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another one off the bucket list

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Yesterday I was able to put another core aviation goal behind me - I finally got to take my sister up for her first flight in a light plane! She's always been a bit more reserved when it comes to risk-taking, so this was a huge step for her. I am lucky I was able to get her to agree to go up with me...


Last year we gave her a Red Balloon gift card, that's the outfit that you can buy all kinds of adventure experiences through - she could have gone hang gliding, or hot air ballooning, or a day at the track in a V8... or even a spa day or that kinda thing... so I was really impressed when she rang up the folks in Camden and booked a joy flight in their Chipmunk warbird. She had a great time, but the aerobatics was all a bit much for her and she ended up sick and a little terrified of the whole thing. So I had my work cut out for me.


Anyway, I pulled a fast one and for her birthday this year I promised her an hour scenic flight with me as PIC. How could she refuse?? I just had to make sure I picked the right day and that I was extra on top of things, because I knew there'd probably only be this one chance to get it right and make it good for her.


We scheduled it for the Saturday the 7th, and after a week of really crappy wet weather, imagine my joy when I woke up at 545 am and the weather was just gorgeous and looked like it was going to be great all day! She came by and we drove down to YWOL, with the traditional greasy Macca's stop on the way to get my blood sugar appropriately satisfied.


Anyway, flying-wise it was pretty much the same as every other trip up and down the coast near YWOL - for me - but it is always special to me to experience it for the first time through someone else's eyes. Takeoff was perfect, tiny but lumpy as we came up to the level of the escarpments, but I warned her about that, and all the turns were nice and slow and gentle, a little bit bumpy here n there, but over all very nice and just couldn't have asked for a better, more picturesque day. I was told by a mate in the marine rescue that the whales are out in force now, but we didn't see any.


She did a good job with her task as "flight photographer" and "plane spotter" - kept her busy and engaged. She spotted the Stearman before I did even! :)


Landing was nice and smooth though a bit off centreline. Taxied back to parking, and by this time she is just so full of joy and pride, and I think she felt like she conquered her fears. She said now she will not hesitate to go back up, and her cage is "unrattled" haha. Another item off my bucket list!!


This is really good too because now i have another advocate in helping to reign in the Big Game, namely our mum, who is scared of the whole thing and would really prefer if we all remain on terra firma... hopefully one day!


Coupla piccies of the day...







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Good on ya.


I hear stories from boating and aviating people about how they were able to put the wind up their pax by their derring-do and skill at the helm and I have to resist the urge to kick them in the shins.


I took my sister in law out on the boat yesterday and she's like how you describe your sister. When we got back to the boat ramp, she said she was now keen to go out again for a more adventurous day. So another win there....



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Great stuff, mate! Your sister sounds a bit like my daughter - and I found a good, non-turbulent day to take her up for a flight she enjoyed. Like you say - it's great to see a flight through the eyes of somebody who has not flown in a small plane before....


Good luck with your mum!







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A fantastic story, I think you were both proud winners.


My son bought me a certificate for a TIF for my 50th birthday, in the hope that it might reduce my absolute terror of flying.


I nearly had a heart attack just after takeoff, when the engine started to sound like a steam driven chaff cutter. The instructor explained that I was hyperventilating into the headset microphone, and that I should pull it away from my mouth a bit. He was very patient and gentle with me, which probably contributed to me getting my PPL before a year was out, and discovering the absolute joy of flight. I hope to give all my passengers a taste of what it means to me. If they want more adventure, they can take it from there.


I am glad that you feel the same.





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Good on ya.I hear stories from boating and aviating people about how they were able to put the wind up their pax by their derring-do and skill at the helm and I have to resist the urge to kick them in the shins.

Indeed, totally the wrong way to go about getting people interested in the sport.


When I take people for a ride in a rally car I explain everything that's about to happen and why it happens that way and even let them pull the handbrake for me to feel connected to it all.



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