Saturday, June 02, 2018

Ready Passenger One

While the FAA declared me capable of legally carrying passengers, the SAA, the Spousal Aviation Administration had not granted authorization.

The SAA originally decreed that a minimum of 100 solo hours would be required before carrying either of the kids. This was negotiated to a more reasonable 40 hours when I pointed out that my fellow pilot and friend Peter, who got his license just before me was permitted by his branch of the SAA to take his kid up at 40 solo hours, and that 100 hours was a bit excessive. So 40 solo hours it was.

As I had promised Leah she would be my first passenger, this has put a limit on my flying with passengers for a bit.

Last week I hit hour 40 as pilot in command.

This morning, keeping my promise, Leah and I headed out to Pontiac Airport.

Originally scheduled for 0800, the initial forecast of a 1,200 foot ceiling put a damper on that. We then went there at 10 am and the ceiling had risen somewhat to 2,000. Still rather lower than I wanted for her first flight but good enough. Winds were about 9 knots from 030-040 so we would use Runway 9L.

I showed Leah how I pre-flighted and explained briefly what each part of the plane did and why I was checking it.

Then we got in the plane and I strapped her in and gave my first official passenger briefing to a non-pilot.

That done, I had a good start, a nice long taxi to Runway 9L's run-up area and a good smooth run-up with no issues.

Cleared to take off and then head south, we rolled down the runway with a smooth takeoff.

Even as the clouds were low, the air was super smooth, winds were light, and it was a great day for lower level flying and sightseeing.

Leah was in charge of the aerial photography today.

Pontiac Airport

Since we were low I could point out all sorts of landmarks.

Orchard Lake St. Marys

West Bloomfield High School

Lone Pine Elementary School

The Kroger Plaza with their favorite Sushi restaurant:

She also got some flying selfies:

And the important pilot and co-pilot sefie:

Since the layer was not breaking up we decided to head on back to Pontiac.

I was told to setup for a right downwind entry to Runway 9R.

Leah got a nice pic of my coming up on the two mile point for entering the downwind:

Then a nice picture as we were touching down:

She pronounced the landing smooth as silk.

It was indeed one of my best landings ever - flying to rolling down the runway with nary a bump. After all, I had precious cargo aboard.

Tower had me taxi back just monitoring ground and I pulled in, parked the plane and got it all secured.

Then some obligatory poses with the aircraft:

She declared that she had a great flight, that it was so much fun, and wants to go again.

.7 hours, 1 landing, and one of the happiest flights I've ever done.

This is the reason why I wanted to fly, taking the kids up and having them experience the joy of flight, yep I'd say that was mission accomplished.


juvat said...

Good for you! She does look like she had fun, but then again, the shot of you indicated the same.

drjim said...

Well done, sir!

Had my Student License and around 35 hours solo when I quit flying.

B said...

Congrats on your first passenger.

AM jealous. I go for my mock checkride Wed, then hopefully to the pilot examiner after that.

Flugelman said...

Great flight and great pics. Love the aviator sunglasses. I wish I still had my medical so I could take my granddaughters up like I did their Mom and Uncle.

Aaron said...

juvat: Thanks! he had a blast and enjoyed it the entire time she was up. For me, it was the nest feeling in the world.

drjim: Thanks!

B: You'll get there! It sounds like you're very close to making it happen now. Good luck, and go forth and fly it like you own it.

Flugelman: Thanks. She needed my spare pair of the aviators to have the right look for the part.

Comrade Misfit said...

Congrats! A lot of the fun of flying is sharing with other people.

Murphy's Law said...

Nicely done indeed! And knowing Leah, she'll want to start taking lessons too.