June 20, 2007

Me... A Mentor?!?

Ok, so maybe that title is a bit much...! Last Christmas, at a typical family gathering, I made mention of me flying. My younger cousin (15 Year Old Katelyn) showed a lot of interest. I promised her I would take her flying soon. She only lives about 30 mins from me and there happens to be a small airport right near her house (77G).

Of course time got the best of me and it's now 6 months later. I was attending another family barbecue this past Sunday and again I mentioned I was going to taker her flying one of these days. She gave me the typical teenage "Yeah right". Growing up I always hated when adults promised things and never made good on their word. So, the first thing I did when I got home that night was schedule a flight for this Wednesday (Today). Yesterday I gave her a surprise phone call and asked if she wanted to go flying the next day. She excitedly accepted and I told her I would pick her up around 3:00pm.

It was a very nice day, unlimited ceilings and 10 miles visibility. But, the wind was blowing and gusty (280@14knots), so I was concerned about the ride. I departed right on time and had a good tail wind. Marlette airport is only about 17 miles as the plane flies, so it only took about 10 minutes.

After I parked the airplane, I was pleasantly surprised to see a new pilot lounge (pictured above). It's not staffed, but has everything a pilot would need (bathrooms, computer, phone, vending and a self service pump). Trust me, this kind of facility is NOT the norm.

Katelyn was there and ready, so without much hesitation we were off. She has already gone through all the ground school for her Private Pilot Certificate, but no serious flight time. We did some basic sight seeing and then I had her take control for a few turns. She didn't have many question and I tried not to overload with a bunch of details. I know seeing those too big computer displays can be a sensory overload!

I could sense the bumps from the wind and late afternoon thermals may have been getting too her, so we headed back for landing. I just wanted her to enjoy the flight and get excited to follow through with the rest of her training. I didn't want her to get sick and never want to fly again.

In my last post I mentioned the recent purchase of an HD video camera. I brought that along today as well. Don't get your hopes up, I barely shot anything. I only had the plane for an hour, so most the time was spent flying. Plus, the flight was so bumpy that the footage I got was garbage.

BUT, I still wanted to post it... I loathe the quality of the other movies! This is definitely step in the right direction.

Until next time!

FYI...You will need Quicktime and you will want to let this buffer for awhile... its large! (~100mb)

***ATTENTION*** I just discovered that Internet Explorer clips the video in half!!! (at least version 6.x)... if you are having this issue, go download a REAL browser! FireFox

If you're curious, I host on blip.tv... Benefits? Unlimited file size, no re-compression, FREE! Very nice service all and all. My older videos were hosted with Google, but the re-compression was just awful.

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