Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Adventure

When people find out that the husband is a pilot, I usually get this in response: "Oh that's so cool. I bet you get to fly anywhere you want for free!" Um, not so much. While we technically can fly for free on his airline, it has to be done as standby. And guess what! The economy kinda sucks and airlines are struggling (and who isn't) so they aren't offering as many flights. That means the number of empty seats is limited. Since I met The Pilot, we were able to visit friends in DC and he has been able to jump seat on trips where I have purchased a ticket. We have also tried to visit DC before and weren't able to get on the plane. No seats. My point of this is that the life of a aviation family really isn't that glamorous or cool. The biggest perk of the job is that The Pilot loves to fly. I have a husband who enjoys his job (most days). End of story.

So our aviation adventures are pretty limited, but earlier this week The Pilot was home and he got a phone call from a former co-worker. This person had started a new job with a company that provides flight training for different airlines, including training for business jets (as opposed to the airline jet that The Pilot flies). They have flight simulators for the different kinds of aircraft. The Pilot's former co-worker was still learning to operate the flight simulator and the best way to learn how it all works is to have someone actually flying the simulator. Enter The Pilot. He played guinea pig while the other guy created bad weather and made the plane malfunction. Then The Pilot had to figure out what to do. They were probably both geeking out about the opportunity. I know The Pilot was especially because it was a chance to "fly" a Cessna Citation X, which I guess is the fastest civilian aircraft.

I was wrapping up my work day when The Pilot sent a text and asked if I wanted to fly it too. Sure, why not. Never mind the fact that I used to operate the Star Tours ride at Disney World (ahhh my college days!) and motion simulators make me nauseous. That just added to the adventure of it. The Pilot was probably silently praying that I wouldn't throw up in front of his buddy.

It sort of looks like some kind of lunar rover....or a fancy Lego.
But what do I know, I work at a desk all day.
There wasn't time to show me all the the bells and whistles but I did get to take the controls to take off, fly around and land. I will say I had a pretty smooth landing. I may or may not have flown into restricted airspace at the Nation's Capital and might have knocked off the top of the Washington Monument during my landing into DCA but my passengers would have enjoyed the smooth landing.

I've got this.

Something is wrong with this picture. I shouldn't be second in command.
I'm the captain of this ship yo! ;)
Thank you for flying Gym Class Dropouts airlines. We don't have peanuts or Biscoff but that was one smooooooth landing now wasn't it??
After I was successfully nauseous, we got to take a tour of the facility (mostly other simulators and classrooms). It was pretty cool to see how they teach the different aircraft. (Pilots come to this place already knowing how to fly in general. This is where they go to learn the ins and outs of a specific plane). So while I didn't get to "fly anywhere I wanted for free," this was definitely something I would have never had the chance to do if The Pilot wasn't a pilot. Fun times.

And don't worry, there were no protein spills. My WDW friends will get a kick out of that term!


  1. "My point of this is that the life of a aviation family really isn't that glamorous or cool. The biggest perk of the job is that The Pilot loves to fly. I have a husband who enjoys is job (most days). End of story."

    Amen, sister!!!!

    My husband flew the Citation X when he worked for NetJets (he got furloughed in 2009, hence the reason he is back on Active Duty in the Marine Corps). He loved that plane! We have a few pictures of all of us posing by it/in it on Christmas... Because yes, he had a trip over Christmas one year. What were you saying about glamour again? Lol!

    Looks like you had fun flying the sim! :)

  2. My BFF was a sim instructor for a long time and did a TNT fundraiser where people got to land a in Hong Kong. I laughed at you clipping the top of the washington monument! Fun!

  3. That's so funny, it's also the first thing people always say to me. And I'm always like um, no I never get to fly anywhere with him.. ha ha. Great job on the flight lesson. I did that once too when husband was first starting out in flight school.