Flying High

31 Mar

Flying over Hartford, CT

Last Wednesday morning I was flying high with my daughter. We were on our way to Springfield, MA for the NCAA Division 2 basketball tournaments. We had planned on leaving Tuesday evening on a flight after her night class was finished. It would take us 3 flights to get to Springfield., MA The first leg was from Mpls. to Denver, the second leg was from Denver to Charlotte, and the third leg was from Charlotte to Hartford, CT. Once we arrived in Hartford we would take a taxi to Southern Auto Auction to pick up a Chevy Impala we would be driving home after the tournament.

On Tuesday evening as my husband was driving us to the airport to catch our flight I received a phone call from Delta Airlines to say that our flight was canceled to Denver due to a snowstorm. They said not to worry that we had been booked on a non-stop flight departing at 7:15 am Wednesday to Hartford, CT. We decided to stay the night at the airport instead of driving the two hours home and then back again in the morning. We checked in with Delta for our new flight and were told it was in first class. I’m fifty years old and have never flown first class until this point in time. Our new flight didn’t give us much time to get to the car auction and the 20 mile drive to MassMutual but we parked the car and just as we were purchasing our tickets for the game we heard the tip off for the game. SCSU won their game against MSU. It was a great game and time spent with my daughter, just the two of us. Thursday evening we watched the next game between SCSU and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. SCSU lost the game and so it was time for the long drive home to Minnesota, only 1500 miles.

Today I did a different kind of flying high. I had a couple of hours up in a Cessna 152 trying to prepare for my checkride. It has been almost two weeks since I’ve flown and it felt good to be up again. The winds aloft were strong and it was difficult to practice manuevers especially the ground reference manuevers. It had been awhile since I practiced crosswind landings and takeoffs so I spent some time on them and they went pretty well. I kept telling myself centerline, centerline, centerline…don’t get slow…the words from my CFI’s kept running through my head today. There is so much to remember to do it right. I’m looking forward to next week when I fly with my CFI and trying to finish up for my checkride.

Soon I hope to be flying higher still after passing my checkride.


Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Flight training


Tags: , ,

2 responses to “Flying High

  1. Linda Anderson

    April 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Here are some thoughts from my early flight training – you may have read this already, but I love looking back and remembering the thrill:

    When Stan, my flight instructor, looked at me one morning after the third landing of the day and asked, “Ready?” I didn’t hesitate – I was ready for my first solo flight!

    Lifting into the early morning sky, I had the greatest feeling of freedom! It was amazing how quickly I reached pattern altitude. Turning to left downwind, I announced and proceeded with the normal activities to set up for landing on our narrow runway. Left base was into the rising sun and what a glorious sight to see! I was elated – the wind was calm, the sky blue and the plane was doing what I wanted it to do – get us both to the ground unscathed!

    Other people may never read my words or care about the strides I’ve made. I may never leave a mark in history as Amelia Erhart or Anne Morrow Lindbergh, I only know I’m no longer content staying on the ground. I must push myself through certain pains that come with age, but more so through the questions in my own head! But to finally silence those voices and rise with confidence above the plateau of negatives is more liberating than I realized. When I listened to the doubters and allowed the challenges to discourage me, I might have been defeated were it not for the mentoring and training, along with the encouragement of my husband and other fellow aviators.

    The first time I arrived alone at the airport was empowering. I did the preflight, pulled the plane from her hangar and taxied to the run-up area, double checking all the procedures. I announced back taxi, then departed to the west practice area.

    Alone, I left the pattern and discovered a smile had taken over my entire face! None of those doubting voices could be heard over the drone of the Cessna. All those negative forces acting on my confidence only cause me to make constant adjustments to maintain the direction I’ve set for myself, my own personal flight path.

    • flyinggma

      April 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm

      Learning to fly has been one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done in my life. There are so many experiences I have in my mind from my flight training.

      I remember as you do the excitement of finally leaving the pattern and flying to the practice area. I still remember how I felt flying around without my CFI in the plane thinking ” I’m finally doing it-flying the plane.”

      Flying into Duluth International alone, talking to the air traffic controllers and watching the military planes taking off and landing are sights that will remain forever in my mind. That was back in November, and I still can’t believe a flew a airplane there and back all by myself.

      If I never finished up and got my certificate those are memories that are mine to be forever treasured.


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