First Flight

August 26, 2008

Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream. – George W. Bush

I’m not quite sure what he was trying to say, but I image he was suggesting that you find happiness in your family and in spending quality time with them.  I’ll let the pictures talk here…


Two very excited man cubs.

Me at the controls.

Houston, we have lift off!

So my first flight was AMAZING and from what I understand, any flying club in North America that sports Cessna trainers will give you a good deal on your first flight, so give it a whirl.  It was about $80 and they let me take the kids.

Nothing sounds sweeter than listening to a six year old say, “Andy, do you copy? Over!” and a 4 year old chime in with “Xray Bravo Brovo Grover”.  Hilarious!  Bringing the kids was great and they really were brave, considering how loud the plane is, with them knowing that we were going up so high…actually, what calmed them down was Angie telling them that it was just like our van, only with wings.  They loved the headsets, so that helped too.

As we got about 100 feet off the ground my instructor handed me the controls and I flew, right up until we were lined back up with the runway.  I had a blast flying over the city and the kids were thrilled to pick out the likes of Canadian Tire, Sobey’s and the Keystone Centre.


Flight Path Booked

August 12, 2008

So, here we go!

On Saturday, August 16th I will begin my ascent into accomplishmentdom.  Now, granted, it will take some time to make it happen, but I have indeed started the process.

I have my first flight lesson booked and am really excited about it.  The best part is that my kids are allowed to come with me – it is a four-seater Cessna – so now it’s just a matter of convincing them to go with me.

Around 10am if you’re in Southwestern Manitoba and looking up, you may just see me!

Haven’t quite got the whole WordPress thing figured out yet (I’m a Blogger convert) so I’m reposting the list here so that my tags are in the tag cloud for each of the items on the list.

Below is the list of things that I am going to start crossing off:

  • PILOT: Get my pilot’s licence
  • GAME: Fly Angie and the kids to Calgary for supper and a Calgary Flames hockey game using that spanky little pilot’s licence I got
  • CLIFF: Rappel down a cliff I have no business being at the top of
  • BIKE: Cycle across Canada – coast to coast
  • TIGGER: With all the Eeyores in the world, I want to teach my kids to live like Tiggers by living like one myself
  • WALL: Visit the Great Wall of China
  • BABY: Hold babies in an orphanage in a third world country
  • FOUR: Convince Angie to have another baby (after this one)
  • COASTER: Ride a really big rollercoaster with all four of my kids
  • SCREAMING WIFE: Convince Angie to ride the same rollercoaster
  • STONE: Sit in the middle of stonehenge
  • DIVE: Cliff jump into a waterfall…again
  • SMARTS: Get a degree majoring in math, physics, or comp sci
  • ARTICLE: Write an article for MSDN magazine
  • ARTICLE: Write an article for MSDN magazine that actually gets published
  • BITS: Teach a group of high school students about computer programming
  • RINGER: Meet Rob Bell
  • BIG ROCK: Visit Uluru – which I always thought was called ‘Air Rock’ lol
  • CURE: See a cure for Juvenile Diabetes
  • STICKS: Design and build a house
A C-172 much like the tutor I'll be flying in
A C-172 much like the tutor I’ll be flying in

…well, actually…it’s a plane.

But not just any plane, mind you, this one belongs to the folks at Brandon Flying Club and they gladly let you fly it while you’re obtaining your pilot’s licence.  In other words, it’s the kind of plane that’s right up my alley.

I spoke with a fellow today from the club who filled me in on what you need to do in order to start training.  First of all, you need to meet all the pre-qualifications; basically, you have to be 16 years old and breathing (so I’m in).

Next at hand was the issue of payment, and it ain’t cheap.  We’re likely looking at about $7000 all-in, likely more.  The gentleman suggested that I work at a pace of two or more flights per week, which would cost on average about $400-500 a week (around $2000/month).  So yeah, I’m not likely going to tackle it at that pace.

I’m going to get a bit of a savings going so that in the summer of next year I will start my flight lessons up, but I hope to get an introductory flight in here sometime in the next few weeks.  If I work it right, I’ll try to get my kids up there with me, or maybe my wife and oldest son (I’m not thinking Andy would be too into this…he’s kind of a “I’ll watch from the ground, thanks” kind-of kid).

Having this list feels really good, but after only a few days I’m realizing that I’m likely going to have to get some capital together to pull this off.  I may even need a budget…