So, Rob and I went flying recently on a Friday night with a fellow dancer/friend who has a pilotâ€™s license. As the afternoon passed by, I got more and more nervous and excited about what was coming up that evening. You see, I donâ€™t necessarily have a fear of flying so much as a healthy respect for heights and aviation. Before a year ago, I had never been in anything smaller than a 25 person prop commuter plane and that wasnâ€™t bad at all. Last year Rob and I got to ride in a 1925 biplane that seated 4 passengers and that was excitedly â€œgrippingâ€ (referring to my white knuckles), but quite nice once I relaxed and remembered to breathe.
So I wasnâ€™t sure what riding in a 4 person Cessna plane would be like. As we watched our friend do the pre-flight check that the FAA requires of licensed pilots, I kept thinking that I just wasnâ€™t sure what I was getting myself into and should I go through with it. Itâ€™s not like I can just bail once we get up there and I donâ€™t like it ya know. But I decided a long time ago that I wouldnâ€™t let my fears stop me from enjoying life in different ways. And Iâ€™ve always had dreams of flying like a bird and how cool it would be. But even with my interest and bravado, I almost bailed like twice. But I persevered and got in, strapped in, and prepared myself for the experience.
Itâ€™s not like Iâ€™m afraid that weâ€™ll fall out of the sky mind you, itâ€™s more the feeling of fragility that comes with being in a small craft that is easily pushed around by winds. So itâ€™s like driving in a truly 3D environment where you have the added element of physics affecting your stability from all angles, instead of just gravity as in a car. So we go and take off into the wind which caused us to have lift quite easily and quicklyâ€¦ and away we went. The wind did bump us around during the hour that we were in the sky flying all over Orlando and even Disney. But itâ€™s not like we were hitting air pockets and falling 50ft or anything. Our friend Joshua did a GREAT job of keeping things smooth and easy going for me. He did do a few things that literally left my stomach in my throat. Like one maneuver called a parabola (the bell curve from statistics classâ€¦ anyoneâ€¦ anyone?) where he points the nose up and then brings it down like going over a hill. Yikes that really got my stomach up in my throat (notice the look on my face).
After we got to â€œbuzzâ€ the Disney attractions at 3,000 feet, we proceeded back to the executive airport where the landing was really neat and we even saw a HUGE bald eagle at the edge of a pond on the way back to the tarmac. I survived and even had fun. And Rob even had the foresight to snap a few pictures of all of us (and me) while flying…so enjoy those. 🙂