Rich's Quest For Flight

My father was a pilot. He died doing what he loved to do. It has been a goal of my life to become a pilot. Now I have chance to do so. Follow me as I pursue my dream.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My First Victim

KRYV 041637Z AUTO 24009KT 10SM CLR M07/M14 A3005 RMK AO2

Jason was quite excited when I asked him if he wanted to go up with me. He was certainly more enthusiastic than the 15 year old Colin, who gave a somewhat more indifferent response. So Jason would be, as they refer to in aviation circles, my "first victim".

After my first go around with the C152 last week, I was ready to carry a passenger for the first time. The morning was cold, but Jason was raring to go and he sat in the cockpit giving things a good look over while I walked around the outside. The preflight complete, we had to troubleshoot the intercom connection, but then we were off. The route of flight was a quick trip over to Hartford (with a flyover of my office building), then west to Juneau and back south to Watertown.

There was no turbulence as we climbed to 3000', and Jason was enjoying the view, asking questions. He declined the controls when I offered them, however. But then, shortly before reaching Hartford, I noticed he was staring straight ahead into the instrument panel. He had fixated on the instruments, and now he was feeling nauseous. It didn't help that he could not see over the cowl straight ahead. I turned around and headed back to Watertown, and we made it back without incident. It was good practice for dealing with a sick passenger. I turned the heat off, got fresh air into the cabin, and I had him look outside at the ground and around for other traffic to help take his mind off of it. The plane was still clean as we headed back into the FBO office.

It took about 20 minutes to get all the paperwork taken care of, including some friendly chitchat with others in the lounge. Jason was still a bit pale as we headed to the car. And then, just as we started driving away, he leaned over and deposited his breakfast all over my car. He had a big bowl of cereal, too. Poor kid felt bad about it, too. And I felt bad for him. He was pretty stoic in the end, though. He said he'll try again in just a little while.


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