Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Taking A Sentimental Journey

Those of you who know me know that I am passionate about flying.... airplanes... airports....anything that has to do with the ethereal thrill of flying 36,000 ft. through cummulonimbus thunderheads or looking down at the patchwork quilt of America's heartland. I am plain stooooo-pid about flying and my poor friends have to indulge me now and then when I go ga-ga over something that has sparked my passion in full blaze!

I have posted about my amazing son who is the 'payload specialist' for a World War II B-17 bomber stationed here in town. There was an airshow at another local airport over the weekend and when this beauty of an aircraft was heading down for the 20 minute flight, my son texted me and my class and I were able to go outside and see him fly over!! It literally takes your breath away as this silver craft lumbers low over rooftops - 4 props pulling it smoothly through the sky.

This weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to fly on this bird back to home base after the airshow. I have never flown in anything close to this, and the anticipation, as always, was like Christmas Eve when I was 4 years old - I could hardly wait! I arrived at the airport as the crowd was making their last rounds through the airplanes on display and the show was starting to wrap up. I milled around taking pictures and walking around this aircraft, touching its wing, fuselage...with a distinct sense of disbelief that in a couple of hours I would be airborne in her.

Even better to the day were my friends, J and M, showing up to watch me take off! J is an aviation nut, like me. They brought their camera for a few shots of this beauty taking off with me in it! As luck would have it though, there was one seat left on the return flight.... one seat left. Hmmm.... a bright idea put to my son soon had J with a 'window' seat on our flight! His wife, M, is just a gem and SUCH a good sport! She was happy to drive my car to the other airport and pick us up! How sweet is that? She goes to an airport with her hubby for a photo op and ends up waving bye to him as he flies off !! And then she has to drive up to go get us!! What a trooper she is!!!

A briefing of in-flight procedures and a buckling up, and we were soon on our way! After getting clearance for take-off, we soon rumbled down the runway and were airborne!!!

The flight was AWESOME!!!!!!! We cruised at about 1,500 ft. over town up north back to home base. Once at that level, we were able to unbuckle our seat belt and 'move about the cabin'...HA! We were instructed as to where we could, and could NOT, hold onto! Grabbing a bare cable could be hazardous to our health as that cable CONTROLLED THE PLANE!! Here's son and I airborne and lovin' the experience!!!

And son and J - two aviation nuts enjoying the ride and the view!!!

The flight only lasted about 25 minutes - including the FLY-BY we did of the departing airport control tower (a la 'Top Gun' !! Woooohoooo, baby!!!!!!!!!!!)
Once we were on terra firma, we had a job to do! Wipe the oil off of the underbelly of this craft, baby! Rag in hand, we proceeded to wipe her down! Another thrill! We learned so much information about this airplane and the how's and why's of it all!

It's taken me two days to come down from this high....and to be honest, I'm not sure that I have all the way yet!! This was a once-in-a-lifetime thrill and I'm so grateful to have had the chance to do this! Thanks, son.... you are the BEST! It was a thrill to soar with you!!!


rachel said...

It looks like you had so much fun.:oD

Meags said...

How special! I'm still smiling after seeing all of the pics with everyones full of pleasure smiles. I did a little dance in my chair feeling your excitement. I even go to give you a hug that special day. Of course it was in the grocery store but none the less some of your magical day was transferred. Thanks for sharing.

Sherri said...

Wow. Very Cool!