My First Passengers
October 17, 2000
As most of you may remember, I got my 'ticket' towards the end of last month. Well, on Sunday my wife and I, brother and sister-in-law coordinated schedules to have a flight day, together (my first passengers).
The Pilot (Me), my sister-in-law, my brother and MzWings
I had originally reserved a Cessna 172, but it went into 100hr service a couple of days before the family flight. Thankfully, I found out about it a day or so, before, so I was able to ask my passengers if they would mind changing our original plans to fly up to Petaluma for lunch. I explained that I could fly everyone, one-at-a-time, for a 25 to 30 minute flight, each. My brother and sister-in-law said it would be just fine. It was their first flight up in a small plane, so they were just in for the experience and the lunch we originally planned was nice but not necessary to enjoy the experience.
Before the day of the flight, I let them borrow a laminated information sheet which I had bought. It was called something like, "Tips for the Right Seat". It gives information to a total novice, what sort of things they can expect to experience and see during their first small plane flight. I actually had bought it a few days before my checkride, in hopeful
anticipation of getting my ticket.
The day of the flight I showed them how we got weather info from my FBO's terminal. I walked them through the preflight, which I think helps assure any passenger that before any pilot goes up, many things have been checked already to confirm the airworthiness of the plane. I explained that once the plane was in the run-up area, they would see me go through yet another check (via checklist) before taxiing up to the hold-short line for take-off.
I asked who would like to go first and my brother volunteered (I should mention that he was most nervous about the trip, between him and my sister-in-law). He climbed in.
I made sure he knew how to operate the seat belt and door latches.
We were cleared for takeoff from Reid Hillview Airport and off we went. I made special efforts to make climbs to altitude and turns relatively shallow and gradual. I flew southward, looked over and saw my brother just silently looking out the window (I secretly hoped he was just overwhelmed by the beauty). I checked with him to ask how he was doing and he said he was fine. He later told my wife while he was on the ground, sitting with my wife while I took his wife up for her turn in the air, that the first fifteen minutes he was thinking about the door coming open. I thought I that my door check which consisted of two good thumps on the inside front and back of the door, would help assure him (while we were on the ground) that the door was not coming open. I think he enjoyed the flight, because my wife told me that he had asked her (after his turn in the air) how much it cost to learn to fly, etc. (so I assume I left a good impression).
My sister-in-law was excited by the whole experience and I was impressed that she was handling her first flight up in a small plane as if it was a pleasant Sunday drive on a sunny day.
It was getting late and my wife thought it best if I took her up around the pattern since she had been up in a small plane before and she didn't want to keep my brother and his wife, waiting. So I took her up for our first flight together with me as PIC (Pilot-In-Command) and she was positively beaming when we landed.
I had decided in-advance, to get a book which would serve as my 'passenger diary'. Just wanted to have a little book to be signed by persons who were my passengers. My brother,,, being my brother <grin> wrote (tongue-in-cheek) a note thanking me for allowing him to walk away on two healthy legs, after the flight.
Pictured: My brother (obviously glad to be on the ground again <grin>), his wife and Pilot Guy.
It was a wonderful experience being able to share flying with someone - other than just trying to relate the experience as a story.
I bought a round-trip ticket for my dad to fly down on the second weekend in November when I will take him for HIS first small plane flight. We will be flying from Reid Hillview Airport to Ukiah airport for lunch, with some side trips along the way.
Below graphic designed by: Jeff Bucchino,
"The Wizard of Draws" (copyright owner) http://www.wizardofdraws.com
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