I just flew a plane for the first time

For my birthday, my wife bought me a half-hour seaplane-flying lesson, and today I cashed it in. I was in the back seat of a little two-seat seaplane, and once we were in the air over Lake Washington the pilot gave me the controls. I turned, ascended, descended; then the pilot landed on the water and I took off (woohoo!), climbed to about 900 feet, flew in the direction of downtown Seattle and then, after a very wide left turn, flew in the direction of Mount Baker. After the pilot landed on the lake I steered us along back to the dock. All this on a beautiful bright cloudless day.

Just about the best present I’ve ever gotten. If you’ve never flown before, I highly recommend it.

That sounds like all kinds of awesome!

Your wife sounds pretty cool, too.

in December I’m off to Spain to go skydiving. Just wait until you try that!

I’ve been out of the game since 03 due to … personal tragedy …

But I can’t wait. Glad u loved the flying lesson - blue skies to ya!


And, I swear I first read the title as “I just threw a plane for the first time” and went :dubious:
I was wondering if somebody had missed an ‘up’

I did my BFR (Biennial Flight Review*) today. I’d love to get a seaplane rating, but I don’t think I’d ever get to use it.

*One has to demonstrate competance with an instructor every other year. Getting a new rating does count.


No! No! That’s how I ended up with a husband who now flies helicopters commercially! Those damn 30-minute happy-birthday-honey gateway drug just-this-one-time flights… it will be years before we’ll be out of debt…
Hope your wife know what she let herself in for.

And happy (late) birthday, flyboy.

Heh. She’s still thinking “well, if he ends up with a hobby he really enjoys…” This may change if she counts the cost. :slight_smile: Anyway, who knows if I’ll stick with it, but I’m definitely going to look for a similar lesson with a “wheeled” airplane (a back-formation that had never occurred to me before).

My wife is an amazing gift-giver. In this case she caught a throwaway remark I made a couple of years ago (“That would be fun,”) stored it in long-term memory, and pulled it out just when I needed it. I wish I had her gift-giving gene, if for no other reason than to get her something she’ll really enjoy…and possibly drive us into debt…

Wait 'til you get to amphibians.

I’m a little surprised the pilot let you fly the takeoff; I’ve heard water takeoffs have some unique tricks to them. I was in a Cessna that was loaded near the maximum. Full power, and we couldn’t quite get to takeoff speed. So, the pilot cranked in some right aileron to get the left float out of the water. That reduced the water drag enough that we skimmed along on the right one until we took off. I wasn’t too worried about his experience; he owns the company that built the floats we were on.

Was this your first time in a small plane, or in the front seat? I find that makes a huge difference. I still like to get a window seat when I’m on an airliner, but the view out of that little window is so restrictive. What I used to fly was a lot lower and slower, but being able to see where you’re going and to both sides makes it clear why some people do this for fun.

Where did you fly from, by the way, Renton or Kenmore?

I flew from Kenmore. It was my first time in a small plane. I was in the back seat, not the front – I suppose the view wasn’t perfect, but it’s the best I’ve ever had so I was happy. I could definitely see a lot more than I’ve ever seen from the window of an airliner.