Tuesday, July 20, 2010

homeland security blissfully unaware of the threat to the citizens of louisville.

I received my belated Father's Day gift today from sons #1 and #2: A half-hour flying lesson at Bowman Field in Louisville, Kentucky. (The airport is about 100 yards from #2 son's home.) My co-pilot Adam actually has a license. I even had two passengers, Mrs. B. and #2 son.

We thought that I would get maybe five minutes controlling the stick toward the end of the plane ride. Adam got us airborne and leveled off at 1,200 feet. Then without any explanation or instruction, I was told to take the controls and keep heading in the same direction. At the time I was heading toward the middle of Louisville International Airport (SDF). I didn't know who had the right-of-way, a four-seat Cessna or a 180-seat jet airliner. Fortunately, the issue never came up.


Photos:

1) RB's only instruction, he's self-taught.

2) RB and his co-pilot.

3) Getting in was not easy for someone RB's size.

4) Baptist Hospital East on the approach to Bowman Field.

5) We didn't lose a single passenger, however both our passengers were married.

Flying was initially a bit scary for me, and even more so for the two in the back seats. It was a breezy day and we were bouncing around a bit. Also, the plane did not respond very quickly to the controls. After awhile it got better and I relaxed a bit. We flew by or over Churchill Downs, U of L, downtown Louisville, then up the Ohio River and over to Indiana. On the approach back to Bowman Field we flew over Baptist Hospital East, where grandson William was born last week.

Adam asked me if I wanted to take her in for the landing. He did mention he needed some practice because he wanted to get the hang of landing a bit better, so I said he could take over.

How else is he going to learn?

I was probably at the controls for twenty to twenty-five minutes.

It was cool. Very cool. A real adrenaline rush.




Below is a 5 1/2 minute video Capt. Kenny took from the back seat of the Cessna. It is actually kind of boring to watch, deadly to listen to, but here are some highlights:

  • 1:29 Louisville International Airport.
  • 2:22 Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby.
  • 4:45 Mrs. B. during one of her calmer moments.
  • 5:13 University of Louisville.
  • 5:21 Downtown Louisville.

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