Friday, September 25, 2015

Taking chances, fulfilling dreams

A long time ago, I had some idealistic vision of what it would mean to be a pilot. I'd fly to gigs with my band, to client meetings for work, to visit friends who were far enough away to make driving a hassle. It was just about 10 years and 500 flight hours ago when I started taking lessons, and as I look back at the last few weeks, I feel closer to really living those dreams than I ever have before.

On the surface, it's not even that mind blowing: I flew to KSMO for a work meeting about 4 weeks ago, and I flew down to Carlsbad to visit family about 10 days later. As a part owner of a Turbo Centurion, these are the kind of trips I should be making frequently, and yet, the last trip was only my fifth trip to Southern California, with two of those prior to my purchase of my share of N6824R. 

I think what feels different about these trips is that I didn't feel like I was totally in my comfort zone. For the work trip, I was flying to somewhere I needed to be. I haven't done much of that, and it does change the equation. Granted, there was a lot of safety built into the plan - I had a Southwest ticket as a backup plan, and the flight to LA was the day before the meeting because the meeting was early in the morning. Worst case scenario on a late scratch, I could just drive till about 1:00 AM and still make it. Thankfully, it didn't come to that, and I nailed my estimate of when I'd arrive at KSMO.

On this trip, it's the longest trip by far that we've taken with the kid. We had a brilliant plan to time it so he'd fall asleep in the plane, but instead he fell asleep in the car on the way to the airport. Luckily we timed it better on the way home, and it worked beautifully - he slept for the first hour of the 2.3 hour flight! The problem is that when he's not sleeping, he's generally trying to remove his ear protection, which is not ideal.

I'd really love to be IFR current for my next trips. That would add a level of confidence and flexibility that would go a long way in planning.