As I dragged my suitcase down the jetway, thankful for early boarding on what promised to be a completely full flight, a pilot asked to squeeze by.
“I promise not to take your seat,” he said.
I laughed, replying, “I can’t promise the same.”
As what I’d said registered, he laughed, too.
When I confessed my pilot-in-training status, he invited me to sit in the cockpit and have my picture taken!
|Yours truly and Southwest Airlines captain and fellow
AvGeek, Ron. Ron showed me pictures of him flying his
80-something mother in his RV-6. Too cool!
And so, after claiming a window seat, I fought the stream of boarding passengers to sneak up front.
After bashing my head on some piece of equipment, I nestled into the captain’s chair. The captain, Ron, pushed me right and forward, orienting me to the controls and having me “shoot the guns” like they do with visiting first graders.
Yeah, I couldn’t contain my excitement as we chatted and the pilots asked about my flight training. I shared about exploits in the Cessna 182, landing at Oshkosh, and how I’ve flown a bit in the Boeing Stearman biplane and Culver Cadet. Meanwhile, the pilots told me about their routes, 15-hour days, and how they got into aviation via military service.
My favorite part was figuring out that the captain started his flying career at Mather Air Force Base, and how he flew light aircraft out of Sacramento Executive Airport, just like me!
As I sit, writing at 37,000 feet, I can’t help but marvel at finding some “avgeek” community on Southwest Airlines. I’m so grateful for these little moments of connection. Now let’s hope that my next 10 hours traveling West are as much fun!
Other “Fly Girl in Training” posts:
National Blog Posting Month:
Day 1- National Blog Posting Month on BlogHer: I’m in
Day 2- Project Green Thumbs Season 5, winter edition!
Day 3- Things I’d rather do instead of “killing my darlings”
Day 4- A grateful heart: A man who understands writing deadlines
Day 5- Velveting: The secret to restaurant quality Chinese chicken
Day 6- Note: “Tea bagger” is NOT the same as “tea party”
Day 7- A moment in travel
Day 8- Fall in the desert
Day 9- The world’s best salted caramel brownies
Day 10- It’s not everyday someone throws a fish at you: Berryessa Gap Paella Cook-off
Day 11- Thank you, veterans
Day 12- Flying history: Buzzing around in the Boeing Stearman biplane