A few weeks ago we took a field trip with the baby's girls' club that she belongs to. My friend, MS, has been facilitating and the baby loves it! The girls were studying Amelia Earhart. That meant a field trip to a local airport. The best part for me was that we got to go and siblings were welcome. That made it an official field trip. It was really very cool.
We got to go into the control tower. That was a pretty cool experience. There were security gates and doors and cameras and the boys in our group thought it was like being a spy. Really? Ok. This is the view from one window. The lake in the background actually wraps around most of the back side of the airport. We drive by this place almost every day and I had no idea how big it was. When you see it from the road, it's not that impressive. When you see it from the tower, it's another thing entirely. It's like a small town.
While we were there, we got to see a plane land. The air traffic controllers were very good at relaying information to us. Two of the three are pilots themselves. One used to fly, but hasn't in many years. It was neat to see and hear them guide the plane to the taxiways and watch it drive by. We waved. We didn't think they saw us. Then they waved back. Cool!
This is a light gun. It had white, green and red lights. If for some reason a pilot doesn't have radio, they can guide him with the light. The boy was making me nervous while he was holding it. He doesn't get nearly enough allowance to replace it. It was fun to find out that they turn the lights off at 7. If a pilot comes in after that, they have a "clicker" they use to turn them on. I want one. Of course, I would be more like the guy in Airplane! I can hear me now. " Just kidding!"
We also got to go in several planes that were in a private hangar. It pays to have connections. This one sat 8 and I'm ok with that. It was bigger inside than it looks. The only way I've ever flown was commercial. I'm not sure how well I'd do in such a small plane. That doesn't mean I wouldn't. It just means I might have to be medicated.
This is the cockpit to that plane. All of the knobs and buttons and levers were intimidating. Not to the pilot, good thing, but to the rest of us.
This is the outside of the plane. It was so shiny. Look how clean the floors are. I don't think my floors at home have ever been that pretty. The planes just gleam and sparkle. Someone needs to come to my house...
This was a smaller plane. I can say without hesitation that there is no way I could fly in this plane. It was like sitting in a Coke can. Not for me, but thank you for asking.
The gentleman that showed us around is a pilot. He's the head pilot, actually. This is his plane. It's a little puddle jumper. He can land this on water or land with the flip of a switch. It's a good thing he didn't tell the boy how to start that bad boy up, because he would have. And then would have taken off. Crazy boy. Doesn't he know it's the landing that's tricky?
This is the cockpit of that plane. The boy wanted to take a picture, so I had to include it. You could see him plotting and planning. He scares me when he does that.
We had a great time. The air traffic controllers and all the staff were accomodating and friendly. They were very patient with the kids (and the parents). The kids got to see some of the daily operations of a place that they see all the time, but had never been to. It was just plain fun. And plane fun.
Have a great day.