By lex, on April 19th, 2008
Five flights today. That’s a lot. Almost like work, five flights. Even when you are having fun.
Flew with a young man getting married soon. Family from Monterey, down here for a bachelor’s party. With the ladies. Dad let him win, I think. While passing out $20 tips like the Rodney Dangerfield character in Caddy Shack. Soon to be ball-and-chain guy flew a good jet, but his best man – who followed after – got as sick as I’ve ever seen anyone be in an airplane.
He was all “Boo-yeah, baby!” in the brief and walking to the machine, but once we’d gotten out of earshot of the others he said that he’d gotten close to the brink one time while flying in a Cessna from Monterey to Bakersfield. “A cross country?” I asked.
Thought to myself: This should be fun.
We did a formation take-off to the working area between Carlsbad and Encinitas. Broke up for some familiarization work before going into a shooter/target demonstration. Pretty mild. Here’s sixty degrees of bank, there’s thirty degrees of pitch. Cuppla g’s. Asked your man how he was doing back there after the demo, and answer came there none. Looked over my shoulder to see him making vague gestures of negation before parking himself in the food return bag. For what seemed like an eternity.
I had a student once back in T-2s that hit his limits on a basic instruments hop. I’m pretty sure it was the unusual attitudes that got him, only the effect didn’t kick in until we were on final for a ground controlled approach some 15 minutes later. Five hundred feet above the ground at night and yer man kicked his O2 mask off (with the intercom still running) and hacked his way through supper, and lunch too maybe. Leaving the aircraft to find its own way to earth in whatever manner it might and saying nary a word to your correspondent about relinquishing control. Seeming not to care between landing or crashing and leaving the decision in my hands, like. He was that ill.
Until today, that was the worst I’d ever seen. Your man was in a separate class entirely. He almost made me sick, what with the noises coming out of the trunk. He earned a callsign though, before it was all said and done: “Two Bags.”
Dad threw another twenty at me for my efforts. It feels a little weird, frankly. Monday through Friday I’m a US Navy captain, large and in charge. On weekends I get tips.
The last fellah had a ret good time of it. Cast iron stomach, thank God. Sailor in his part time. Nervous though: Gave the airplane back to me in a middle of a brawl, telling me after that he’d been frightened. Guy my age. I almost had to bite my tongue from laughing out loud, before thinking to myself, “Do I even know anyone brave enough to admit to being frightened?”
Not sure I do.