Monday, April 20, 2009

Luray for the Day with Tamlyn

Saturday was a great day. Tamlyn had arrived from Montreal the night before, and Saturday dawned as clear and beautiful as forecast. We headed out to the airport cafe and met Kevin, Tracy, Evie, Rich and Eddie for breakfast. Kevin soon informed me that Evie, in response to the question, "Do you want to go flying in Aunty Amy's plane?" had responded, "Yep," without any hesitation. She's still a bit young, but I can't wait to have a little co-pilot one of these days!

After breakfast, Tamlyn and I made our way over to Rich's hangar to await Greg's return from his x-country lesson in the Tiger. We helped Rich install a light in the Baron (if you hang around an airport long enough, somebody puts you to work!), got chased around by Eddie, and were just starting to sweep the hangar when we were saved by the bell. Er, Tiger.

By far my most small plane experienced friend (Tamlyn's "other job" is as a sky nurse), she was relaxed and comfortable, and proved herself to be as addicted to photography as I am. She also proscribed to the theory that "tilted is artsy" and brought an adorable Canadian addition to keep Tiny Tiger company during the flight. No wonder people used to ask us if we were twins.

After we got out from under the restricted airspace around D.C., I let Tamlyn try her hand at the yoke. She was a natural! Not only was she able to hold straight and level flight, but she soon got the hang of the GPS unit and gentle banks, and flew us along for nearly fifteen minutes. I sat back and took photos of her flying, while she followed the Shenandoah River South to the Luray Caverns.

When we arrived, we were greeted by the ever-friendly, incredibly helpful airport staff at W45. Karyn picked us up from the plane, took our photo, dropped us off at the caverns, and then gave us her business card to call for a pick-up when we were ready to depart.

I was happy to learn that guided tours were no longer mandatory at the caverns, having been replaced by self-guided audio tours. Tamlyn took an audio thingy, but soon turned it off as we made our way through the caverns and began giving our own names to the more prominent stalactites and stalagmites.

Never ones to shy from the camera, or to want for funny photo ideas, the caverns provided us with plenty of fodder...

Of course, most of them aren't suitable for public distribution. But some things never change, eh?

After the caverns, we decided to skip the antique car museum and gift shop to get back to D.C. in time for some night time activities. We didn't skip the ice cream, of course, but a girl's got to have priorities.

With only some moderate turbulence to remind us that we were actually flying, it was a beautiful run up the mountain valley and home.

As we came in over Harper's ferry, we had to circle a few times before Potomac Approach got back to us with our squawk, and then a few more times before we were notified that our transponder had been observed and were given clearance to proceed into restricted airspace.

You call that a standard rate turn, McMaster?! Yikes. Good thing neither of us is prone to motion sickness... um, Tamlyn?

Light winds at Gaithersburg made for an easy landing. It's always nice to have good conditions the first time you fly a friend. It's so much easier to make it look like you know what you're doing!

As I was tying down the Tiger, Tamlyn asked me if it was "alright" if I took some extra photos of her in the plane.

I couldn't have been happier to oblige. After all, what are (aviation obsessed) best friends for?!


At April 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM , Anonymous Dino said...

Looks like you two had a nice time together, I'm officially jealous. Great narrative and pics!

At April 21, 2009 at 1:24 PM , Anonymous Anne McMaster said...

What a perfect day! BFFs sure make an awesome flying team! I love seeing those happy faces! Tiny Tiger and Moose look good too :)

At April 22, 2009 at 4:13 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I think you're going to have to get a bigger plane with your multiplying animals to keep tiny tiger company :)

I'm going to have to drop Evie off with you to go flying soon and i'll go hammock ;)

At April 27, 2009 at 6:47 PM , Anonymous Tamlyn said...

I had an amazing time Amy...thanks again. You are a great Pilot. Keep up the good work :)

At April 27, 2009 at 6:50 PM , Anonymous Tamlyn said...

Oh ya...I still think it would have been cool to see an F18 up and close....FYI!! LOL ;)

At April 29, 2009 at 1:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what an awesome saturday! just flying to the caverns and back, thats all. quite a life you pilots live!

At April 29, 2009 at 1:01 PM , Anonymous sobia said...

oops, i was that last anonymous!


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