After my last flight with A, it occurred to me that I have really cool friends.
Friends who are, for a start, willing to get in a plane that I’m flying. It might sound a bit trite but it does take a certain amount of trust to get in a light aircraft piloted by someone who does this for a hobby. People have an inherent distrust of flight in general. Let’s face it, it does seem to be somewhat “unnatural” and couple that with the fact that my friends have had a pretty much blow by blow account of everything I’ve found tricky or had issues with. I’m intensely flattered that they trust me enough to fly them anywhere.
Then add in to the mixture that the weather is so unpredictable this time of year that you have maybe a 50% chance of actually getting the flight in, and an even smaller chance of going where you initially planned. My flight with K and M had to be cut short because I encountered some snow.
My flight with A didn’t look like it was going to happen at all.
On the Friday night the TAF actually looked pretty optimistic, in comparison to what the forecast had been predicting all week. In fact I was so sure that the weekend weather was going to be cruddy for the weekend and that I wasn’t going to be flying, that I hadn’t bothered to think about passengers at all. RTH had plans in the morning, so I’d probably just go up and have a little solo wander around the sky. After a circuit check with Bob to renew my currency.
Well when I saw the TAF, I fired off a quick text to A, enquiring as to whether she had any plans for the morning. Once she realised what I had in mind, she was very quick to reply. We agreed on a time and place to meet. The next reply I got is testament to how well trained my friends are, as it was a text with her weight in pounds. See they know what I need from them!
I have an email that I send out to potential passengers, explaining what to wear, what to bring, what not to bring and emphasising the fact that we can still get to the airport and then have to cancel. This flying business is a fickle beast at the best of times.
Well sure enough, we got to the airport and as I’ve mentioned in previous posts the weather took a turn towards the sucky, and for the longest time it looked like I’d dragged her down for nothing but eventually we did get up, even if it was just for my currency check. She was quite content to sit in the back while I flung it round the obligatory 3 circuits, finishing off with a quick city tour.
The contrast between different passengers is interesting as well. K, being slightly nervous, needed me to explain everything that was going on. Both during and after the flight. Whereas A was so laid back that I actually got worried about how quiet she was.
I explained afterwards that passengers normally go silent, just before they are about to puke. She assured me this was never an issue!
I’ve already booked myself a couple of flights in February, hoping that the weather will cooperate for at least one of them and have potential passengers already lined up.
Cool friends indeed.