Posts Tagged ‘fighting for control’

The Fearlessness of Youth

August 27, 2011

I enjoy flying.  It’s exhilarating.

I also enjoy sharing that thrill of flight with others.

I’ve been seeing S for over a year-and-a-half now.  While I continue to enjoy her company [wiggling eyebrows], she’s heavily involved with another guy…her 7-year-old son, J.

I gave S a flight in my plane not long after we started dating, wandering to another airport for dinner.  Since that time, she’s been anxious for me to take her 7-year old son up for a ride.

start 'em young

Between our schedules, supporting weather (I don’t like taking newbies up on bumpy or murky days), and a healthy airplane, I finally had an opportunity to take the two of them up for a flight.

I flew in and met S and J at an airport near where they lived south of me and we loaded up.  S and I had discussed prior as to where J should sit…in the back with S or in front with me.  We both agreed — Absolutely up front.

It was very cute seeing them have to pile up folded up coats and towels so he could boost up high enough to see over the control panel.

As with all my first time passengers, the sight of J getting big eyes and hearing the “Oh my” (or some such) escape his lips as we climbed out was satisfaction enough for me.  J was expressively asking questions and looking all over as we flew through the smooth skies.

Then, a surprise I’d saved for both S and J, I asked if J would like to take the controls and fly a bit.  Who knew a 7-year old’s eyes could grow so large?

After some vigorous head nodding on J’s part and an ‘okay’ from S, I briefly explained what he needed to do.  Then, without flourish, handed the plane over to him.  He flew like a champ.

We wandered the countryside, sometimes letting him fly, sometimes me taking over the controls.  Finally, it was time to go home.

As we headed back, I obviously took over the controls.  Landing is just a wee tad tricky for a 7-year-old with 15 minutes of total flight time to handle.

Coming into the traffic pattern, I was extra observant of what was going on outside the plane, especially making sure there were no other airplanes about which might create a sound hazard (the noise of two planes colliding, I’ve been told, is rather loud).

Realizing that the flight was about to end, J thought that he should get one last chance at the flight controls.

…and grabbed the control wheel…


If not for the shriek commanding voice of his mom from the back seat telling him to let go, plus my absolutely heroic efforts to barely wrest control from this surprisingly strong 7-year-old <flexes muscles>, we’d have been flirting with an early meeting with the ground (okay, not really remotely close to that, but it does add a certain drama to the story, right?).

And the amazing thing was that he had no idea that there was a problem with what he’d done.


A good landing (yes, mine…sheesh), a few pictures around the plane, and a quick escape from this miniature Lindbergh-wannabe.

But, yeah, I’ll take up kids again.

They’re just fun.

everyone sing along!