First family/friends flight: Taking my son out to the training area

Date: 21/04/2011

Hours flown Dual Command Instruments
This flight 0.00 0.70 0.00
Total to date 40.14 7.30 2.00

Just a quick blog post to note that yesterday (Thu 21/04/11) I took my son, Seth (age 4 and 1/2) on his first flight with me, and indeed the first time I’ve carried any passengers exercising my post-GFPT flying privileges.

It was just a quick flight out into the Bankstown training area, nothing fancy. Seth was full of questions as we fuelled and pre-flighted NFR, and did a great job of managing his headset and staying quiet when I needed to concentrate on pre-takeoff procedures, radio etc.

It was a bit warm in the cabin and there was a lot of pre-takeoff traffic, so much so that I couldn’t get into the 29R run-up bay and got permission to do my run-ups on the taxiway. Waiting for about 10 minutes, we finally took off and I headed out to the training area. We turned about 260 and headed for Warragamba, climbing to 3,500 feet before doing a left turning descent to 1,500 feet and heading for the 2RN reporting point. He was taking it all in, but poor little bloke was also a bit tired and (I suspect) hot as well as possibly bothered by the turbulence. By the time we turned for 2RN he complained of feeling a bit sick, so I gave him a precautionary sick bag (which thankfully he never had to use) and got the hell over to the 2RN tower as quick as I safely could.

Joining crosswind for a landing on 29R, I made (if I say so myself) one helluva good landing – one of my best, especially in a 10-knot crosswind and with imminent threat of a vomiting episode – in honour of Seth and to aid his comfort, and soon had him back in the clubhouse with a drink to cool him down. He perked up soon after landing and he was very happy, as we taxyed and parked outside the clubhouse, to be able to stand on the wing and wave to his mum, who was sitting out on the verandah with our daughter Lilu.

He must have enjoyed it somewhat, since after landing he told me he loves me! (Which is a very frequent and gorgeous declaration on his part, but I think he said it as a kind of “thank you” in this situation). It must have been a lot for a 4.5 year old to take in. He expressed a preference for flying on big planes, not little ones. I told him (and I meant it) that he can fly with me whenever he wants but if he doesn’t want to that’s absolutely fine. I suspect a few years from now when he’s somewhat older his interest in flying may be a little stronger (though then again it may not).

All in all though, he enjoyed it and (despite the onset of his nausea) so did I. He’s a great kid as a person and as a son and it was very special for me to carry him as my first ever passenger!

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7 responses to “First family/friends flight: Taking my son out to the training area

  1. Pingback: First family/friends flight: Taking my son out to the training area (via MidLifePilot’s Flying Blog) « Calgary Recreational and Ultralight Flying Club (CRUFC)

  2. Pingback: Getting better at landings: Some reflections « MidLifePilot's Flying Blog

  3. What a special flight for you both, thanks for blogging that Dave!

  4. Pingback: Flying with your little ones: great article today in Australian Flying | MidLifePilot's Flying Blog

  5. Hi Dave,

    Having just ordered a headset from MarvGolden for my 4 y.o. son I’m very much looking forward to taking him out to the training area. And based on your experience I’ll be sure and have water at hand.

    Perhaps it’s less of a problem in the Cheroke, but I’m concerned that in 172’s (even with the seat would all the way up) he’s not going to see much – did you have a booster seat along for your boy?

    • G’day Sean

      I’ll check out MarvGolden – a child-sized headset would be great. Look forward to hearing about your first flight with your little bloke. When I went out with mine, I had a couple of cushions with me, but I still don’t think he managed to see a great amount. Next trip it will be a booster seat.

      Cheers
      Dave

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