Monday, June 23, 2008

Nate & Chloe

My sister, Chloe, is a blond beauty, heading into her junior year in college in Massachusetts. Her boyfriend, Nate, is considering being a physical therapist in the Army. Walter Reed Army Hospital is in Silver Spring, a few miles from where Jodie and I live. Nate got the opportunity to spend a day shadowing some physical therapists there, so Chloe and Nate came to visit. Of course, we had to go flying.....

Nate had always wanted to see Virginia, so I picked a route that would take us through parts of Virginia and West Virginia to an airport in Cumberland, Maryland. This is the same place that Jodie and I went on our first flying date. As on that flight, I chose a route to take us over Harper's Ferry, and I took the time to show our route to Nate and Chloe. Chloe, in the back seat for the first part of the flight, documented the occasion.

"We're going from this squiggly line over past this squiggly line...."

Purty, ain't she?

We headed northwest and were soon approaching Harper's Ferry, one of my favorite landmarks for people flying for the first time. Rafters and kayakers were clearly visible on the river below. It was HOT, above 90 degrees, and I spent some time imagining how nice it would be to be on the water.

Can I jump from here?

I asked Nate if he wanted to fly. He did.

"Who, me? Fly? You betcha!"

He did a great job, and had a feel for it almost immediately. He ended up flying the plane for almost half of the hour-long flight....

Keep your eyes outside, Nate.

while I enjoyed the scenery.

We had a silky-smooth touchdown in Cumberland, parked the plane 20 feet from the restaurant, and strolled in for some sandwiches. It was hot as blazes out on the tarmac, so I had my mind on a tall, cold Coke.

We headed back out to the plane, and this time Chloe sat in the copilot's seat while Nate climbed in back. I was having a great time.

"Is there anything better than this?"

Chloe flew so smoothly that Nate fell asleep, much like Jodie did before.

He was actually nodding off like Jodie did in the video. Chloe caught a bit of the action on video:

Flight Service had advised that there was a line of thunderstorms south of our path and moving northeast, so we booked it home as fast as Three Five Romeo would take us. We didn't see anything that looked like a storm near our route, though, just lots of haze and little cumulus puffs under high stratus clouds.
We landed back at Gaithersburg (with a little bit of a bump), taxied in, and tied the plane down. It had been a great flight, and Nate commented that he just might need to pick up flying as a hobby. I suggested that he might find a flying club in the Army where he could learn. What I really wanted to tell him is that he needs to pass a checkride with ME before he takes my little sister off the ground. I'll tell him later....


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