Sunday, December 16, 2012

Intro Flight

I received a message via Facebook from a childhood friend and neighbor who I had met in the strangest place after many years had passed. I had a contractor that was doing work at the control tower at Wilmington, KILG, and there, the last place I expected to know anyone was Jean.  Needless to say it was fun catching up.

Fast forward to this past week....
Jean had sent that Facebook message asking about an intro flight for her nephew, Danny.  Mary and I had flying plans for Friday and Saturday but we both agreed it would be best to "pay it forward" and take this young man flying on Saturday.  We swapped messages and phone numbers and Jeans sister called to schedule.  I wanted to do a Friday night wx check so we confirmed the Saturday meet up once the latest TAF reports were out.  The wx was looking great, calm winds and good visibility.  We were set for 8:30 am.

I gave Vince a call to ask if he would help me out and he agreed. Vince needed flight time and I wanted to have someone that spent time in CAP and could answer questions.  Well, answer questions and relate to a 13 year old, I'm an old fart you know so you never can tell how these things will go.
Jean was at Red Eagle waiting for us to arrive and Danny and Mom followed in shortly thereafter. We showed everyone the plane and since I forgot the deice fluid we all grabbed clean towels and removed frost.  The things we must do to fly in cold wx when one does not have a hangar to call home. 
North view up the Delaware River
Looking down the Delaware Bay
With the pre-flight complete we all climbed aboard and I managed to get through a passenger briefing as best I could, gezzz it's been forever since I needed to do that.  Vince and I tag teamed the effort while we each took controls.  Vince taxied out and I did the run up then Vince got us in the air. mind you Vince is just 16, yes, taking lessons, but a really good future pilot.  With some command for additional rudder to get us on center he had us in the air smoothly.  Danny was taking in the view and he did excellent on the take off. We headed south east towards New Jersey and then crossed the Delaware Bay so he could get a look at Dover AFB and the Dover Downs NASCAR track.
Vince doing that pilot stuff...
Overall I think Danny did very well. Despite some haze today he seemed to enjoy the flight and picking out landmarks along the way. He got the chance to learn some basics about pre-flight and always asking to verify fuel load.  We made our way back to Wilmington and Vince did a nice job getting us to short final where we transferred control and I, as Vince said, Kissed one in. It's like riding a bike!


Chris said...

I love taking kids for first flights! Good for you, Gary. You've given Danny an experience that he will remember forever.

Gary said...

It's always fun to see that perma-grin on a kids face when they fly for the first time. Mary says I have it everytime we climb aboard 08Romeo. :)

Chris said... Mary likes to see the perma-grin a a "kid's" face, too, then! :-)

Steve said...

Very cool. Taking new people - especially kids - flying is one of the best joys we have as pilots. I think we all know the perma-grin! :)