Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A View From The Top

Scratch this one off the bucket list!

Is it wrong to start your bucket list at age 5? Right or wrong….I did it. I saw Top Gun and aside from that movie cementing itself into the top spot of my all time favorite movies, it also sparked my interest in aviation. I will fly a plane before I die …and hopefully live long enough to get a license for it. So when a PR woman for sprayed her press release I bit. Heck yeah! I will absolutely take you up on your offer for a free flight lesson just to see what it’s about. So my camera sidekick Sam and I jumped in the cockpit. Once you started the plane, the only usable tape we could get was b-roll – so I fired off my off-the-record questions to poor Tony Chandler, our instructor. “Ever met a pilot afraid of heights?” I asked as Sam was turning green in the backseat. But Tony was no victim – he fired right back. While I was panicking about taking over the controls – he reassured me with this little treat. “It’s not the crash that will kill you…it’s the sudden stop.” “Bet you tell all your first-timers that.” He just laughed. But after about 10 minutes I relaxed and started having fun – taking us into dips and hard turns. The actual maneuvering the plane was not the hard part – it was like learning to drive an automatic at 16. The hard part was compensating for the whole 3rd dimension. The car goes forward and turns – the plane does that plus up and down. Sounds simple but after a few dips I can see why you need 40 hours of practice before licensing. Now to find a sponsor for my $10,000 hobby.

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