Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Up and Away

On the weekend my husband finally got around to using the gift certificate that I gave him for Christmas LAST year!  He'd mentioned in passing (a few times!) that he'd love to have a go at flying.  So tucking that away in my memory drawer of possible presents I went out and discovered that there is an airfield not too far from us that has a flying school.  With beginner lessons at a slightly out of reach price at around $600 I also discovered they had a 'have a taste of flying' lessons, for an hour for $220.  Perfect!

It did take right up until the certificate was about to expire (after 12 months) before I managed to get my husband to agree to take a weekend off to do it (!) but I think in the end it was well worth the wait.

The plane that he went up in, and yes got to fly for a while, was indeed as small as it looks in the photo above.  Yes.  Really.  He did stand taller than the height of the wing.  Do not adjust your sets.  This is not an illusion.  The cockpit of the plane looked barely big enough to squeeze one person in, let alone two, so on my behalf it was probably a bit of a relief that the instructor was an older lady and not some super hot Scarlett Johansson look-a-like (a particular favourite of my husband!).
First he was given about 20 minutes instruction where the pilot talked about various parts of the plane and gabbed on about things like wind and no doubt things like lift and drag and whatever else the terms are that are used in flying.  My husband is a bit of a whiz at maths and anything mechanical so he would have certainly been in his element and really understood it all.  I, however, would have been lost at the first sentence and would probably be standing there repeating to myself that it is only rubber bands and magic that are holding this thing in the sky.
This was after they had managed to fold themselves up and stuff themselves in.  I'm thinking a can opener might have been involved and maybe a crowbar was on hand somewhere to get them out later on.  My husband is 6 foot one and the pilot was quite tall too, so for the purposes of this photo I'm thinking they actually removed their legs and are in fact just a pair of torsos.  Is it just me or does it not look like there is enough space below the window to accommodate the bottom half of their bodies??  Random.
As you can probably imagine my stress levels were at about 11 right now.

With my heart in my mouth, my stomach in my shoes and me crossing every digit that I possess, hoping that I haven't just gifted him a 'Certificate to Go Up in A Blaze of Glory', he was up, up, up....
..a bit further up for my liking....
...and then away!
So wondering whether I'd see my husband in one piece again, I took the kids to the nearby play equipment and they joyfully cascaded up and down the curly wurly slide while I watched the skies and waited. 
In the meantime I had this to amuse me.  Right next door to the flying school is a sky diving joint.  You know, where people pay good money to randomly thrown themselves out of a perfectly good plane.  I watched a speck of a plane trundle by and then suddenly.....a whole pile of block dots appeared in a clump.  Then as quickly as they had been clumped together they separated and seconds later there were colourful balloons of parachutes bursting out all over the sky.
It really was quite a sight.  Even if I thought they were all lunatics.
Then, of course, I started wondering about whether my husband had access to a parachute, but then judging by the size of that plane it was highly unlikely, and if so, there would probably only be room for one at the most.  Then I started to go through all these scenarios in my head, like the teeny tiny plane that he was putt-putting about in was screaming out of control hurling towards the ground and a good humoured and well mannered argument was going on between my husband and the pilot as to who should take the parachute.  He'd be all like "ladies first" and being all gentlemanly and taking the idea of going up in a ball of flames like a man, and then she'd be all like a captain of a ship saying "oh heavens no, I have to go down with the plane"...etc...etc.....  But, then I figured that he'd be more likely to get run over in some freak runaway tractor accident than go down in an airplane, so for goodness sake Amber stop worrying.  So instead I turned my attention back to these lunatics...
It does sort of look like fun.  And I'd probably give it a go.  If I could get over the terror of tossing myself out the open doorway of a plane.  While it was in the air.  And a very very long way up.
Actually, what I found really odd about the whole thing is that when you see sky diving on the television it seems to take an age.  You know, they're up there free falling for ages and then they open their chute and gently drift down.  They plummet for about two seconds before popping their chutes, then it takes about twenty seconds maximum and they came THUNDERING down before hitting the earth with a shuddering knee shattering crash.  Surely my back couldn't handle the jarring on landing.  See how easily I've talked myself out of it?!
Tiny planes or parachutes, I think I personally prefer to be on solid ground.  My husband did land safely, just in case you were a little worried, and he did have a great time.  He said that he was probably having to concentrate too hard to actually think about having said 'great time' because there was just so much going on, what with having to steer with your hands AND your feet and watch all the different instruments and think about all the things that were going on, but he is quite keen I think to give it another go sometime!

In the meantime, I do win the award for giving AWESOME presents!!



  1. Wow I bet the kids LOVED seeing Lindsay up in a plane. I mean, I too would have been super nervous. I get like that. Big planes are fine for me, because I have this ability to knock myself out when I'm on a plane. I figure if it's going to crash, I want to be asleep. lol. Looks like he had a wonderful time and I bet the kids thought it was cool to see all those sky divers. Yes, they are mad. Never would I ever. <3

    1. No, I have no intention of ever jumping out of a plane. The kids were pretty excited but soon lost interest as it took a while of pep talk from the pilot before they went up. They were actually more excited about the play equipment!!

  2. Replies
    1. If it was me I would have had second thoughts seeing the size of the plane.

  3. Sure sounds like a lot of fun for Lindsay, maybe not for you with your thoughts on solid ground! Ha! You sound like me worrying. I actually just wrote to Kiki in an email saying this; when someone else is in danger I'm a huge worry wart. When I'm in that same danger I'm not worried. Weird!!?

    I think I prefer the ground, too! ;)
    MUCH LOVE!!!!

    1. I must admit, I was so relieved when he got down again safely! I was actually more nervous about it on the drive there. Once he was up I was ok, but certainly was I searching the skies for him!