It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Massachusetts… I think it was for Dillon and Liz’s wedding, wasn’t it? That’s sounding right… though I frankly can’t believe that was only six months ago. These last few months have felt like forever, and it was high time that I got back East. The rock was calling, family and friends beckoned, and I hadn’t seen my Grandma in far, far too long…
A while back, my friend Daniel got his pilot’s license.
Yeah, I know. It’s scary to me too. But… hey, you know? He does look good in aviators, so I guess it was just a matter of time before it caught up with him.
Somehow, we’d never had a chance to actually take a flight together – always something in the way, you know? I mean, sure, we’d debated flying the party out to New York for Dillon’s bachelor party, but… that’s crazy. Mostly because the planes that Daniel can rent can’t quite carry that many people.
But this weekend, on this trip… well, things finally aligned. We didn’t have strict timelines, there was a plane just waiting to be commandeered, and the skies were nicely clear. No major clouds, lots of pretty views…
And I got to see them from the co-pilots seat of an airplane.
When we set the time to fly, we discussed options… where to go, what to see, what we’d do. We were a bit constrained by the flight window (when the plane was available, really), but thankfully even that ended up working out quite nicely.
You might even say that planning just… flew along!
Yeah, I’m sorry.
We flew! We took off, then followed 495 down past the convention center that my Mom and Stepdad were at, and then I navigated the roads back to my hometown! We did a few turns around the house, and then… I got to fly!!!
Yep! After all my training on flight simulators, both terrestrial and space, I got to fly an actual airplane! And I didn’t even crash once! And my passengers didn’t even more than almost throw up!
It was weird, right? Like… I felt good while I was flying, and didn’t really notice any vertigo or nausea. Then Erin piped up and asked if Daniel could take the stick back, because she was starting to get a little nauseous… And I swear, as soon as my brain heard the word, my inner ear piped up with a roaring symphony of “HEY! You feel sick now! You get motion sick! Did you forget?”
Nothing bad happened, thankfully, since it’s unsurprisingly easy to watch the horizon when you’re in an airplane. Daniel took the helm back, and gracefully landed us back on terra firma. He walked me through what I’d done less-than-optimally, and Erin and I both felt better without much fuss or ado.
We landed, reviewed the flight path, and locked the plane down.
As we walked back to the terminal, I was reminded of a placard I’d read years back:
“Man’s second greatest achievement is powered flight.”
“Man’s greatest achievement is the safe landing after that powered flight.”
After my time at the stick, I heartily agreed with that thought… though I do think I’ll take to the sky again as soon as I can.