Fast forward to Friday January 22nd. Mary said she was most likely a no go for Saturday so I sent an email to Vince. If Mary did feel better we had plenty of useful load for the three of us to attend, as noted above, she didn't make it. My email to Vince;
Vincent, If you’re available…… It’s your lucky day! My lovely Bride is not feeling very good and she is not going to attend the Reading Fly-In and Museum tour tomorrow. I am offering you the right seat for the trip to Reading for lunch and a walk through the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. Have your parents give me call so we can set up a meet time at the Wilmington airport. Gary
Vincent responded just before 8pm and was indeed going to make the flight. I went through my typical flight plan and decided to hold off on the morning pre-flight until my right seater was there. Mary, Vince's Mom pulled into the parking lot early and I walked over to introduce myself. I assured Mary that I would make sure her son called when we were on the ground at Reading and have him call again on start up and once returning to Wilmington.
We chatted as we walked to the plane and in just a few minutes his enthusiasm was contagious. I felt like it was my first week of flying. We completed the pre-flight together and we talked about responsibility to yourself and passengers. I told him no matter who he flies with verify fuel and ask questions, if it bothers someone that your asking, walk away. We climbed aboard 08Romeo and worked through the checklists. Once started and the avionics were switched on Vince chugged and plugged the Garmin 530 as if he's been flying with it for years. Nice job! I told him my Bride does not touch anything and usually sleeps within five minutes of wheels up.
Sorry folks, some of the table shots were deleted. I was asked not to post avi8tor4fn 's pictures without his permission, my apologies.
As we finished up lunch we made our way to the planes in waves. The tower had called the restaurant and inquired as to what time we were all leaving. The waitress came over and asked, "are you in charge?, The tower wants to know." Hey, at least I didn't get a number to call! We said our goodbyes and filter out to look at planes and snap a few more shots. We finally saddled up and got 08Romeo started for the flight home. I think were were third or fourth in line for departure off runway three one. Once cleared to take off I throttled up and had 08Romeo rolling for home. I had added one notch of flaps just to get up and clear as fast as possible, I've been experimenting with the use of one notch on all take offs.
Once trimmed for cruise I handed the controls over to Vince. At thirteen years old I must say he had a steady hand and held altitude plus or minus a hundred feet usually less, and on the money. I did all the radio work and spotted traffic while he enjoyed the flight time. Philly turned us loose when we had Wilmington in sight and we squawked VFR (1200) and contacted the tower with our position, intentions and current ATIS info. I did manage to snap a few shots of Vince in action while he was hard at it. We transferred control back to me and I set up for a nice landing on runway one niner. A tad fast on final and my roll out required a quick short u-turn and taxi back to taxiway kilo. We flipped over to ground control and taxied to Red Eagle, our fun day coming to an end.
Vince got a good laugh while I pushed 08Romeo into place, at least three times. He joked about adding that video and I said do not video this....we both laughed. I promised another flight and after I get night current again I'll take him up for that special view too. Vince's Mom was right on time and surprised me with a bottle of wine for Mary and I, very thoughtful and appreciated. As I told Vince's Mom he is very well mannered young man, a joy to have with me flying and he is welcome to fly with Mary and i anytime. If this is what General Aviation has to look forward to, we're in good hands.