I have been looking forward today for over a month. A friend of mine from work and I flew out to London to see a co-worker who works out at the London CRA office. Mary has flown with me once before – almost five years ago soon after I got my pilot license and was still renting from the St. Catharines Flying Club. She texted me around 8:30 and asked if we were still good to go today. I said the weather looks fine. She asked if there would be any snakes on the plane and I responded “of course not!” Naturally, I then grabbed my two plush snakes to bring with me:
Yup, I’m a dork. She found it amusing though.
Despite it being a very calm day, there weren’t too many people out flying around. We attempted to take off around 9:35. As I taxied over to the runway and added full power to take-off, I noticed my oil access door wasn’t fully secured. I powered down and told the tower I had to head over to the taxiway to shut down and close my door. I felt a little silly, but I’m quite sure that people have done much worse. Ok, door secure, I’m back in the plane, start him up and I call the tower to say I’m going to take off. Full power again, we just lifted off when we heard a rather loud sound just outside the passenger door. I’ve heard this sound before – it’s when the passenger closes the seatbelt in the door and a chunk of it continually whips against the plane. Weird though because I mentioned to her to check that the seatbelt wasn’t hanging out when she closed the door. I asked if she could check her belt and she held it up. What the heck??? I told the tower that I had to land as I was experiencing issue number two. There was no wind so he said that I could simply land at the opposite end of the runway that I took off from, rather than go around the whole circuit. Mary was totally calm and collected through all of this. I landed and asked her to open her door. A-Ha! The culprit! The belt of her coat was hanging outside the door! I told the tower I was going to taxi back to the proper end of the runway and attempt to take off for the third time. He said that he would halt all traffic to accommodate me – tee hee! Pretty easy to do since no one was flying or taxiing. We headed back over to runway 24 and the tower said “third time’s a charm…..and do you want us to have the emergency vehicles ready for you this time???” Oh geez! I said that my passenger decided to hang some of her clothing outside of the airplane. He then requested we do a fly by past the tower! I guess that would be called a flash by. Fortunately, the third time was a charm and we were off to London. It was very smooth on the way there. We landed within an hour of heading out and met up with our friend. As usual, the three of us had tons to talk about and were happy to get caught up on everything. Also as usual, the food at the Katana Kafe was great:
After noms and an hour long natter, we all headed out to my plane to help me push it back onto the apron. After parking and shutting down, I had planned on pushing the plane back a bit and use the chalks. Well, didn’t have a chance to do that as he rolled backwards within thirty seconds of me taking my feet off the brakes. His little tush actually pinged off the grass. It was rather amusing.
I thought it was going to take more effort to push him back up the little hill onto the pavement, but it wasn’t an issue. After bidding our friend farewell, we headed back to St. Catharines. It was a little bumpy on the way back, but Mary didn’t seem to mind at all. She really enjoyed the flight and said that she would even like to try aerobatics sometime.
When I left the airport, I headed over to the grocery store to pick up a few items and then to Fonthill for a short visit with my short mother.
Had another fun experience this weekend. It was my boyfriend’s nephew’s fourth birthday. I got to meet more of his family and friends of his sister and brother-in-law, which was really nice. I think the most amusing part of the day was when little Elliott decided to inhale his cake. We couldn’t figure out what he was doing because he had his face right in his plate. Mike decided to stick his camera next to his face to get a true picture of the action:
Man it was priceless! The cake didn’t stand a chance! Also, notice the word PILOT on his shirt. We picked out really cute future pilot shirts for the two boys while we were at Sun N Fun in Florida the other week. It was such a fun day!
Today’s symptoms: Feeling quite good! I’m surprised how good my energy level is today. I’m not positive, but I think those spasms/clenching in my thighs may be subsiding. Hope so!