If I had a dollar for every time Cody said, “I wish I could leap off this (tree/mountain/hill/chair/dirt pile/couch/bike) and fly” then I would have all my student loans paid off. His desire to soar like an eagle is incessant. Hence why his other birthdays have involved air events: parasailing and zip-lining. So this year, I decided to really step it up. I got him a flight lesson.
Our little plane’s name was Beth, and she sure was tiny. Cody sat in the pilot’s seat, while our instructor taxied us onto the runway.
“Take the controls,” he told Cody. I was incredulous. He gave no other briefing. “Now, when the RPMS hit 55, pull straight back to get lift.” The instructor bellowed over the wind, “We are at 45, 50, 55!” Cody pulled back and the plane shot into the sky. We were breathless with laughter and wonder, never expecting on a intro flight we’d be allowed to do take-offs. (Of course the instructor had access to his own controls should something go wrong.)
We soared above the city, mountains, and lake.
Cody banked left and right, even doing a complete three-sixty over an amusement park as we gazed at the people on the drop-tower below. He was a natural pilot, which I can honestly say, as I did not guide the bird nearly as smoothly on my own turn.
Cody flew the plane for thirty minutes, and then it was my turn. Our instructor landed us, Cody and I swapped seats, and then I was up for take off.
“Having fun Lil’ Red Bird?” Cody asked over the headset (possibly my favorite aspect.)
“Having a blast, Big Brown Dog,” I grinned. I don’t think the instructor knew what to make of us.
I had a marvelous time, banking left and right. Naturally I soared as close to the mountains as I was allowed. The instructor politely asked me to give them some space, but I was searching for mountain goats! The turbulence from my mountain passes got to poor Cody, who missed most of my flight by having his head stuck in a puke bag. I told you I was not nearly as good a pilot!
After we landed the plane and Cody refreshed himself at the water fountain, we bought a Sprite to soothe his aching stomach. I felt guilty of course, but he assured me that his time in the pilot’s seat made for the best birthday present to date. (At least he did not dislocate his shoulder like he did on the birthday I got us surfing lessons…)
If you have a strong stomach and want to fly a plane, do it! Check Groupon for discounted rates on instructors near you.
Happy 24th birthday to Cody, my darling eagle. Cheers to many more adventures, and a lifetime of spreading your wings. *cue corny Hallmark music*