There was a moment when I thought, "Are you crazy? Back out, back out now!" but the rest of me thought "Who passes up the chance to fly?
I am writing a character who flies in a Cessna and I can't write it if I don't know it. Youtube just wasn't doing the trick. Some things you have to experience.
Before the flight I was getting inundated with instructions, but you can see from our faces I was mostly thinking, "Huh. So I'm gonna get in that thing and risk my life? Huh." and the girls were thinking, "Huh. It was nice having a mother..."
Here's my instructor, Matt. He's been flying since the year I was born. He's pretty comfy in a little plane. Maybe a little too comfy. He kept telling me to take the controls- the stick, the rudders, the trim, the ailerons. I did some climbs and dives and pitched turns all by myself. (um, if you don't count the fact that he was at the ready to save our lives). A few times I got scared and he laughed and said, "you can't hurt a plane." Really? I'm not so sure about that.
The only time I got sweaty palms was when I told him I needed to experience a stall for my book.
"You want me to stall?" he asked. "I don't teach that until much later. But if you want me to..."
It took some insane courage to lie out my teeth and say, "yes" because I actually don't like airplanes that I am in to fall out of the sky.
But stall we did.
And fly I did.
It was pretty amazing. And I learned so much more about my characters and their experiences.
So to sum up-
Worst part: Thinking I might die.
Best part: getting to say "tango whiskey" and "copy that" on a headset.
Yep, that's me, in the pilot seat. If I can do it... well, you know the rest of the sentence.
I hope you all soar high today.