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Flying High

April 11, 2013


In my last post I taxied to a spot near the runway where I waited.  My trip from the terminal area to the runway area was a little jerky as I zigged and zagged along the access lanes of the airport.  At this point I was just getting a handle on the controls.  When turning I was too tentative, then I would over steer, then correct my course again.  It was great fun and a little embarrassing – it seemed like this would be easy.  Anyway, with zigs and zags I got to my assigned spot near the runway (and with a little help from the real pilot).  The real pilot who was sitting in the copilot’s seat was in constant communication with the air traffic controller.  I was happy to wait near the runway and get some more instruction prior to take off.  I no longer felt like a Top Gun pilot… the controls had humbled me.  Within a few minutes we watched an A320 land.  Now it was our turn to take the runway.

This was the BIG MOMENT.  I was slowly advancing to the main runway at the Des Moines International Airport.  Then I turned left.  There it was… the long stretch of cement ahead of me.  The real pilot told me to give it full throttle and off we went!  Faster and faster – within seconds we were buzzing down the runway and lifted up into the air.

Soon we turned and flew over Des Moines.  The photo above shows the downtown.  The video below shows some Iowa country side.  I had another short video but the focus was off – the camera ended up focusing on the window so video of flying over Des Moines did not turn out.



The mechanics of flying the plane kept me busy.  We flew to Ankeny using the GPS.  I think I could have made that trip without the GPS but the real pilot wanted me to experience all aspects of flying.  After nearing Ankeny, we turned and flew to Indianola, then returned to the Des Moines airport.




The rolling fields, trees, highways, cars… everything… was awesome from the air.  I took a few photos and a little video.  As I noted, some of the video and photos did not turn out.  It would have been nice to have more photos but I was busy flying an airplane.  Looking back, each moment running the controls seemed like time flowing in slow motion yet the trip seemed to happen so quickly.  To sum it up – SPECTACULAR.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. s lusk permalink
    April 11, 2013 2:12 pm

    Looks like a blast!

  2. April 11, 2013 4:17 pm

    Rudder control on the ground still kicks my butt sometimes. I had a jet behind me once and I understand completely when you say it was slightly embarrassing. I don’t want to know what the jet pilots behind me thought of my taxing skills. Even though you didn’t get enough pictures you’ll never forget what you see that first time!

    • April 11, 2013 4:49 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I was much better with the controls by the time we returned to the terminal. This is a skill that would take some time. I can imagine that sensitivity for the controls changes from plane to plane so I see why pilots need to fly, fly, fly.

  3. April 13, 2013 12:55 pm


    Love the site. I am reminded about when I first learned to fly. What a great experience and I am green with envy. I know what an adventure you are on and I cant wait to read more about you adventure. Beautiful family as well.

    On a side note, I have been to Iowa many times. Every time, I never landed without a strong crosswind. Many times I would land at Cedar Rapids with a left crosswind and then in Des Moines with a right crosswind. Both times landing in the exact same runway direction. Amazing. Ha ha.

    • April 13, 2013 1:32 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked the blog. I have a second blog you may like. It tells stories of my adventures as I work on documentaries. So far, I am working on Civil War reenactment stories. Please click here….

  4. April 19, 2013 11:20 am

    Good for you RB…your a real adventurer…I like that!

    • April 19, 2013 12:33 pm

      Thanks. It was a thrill to have control (sort of) of the plane. I am glad the real pilot was in the co-pilot’s seat. 🙂 For a moment… I was a bird.

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