It all comes together
Every pilot, no... nearly every person has times when "It All Comes Together". You know; When everything turns out as good or even better than you hoped. Some times even serendipity plays a part.
It was a late Saturday afternoon and Sam was headed for the terminal building when he spotted Joe's truck out by his hanger. Sam's old "airport beater" just made the turn down the drive to Joe's hanger as if it were on autopilot.
Sam could hear Joe's singing interspersed with a bit of laughter coming from the hanger when he got out of the car.
"Hey! Why you so happy? Win the lottery, or did you finally find that air leak so I don't have to wear three layers of clothes every time we go flying in the Winter? Joe chuckled a bit, then cussed as he hit his head while crawling out from under his old (but nicely kept) airplane.
Welll... It's like this, Joe replied. I hadn't planned on flying today, what with all the people at the airport open house. Then I saw them lining the planes up to take kids for rides and I couldn't resist. So, I fired up and taxied over to the line-up in front of the terminal, shut down, and wandered in to volunteer.
NOTE: It's well known around the airport, if Joe has a weakness greater than his love for airplanes, it's taking kids for rides in airplanes.
So, when I got inside, Joe continued, I found they had two brothers and their older sister waiting for a ride. There were a couple of 172s flying, but most of the planes were 2 passenger home builts, or 150s. Being my old plane is a 4 seater I offered to give them the "tour" around town.
I took them through the whole pre-flight even though the people inside had given them a brochure that covered it all. I think the hands on approach gives them something tangible to remember.
I noted during the pre-flight the boys keep giving their sister a hard time. Those two never shut up. Welll... we got in the plane, fired up and started to taxi to the run up area at the end of 18. The two boys sat in back while their sister got the copilot's seat. The two of them kept on her so much I stopped the plane half way to the run up area and told them if they didn't shut up, they were going to walk back. Course, no way would I have set those two demons loose on the airport.
They quieted down a bit, but by the time I went through the run-up I think they had their sister convinced she was gonna hurl as soon as the take of roll started. I gave her a bit of extra attention to try and disperse any "brother induced anxiety". The really strange thing is, when that throttle went in, the back seat fell silent. Not a peep. I think they were afraid if they said anything more and the ride got to them, they'd never live it down.
We departed straight out to the South from 18, made a nice gentle left turn at the river and headed East. I explained what I was going to do ahead of time so there were no surprises and although I could tell she was still tense, I could also see she was starting to relax a bit.
After crossing town and the express way she was starting to talk. Even asking a few questions, so I asked here if she'd like to take the controls and I'd talk here through a couple a gentle turns. Although she refused, the offer seemed to make her happy, while it elicited a couple of screaming "NOs" from the back seat. (That was the only sound from the back seat during the entire flight).
I turned back toward the west so we'd be joining down wind for 18 shortly, when I asked her, "Well, what do you think now?". She looked at me and suddenly that face split into a grin from ear to ear. Her answer? "This is Fabulous!".
Their folks were there to greet us when we taxied up. The girl started telling her folks about the ride even before she was out of the seat, while two quiet and subdued brothers carefully got out. Her parents later remarked they'd never seen her so talkative.
Seeing the look on that kid's face when she told me "This is fabulous" and the two brothers getting out of the plane with the realization that they had been bested by their sister made it the perfect day.
If you have comments or suggestions, ( spelling corrections) email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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