As I dragged my suitcase down the jetway, thankful for early boarding on what promised to be a completely full flight, a pilot asked to squeeze by.
|Look who's "flying" a Southwest Airlines 737 jet! My favorite part, aside|
from meeting new pilot friends, was viewing the see-through glass display
(not pictured) that allows the captain to view pertinent flying data while
looking out of the windscreen. It seemed very sci-fi/Google glass to me!
"I promise not to take your seat," he said.
I laughed, replying, "I can't promise the same."
As what I'd said registered, he laughed, too.
When I confessed my pilot-in-training status, he invited me to sit in the cockpit and have my picture taken!
And so, after claiming a window seat, I fought the stream of boarding passengers to sneak up front.
|Yours truly and Southwest Airlines captain and fellow|
AvGeek, Ron. Ron showed me pictures of him flying his
80-something mother in his RV-6. Too cool!
After bashing my head on some piece of equipment, I nestled into the captain's chair. The captain, Ron, pushed me right and forward, orienting me to the controls and having me "shoot the guns" like they do with visiting first graders.
Yeah, I couldn't contain my excitement as we chatted and the pilots asked about my flight training. I shared about exploits in the Cessna 182, landing at Oshkosh, and how I've flown a bit in the Boeing Stearman biplane and Culver Cadet. Meanwhile, the pilots told me about their routes, 15-hour days, and how they got into aviation via military service.
My favorite part was figuring out that the captain started his flying career at Mather Air Force Base, and how he flew light aircraft out of Sacramento Executive Airport, just like me!
As I sit, writing at 37,000 feet, I can't help but marvel at finding some "avgeek" community on Southwest Airlines. I'm so grateful for these little moments of connection. Now let's hope that my next 10 hours traveling West are as much fun!
Other "Fly Girl in Training" posts:
Labels: #Southwestair, 737, avgeek, BlogHer, captain, cockpit, flying, NaBloPoMo, personal, photography, photos, pilot, Southwest, student