthood and togetherness... unless he goes off and does crazy things. Like fly in single engine airplanes with inexperienced pilots.

I don't think it's crazy but then again, I'm around airplanes too much, I've jumped into too many experimental planes already, I know of too many (like, thousands) of safe flights that happen every year. Plus locally in a given year there are normally only a half-dozen or so accidents, and they only result in the airplane being bruised, not the passengers. I'd be lying if I said I didn't know of ANY fatalities, I know of one or two, but not where I rent airplanes. But that's during the whole of my seven year career, where I've seen a slew of car and motorcycle accidents, cancer, heart attacks, etc take people too young. When I think of "danger" I do not think of single-engine airplanes. But that's me and I'm not in a normal world. So I figured I'd do a poll, just to find out how not-normal I am.

In case you're new to the story... I've been training for 80+ hours, have done some 200 landings, but I would be a brand-spanking new private pilot! So answer honestly, you will not be judged :)

Poll #1537602 someday...

Given the opportunity, would you be my very first passenger?

Sure! Yay! Free airplane ride!
49(76.6%)
Maybe your second passenger?
4(6.2%)
Maybe after some months of experience
5(7.8%)
Maybe after some years of experience
0(0.0%)
Get an instrument rating first.
1(1.6%)
Get a commercial rating first.
0(0.0%)
I have no intention of ever flying in a single engine airplane
4(6.2%)
I don't fly in airplanes, period
1(1.6%)


In all likelihood, Marc will be my first passenger. He deserves it anyway for being very supportive through all this license-getting, plus he's not afraid of anything and has no hesitation about flying with me. We'll have a lot of fun.

If I ever finish this freaking license.