Sunday, February 22, 2009

First Passengers!

After looking marginal this morning, the weather decided to cooperate with me this afternoon and I took my wife and 4 year old son to the airport for some flying. After checking and double checking the weight and balance, I did one last check of the weather: scattered clouds, 9 knots of wind, and 15°F. The TAF spoke of improving conditions, with the cloud deck clearing out and the wind dying down. So, I preflighted the bird, got the family all situated in the cabin (wife and child in back) and took off.

I'll have to admit, it doesn't happen very often, but everything with the flight went very well. Taxied to the active runway, did my runup (mags were fine), and launched into the cold air. A couple seconds after we lifted off I heard my little boy shout "woo-hoo!". That was a good sign!

We climbed up to 1500 agl and set a course for our house. On the way we flew over my in-law's house and snapped some pics, but it was hard because I didn't fly low and slow (for safety reasons). My wife tried to take a pic of our house but with a low wing going 100 knots and her in the back seat, the shot didn't turn out.

Next stop was a large nearby lake, Lake Waconia. It has a nice little ice fishing house town and a cool island. We circled for a bit then decided to head back to Flying Cloud. My wife took a couple pics of the airport, then the runway when I was on short final. Red over white, you're alright!

I squeaked the landing, I have to admit. My wife told me that if I hadn't bragged about the landing, she would have thought they were all like that. To be honest, it was the first non-short field landing I've done in a long time, so it seemed easy to do a regular landing.

On the ride home my wife admitted to feeling queasy (yes, we had sick sacks on board) but not nauseous, and it passed within an hour or so. I had the same feeling on my first few flights too. I tried to make all my maneuvers as gentle as possible, but we did get a little turbulence while we were up there.

All in all, it was a lot of fun but I can't wait for it to be warmer.


Steve said...

Awesome job, Keith - that's exactly how to introduce others to the wonderful world of GA. I'm with you on that warmer weather, btw.

Keith K. said...

Thanks. Aside from the cold, the flying conditions were almost ideal. Visibility was easily 40 miles. My wife also took some video but watching it made ME queasy.

And, prior to the flight, I was almost as nervous as I was before my checkride!

Bob said...

Whoo Hoo! Another milestone.

"After checking and double checking the weight and balance.." I chuckled at that one. Been there!

Something I do that may help your wife is that I announce that I'm going to turn and the direction. That might help a pinch.


Keith K. said...

Thanks Bob, I'll try that. She suggested we fly again on Wednesday (with her, my son, and neice). I think that's a good sign!

Gary said...

Sounds like you did great and the family had fun! It took my wife a few rides to get used to everything, now once we're wheels up she falls asleep before I even pick up flight following.

Her words...."it's just another mode of transportation"...hey whatever works.

We are all looking forward to spring and summer wx!

joewhoo said...

Hey Capt Keith. Next time you intend to take a first time whiteknuckle flyer with you, put two green colored apples - Granny Smith or Pippins - in front of the right seat pax on the glareshield/dash. It's not yet really known what calms down de pax, if it's the green color or de
smell or both. Good luck and have a good trip, burning AVgas.
A Fellow flyer. Joe.