Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mum's Turn

I have been promising my Mum that I would take her flying for nearly a year now, but a combination of bad weather, injuries, and I'm not really sure what else kept getting in the way. Finally, though, last Sunday was HER day. I had been out rather late with some friends the night before, so decided to push the flight to 3 p.m. to make sure I was fully recovered. As I was going to be transporting some pretty precious cargo, I also decided to get out to the air field beforehand and do a few TOLs (take offs and landings) in the Tiger before she arrived. I've been working to get checked out in my club's Piper Cherokee, so the Tiger didn't feel quite like an old glove. But it was still pretty close.

Although my Dad had been suffering from a bad cold, he decided that he was up for the flight too. I stuffed Dad behind me, while Mum claimed the front seat. If only I could have found tiny tiger, the flight team would have been complete. My flying partner's claims of having skinned him better not be true ...

We went out over Harper's ferry. The Potomac was pretty, with the slower moving waters frozen. Mum was one of my chattier first-time fliers (ha ha, no surprise there, eh, Kev?), but it was nice. Oftentimes, either the fascination of being in a small plane or my admonition to not talk until we are clear of controlled air space causes first timers to be virtually silent the entire flight. Only upon prompting, "ARE YOU HAVING FUN?" do they exclaim, "YES! YES!" But then the silence usually returns.

Although it had been 30+ years since my Mum had flown in a small plane with my Uncle, who was a RIO with the Canadian Air Force, I detected no anxiousness as we took off. Indeed, she reminded me much of myself on my first flight with Greg. When he prompted me on the taxiway, "Are you nervous?" I responded, "No... Should I be?!"

Although Mum professes that my enamoring of aerobatics does not come from her, some of my love of flying definitely does.

We turned South for a while after the split in the river, and followed the Potomac about half way to Front Royal. I should have gone all the way and landed so I could have logged the cross-country time, but I'm still hesitant to deviate in the air from my planned course unless I need to.

We arrived back at Gaithersburg just as the pilots in the pattern were switching from runways 1-4 to 3-2. Fortunately, the masses of birds roosting in the trees waited until I was closing down the Tiger to take flight.

With Mum and Dad checked off my flying list, the all seeing eye has now turned to my brother, sister-in-law and niece. But don't tell them. I'm just going to start the engine next time I have them all sitting in the plane.


At February 5, 2009 at 11:52 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Ah Ha! So that's the master plan :)

At February 10, 2009 at 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This trip was absolutely wonderful! But in typical Mum mode, I rattled on to Amy about it then did not write a blog comment....these older folk are slow learners:)
Thank you again, Amy, for a or incredible flight ....I truly understand why you can't wait for your "next time"! Love, Mum


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