Thursday, May 18, 2006

First Passenger

Two weekends ago, I took my first passenger in the air! What a rush. We were in 6521J, my trusty old training plane. I felt like an airline captain! I gave a safety briefing, demonstrated the use of the safety belts, and showed how to latch doors open in the event of an emergency. How cool was that!

We had a bit of a limited timeframe. My passenger Nirmala was not the least bit scared; she was cool as a cucumber. We had a little bit of trouble getting her headset to work; the first time the headset was just broken. The second time, the headset would not pick up her voice and transmit, so I had to talk first and then she could answer. Not a bad arrangement!

So we decided to fly out over Half Moon Bay and try to fly over the coast for a while. I asked for a left Dumbarton departure out of PAO and got clearance to taxi. Nirmala said, "I didn't understand a word of that!" We taxied over to 31, did a run-up, and got clearance to take off. I started the roll, and we lifted off. Nirmala told me later that at that point, she got scared.

The rest of the flight was pretty smooth. We flew over Half Moon Bay, but clouds were coming in, so we turned around, transitioned back through Palo Alto airspace and out toward Sunol, and then around and back in with a pretty smooth landing.

Now I'm training in the 172SP so that my next passenger will be more comfortable.

1 comment:

Nirmala said...

I had been waiting months for this moment and was totally excited! I never thought that anything could happen because Mayank has been training and studying so hard. In any case, we're set to take off, and just as the plane was airborne, I was saying to myself, "Holy crap, this is scary." Once I got over that, it was all good. Mayank's a smooth operator.