Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Taking Mom flying....

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    952

    Taking Mom flying....

    With my nephew's High School graduation so came my mother for a visit...which is a fine thing, since her living in the Pacific NW with my oldest sister means we only see each other every five years or so. Opinions on whether or not this is also a fine thing are mixed, depending on who's doing the opining.

    At 73, she's still a woman of great energy and a bucketful of experiences. Immigrant, world traveller, single working mom...feast and famine seem to be shaped by her personality rather than the other way around. Her willingness to try new things to see if she likes them is always balanced by her certainty of the things she does not like.

    As I've written before, my family is the definition of Meh when it comes to flying. My son is totally uninterested and my wife has been a grudging passenger just twice; it was no great sacrifice to decide to build a single seat aircraft!

    Anyhow, I gave mom strict instructions the night before our scheduled flight - wear something comfortable and cool, be ready to go when I picked her up at the hotel* and DON'T EAT BREAKFAST. Weather was predicting a toss-up on Champ friendly conditions - windy in the afternoon with a chance of isolated thunderstorms later (summer Alabama standard forecast)....it could be silk early in the morning or could be what I call "variable hell" of 5-7 kts from all directions at once with strong thermals as the sun came up.

    Naturally, I show up as she's sitting down to breakfast. Sigh. Eat the toast, pass on the bacon, please. "I don't get sick on airplanes, and I've been on bush planes in Alaska and in Africa." Yeah, right.

    All sorted and off we go. Introduce the Champ, which in truth is a bit worn looking, smile as she pretty much leaps into the back seat, do the pre-flight, passenger briefing, and off we go.

    A little burble but all's well as we make our way up the Coosa River at 500 ft AGL and a stately 60 MPH. Keeping it over one color of ground helped mitigate bumps and we thrilled at sun on the waves, cranes on the mud, and cows munching grass. Fifteen minutes out, fifteen minutes back, and we're all smiles as I enter the pattern (sounding very professional pilot-y on the radio to the UNICOM and nobody else).

    Line up for final, make the call, and the usual Hello Bump of air. Unusually, my turn to final had put me dead center to the runway and I eased it down towards the numbers. Eyes to the end of the runway.

    Don't muff it, don't muff it, don't muff it...flare and a single bump and settle into a three pointer (darn it, I wanted a greaser). Turn off, shut down, post-flight checks and pay the rental fee.

    "Not bad, son, you're a very smooth pilot. Thank you for taking me up."

    Praise don't come any higher. Some flights are definitely better than others.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  2. #2
    danielfindling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    S.E. Michigan
    Posts
    115
    Thanks for sharing the story. It was fun to read, family drama and all.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Frederick, MD
    Posts
    142
    Neat story, Frank

    Good thing your Mum had more faith in your ability to fly than you had in her ability not to be sick

    Another time, if you are having concerns about the possibility of your passenger becoming ill, have them take some Dramamine when they go to bed the night before. That way they sleep off the drowsiness & the anti-sickness med still works the next day.

    I'm pretty rubbish when it comes to travel sickness & an old sailor taught me that many, many years ago. Using this method has got me through 3 Atlantic crossings by yacht, along with numerous sim slots & aerobatic flights.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    952
    What works for the wife is the intuitively suspicious cure of about a tablespoon's worth of ginger about an hour before flight. I thought it was an old wive's tale, but it always worked for us as kids and later saw that Mythbusters featured it ("plauseable" I think was their verdict).

    Then there was the hour of "mild to moderate" turbulence I flew in that had me very glad to full stop.

    Oh, and I'm leery of passengers getting sick since the Champ is tandem and they sit right behind me.

    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #5
    Joe Delene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    249
    Sounds great. I took my retired neighbor lady up a few months age, she's about 70 or so. I waited until conditions were ideal, light winds, no thermals. It was last Fall sometime. She had a great time, no issues. It was her 1st time in a light airplane.

  6. #6
    Two things:

    1) During my flight instruction, I had to have the instructor fly home because I was feeling queezy. When I asked if this meant that I wouldn't become a pilot, he laughed and said, "Never fly on an empty stomach again."

    2) When taking an 80 year old in-law for a flight, I was going to run up to 8 or 9,000 feet to show her the view. Fortunately, her husband checked with her doctor first, who said flying was fine as long as we didn't go above 5,000 ft. Her heart shouldn't be subjected to anything higher. That could have been a real bummer of a flight! But, it turned out great!
    Last edited by Bill Barker; 06-06-2013 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Changed spacing to make it more readable
    Your ignorance on a topic doesn't make me wrong. My ignorance may, however.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sidney, OH
    Posts
    444
    Frank,

    You have a talent in writing! Your descriptions put me in the Champ and I can picture that "low and slow" flight over the countryside. Thanks for sharing!

    Joe

  8. #8
    My mom is terrified of flying. But back when I got my license, she swallowed her fear and crawled into the back seat of the Citabria I'd learned in. We were at the little grass duster strip where the plane was based.

    "Don't go away from the airport," is the only instruction I got. So I took off and did two lazy left-hand circles over the field. I remember looking back and seeing her pressed against the side window, palms on the plexiglass like a Titanic passenger watching bubbles rise. Staring at my dad, standing, way, WAY down on the airport.

    Around, gentle landing, and that was it: Her first and last GA flight.

    Ron Wanttaja

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    34
    My mom flew with me once. She was very nervous about flying in anything after 9/11 so she said she would go for a short flight with an emphasis on short. The flight went well and as I was setting up for the landing, I grabbed the carb heat and said, " This is the wing tightener. I need to make sure they are on nice and snug for the landing." She replied, "Really? I always thought that was the carb heat. Your dad tried the same thing 30 years ago, dufus."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •