Like Larry the Flying Guy on Facebook!

Friday, March 8, 2013

This six-year-old girl says all there is to say about flying

Low and slow in a Champ, grins and giggles... this is what flying is all about:

Bonus: here's a five-year-old girl actually flying a Cirrus:

She looks pretty happy about it, too! Flying has that effect on everyone. Not just elementary school girls, not just on old white guys, not just on [insert demographic here]. It touches EVERYONE with an inexpressible feeling of freedom. I could spend another thousand words going into what this feeling truly is, but a thousand books have already been penned on it and they still don't get to the core of it. It is one of those events that you can only understand by experiencing it.

So go take someone up flying and let them experience it for themselves. We can't all create our own Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and better the lives of thousands at once, but we can be thousands of people changing the lives of a handful, which ends up just as good in the end.

This goes for you, too. Go take yourself up flying. Even if you're not a pilot and have never been in a small plane before, you can still take yourself up flying! You almost definitely have an airport within half an hour of you that has a flight school. Just walk in and ask for a Discovery Flight. Most of them have a special (usually along the lines of $99 for a half hour in the air), and at most places you don't even need an appointment. Just walk in the door and say, "Hey, I want to go flying." You don't have to sign up for lessons or even pretend to be interested in lessons: just walk in and away you'll go. But don't be surprised if you end up interested in lessons afterward!

If you're sincerely not interested in learning to fly yourself or have some major medical issue that would preclude you from getting a license but you know someone who might be interested, you can still take them up flying! Most places have gift certificates that are good for either a certain amount of money or a discovery flight. All you have to do is call them and they'll walk you through the simple process of getting a gift certificate. A discovery flight is quite likely one of the most unforgettable gifts you'll ever give, and it doesn't get outgrown like clothes or worn out like shoes. Once that flight is taken, it stays with that person forever. I've talked to people who have been flying for 50 years and they still remember their first flight and who made it possible for them. Depending on the plane, it's quite likely possible that you can even sit along in the back seat if you'd like.

Discovery flights are always my favorite flight to give. Sure, a lot of instructors don't like them because we get paid very little for them (by the time you add in all the unpaid ground time and only .5 hours of paid flight time, it tends to end up being less than minimum wage). I, however, enjoy Discovery Flights because in that short amount of time in the air, I get to teach a lesson that's not on any syllabus anywhere: that the sheer joy of flying makes life worth living. If I can teach them that most important lesson on that "noninstructional" flight, teaching them all the things they need to know to pass a checkride is a piece of cake for both of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment