View Full Version : Kids we have flown
Several I introduced to flying are earning fine livings doing the bigga buss inna air routines and several others are just having the GA Aviation experience. The formal EAA Eagles program is a great thing, but I know sure as I look up at all airplane noises above me, we here have introduced one helluva lot of kiddies to the third dimension in movement.
Two recent experiences were outstanding for different reasons: #1) I took my seven y/o granddaughter for her first hop and after about fifteen minutes of cruising around at 4000', she requested that we do a "split-s" I asked her to describe it, she did fairly well, and we did that "split-s".. then we did some other recoveries from unusual attitudes all to her squeals of delight and words of encouragement. We'd still be up there doing those maneuvers were it up to that one!
#2) I took up my dentist's boy child of seven years and he was a bit less adventuresome. What he did discover and enjoyed for the forty-minute ride was that if you puff air into the VOX headset, there is a big air noise that results and that noise can be shaped and altered and.....
Many years ago, while early in my instructor role, we had a grade 4 teacher come in with her class of 30+ students. A couple of us instructors donated our time so their only cost was the aircraft rental, that was out of their bottle drive project for the year. In groups of 3 passengers, we gave them brief (15 minute) tours over the city, the front seat passenger, with a little help from a booster cushion got to handle the contols. The same teacher came back the next two years with her classes. The second and third times each kid got a clipboard with a simple map of the city and about a dozen points of interest to check off, their school, home, hospital. We received thank you notes from each child, some with their artistic impressions of the flight, they were priceless. I still get great enjoyment from introducing youngsters to flying and now am intoducing kids whose parents I took up 20-30 years earlier. Keep those intro rides short and you'll always have them wanting more.
Short rides + little or no turbulence = great advice.
Few things are more 'interesting' than viewing the contents of a kid's stomach in hot, bumpy weather.
At work we would fly wives and kids of customers and our employee's families.
I'de make sure a kid was up front.
I had an offshore mechanic's wife and kids up for their second ride in a couple years.
The 18 year old daughter was in the front asking me, can it do this and can it do that. She had been watching Airwolf.
I told her Airwolf is a sissy. ;)
So after playing Airwolf for a few minutes, with the kids having a ball, and terminating from an unorthodox autorotation, the mother told me, "Buck if you do that again I'm going to throw up, down the back of your neck."
I told the girl, "Airwolf has been grounded".;f
I was asked by my boss if I would hang around after work and take a boy for a ride.
It turned out the boy was dying of cancer, with a short time to live and wanted to fly in a helicopter.
I think "Make A Wish" had asked us if we could give him a ride.
It made me sad thinking about the boy being so close to dying, but we flew a long time and didn't land until he was good and ready.
I think he enjoyed himself.
My first passenger after my checkride for my Private was my son. He was 4 1/2 years old and we flew from Long Beach to French Valley for lunch. It was a perfect VFR day. While we were waiting for our food, he hugged my arm and said, "Dad, this is my best lunch ever."
Wouldn't you know it, some dust blew right into my eye when he said that!! ;)
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