First Flight with the Fam

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by labbadabba, May 22, 2017.

  1. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    As a follow-up to a post from last week, I convinced my wife to hop into the club 172 with our two girls for a short trip to K81 for a $100 pancake.

    It was a CAVU but somewhat gusty day, winds 290 15/G20. I warned them there may be some bumps especially since the flight was only 15nm and we wouldn't get much above 2000ft AGL. Wife sat in the back with our 2 y/o to make sure her headset stayed on. She had to wedge between the bulkhead and the carseat so she was rather cramped.

    My 5 y/o was co-pilot and I asked her to be my traffic helper and she spotted a Mooney 1/2 mile to my 11 o'clock 500ft above me which I didn't see because it was behind my sunshade. Nicely done kiddo!

    Despite the bumps and a couple tricky crosswind landings (my landing in K81 was not pretty...) it was an excellent flight. The wife was impressed (aw shucks) with how much more there is to being a pilot than simply flying an airplane. She did however complain about lack of room/comfort and that it would be an issue for a true X/C flight. I told her the front seat is not so bad but she would want to stay in the back until our 2 y/o becomes a more reliable passenger.

    So when we got home, my wife was actually pretty excited about the flight and the idea of GA flying for family vacations and even just for fun. She got even more excited when I showed her the interior layout of a Piper Lance that's on the field to rent at $175 per hour. It seems comfort trumps expense when it comes to wifely input...

    Anyway, thanks for the advice folks!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  2. Fred Thomas

    Fred Thomas Pre-Flight

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    Sounds like she's telling you to move up to a larger plane.
     
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  3. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Could be a "quid pro quo" trap;) As soon as you get ready to purchase, there may be a new ring or vehicle added to the purchase:eek:
     
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  4. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Could be. But we're both pretty cheap... She didn't balk at the $175 per hour for the Lance so that may be a realistic option.
     
  5. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Club seating in that Lance? A 182 is also quite a bit more comfortable than a 172.
     
  6. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They liked it? You didn't do enough inverted fly-bys then.
     
  7. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Sounds like he has it made. Wife doesn't flinch at aircraft fees, and takes the family including a 2 y/o on a potential bumpy ride and they LOVE IT. The OP has hit the aviation lottery!:D:D:D
     
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  8. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That feeling when your family gets excited about using GA for actual cross country trips is awesome! For me it was my then-fiancé and she LOVED to fly with me immediately. Hoping to buy a plane of our own very soon!

    Now you're a flying family- congrats!
     
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  9. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, I've sat in the back of a 182 quite a bit. Also a good option, there's on that rents for $155.
     
  10. MtPJimB

    MtPJimB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used to make regular trips from KOJC to K81 for the BBQ when I was living in KC a couple of years ago. I've made an ugly landing at K81 too, which is really embarrasing because folks at the restaurant are watching and not afraid to offer critiques. My wife has always been a pretty ready and willing companion for my flying. I didn't take it up until later in life, though, so my kids never had the experience while they were kids. But we have started already with the grandkids - my oldest grandson at 2 1/2 yrs old has already made several flights with me.
     
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  11. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Oh, and I did receive a few... LOL There were about 6 planes in the pattern or approaching the pattern landing on both the paved and grass runways. I was sandwiched in between a Citabria and a Globe Swift both settled like leaves on the water. I landed like a dead pelican. My landing back at KIXD was a lot better, but having that massive runways helps.
     
  12. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    And this, friends, is how one comes to secure spousal approval for a Twin Bonanza. Though my wife was asking about Beech 18s recently...
     
  13. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Line Up and Wait

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    Happy wife, happy life!!
     
  14. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    That's not too bad of a price. What model 172 were you flying?

    Glad you all had a nice time!
     
  15. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    Good for you! Getting to share the flying experience with the family is awesome!
     
  16. Blue Doughnut

    Blue Doughnut Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm envious!!! I also want to know how long you've been married...

    My wife used to love our early flying days. We run out to Tangier Island in the Chesapeake eat soft shelled crab, hang out on deserted beaches, etc, and she actually enjoyed it. Even brought he mother along once (which is a glowing endorsement).

    Fast forward almost 10 years, and she turns her nose up at the plane I've owned for the past 4 years. "Doesn't feel safe" because I had a brake cylinder overhauled after having mushy brakes at one point.

    She now insists on only flying in a twin, and even then it is expected to feel, smell, and ride like a new Mercedes before she'd ever consider allowing the baby to fly in it. And God forbid of course, I ever show her a plane that actually fits that bill on Controller....

    In all seriousness, congratulations on the successful intro, and may you enjoy family flying for many years to come!


    (If you figure out how to make it last, please drop me a PM!!)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  17. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Congratulations on a successful intro for the family... Hopefully there will be many hours of family flight time... Enjoy it you're one of the lucky ones...:goofy:
     
  18. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    1974 M. It's got a decent IFR panel and is in really good shape. The club has a nice 172RG which is faster and better equipped but is not going to offer any more room.
     
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  19. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    It's just one flight so we'll see how she holds up once the novelty wears off. Married 11 years.
     
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  20. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    With the little kids, see if you can find a 177. Small panel. 182s are huge. I've had trouble getting 12 year olds in there with multiple pillows to sit on.

    To get them interested, take them flying over something picturesque. Missouri River? Maybe KC?

    I got San Francisco and a whole bunch of mountains. There has to be something there.
     
  21. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    The only issue with the 177 is CG. I did some sample loading equations with the 177 I sometimes fly and had to get creative with the loading. The big doors, low stance, and performance for the price ($135 wet) are tough to beat.

    As for sight seeing, city flights are nice. The Missouri river isn't exactly pretty. There's a subtle beauty of the plains that is lost in the air. There are some pretty spots in Southern Mo that might be okay from the air. There are badlands in western Kansas and there's the Little Sahara in Oklahoma. But if we're going to fly that far we might as well fly to the Black Hills or the Gulf Coast.

    A friend of mine uploaded some pics of a flight to Friday Harbor, can't compete with that...
     
  22. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some 177s require ballast in cargo to keep CG in bounds. It's not a terribly big deal. I used to use sandbags, conveniently available for free right next to the airport.
     
  23. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller Final Approach

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    There is a life lesson for sure! :)

    -Skip
     
  24. capg2000

    capg2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Look at your "general mission"... 95% of the time a Skylane will be the best fit. Cheaper to keep than a Piper, can haul whatever you can fit inside & gives good speed for the $. 4 people, baggage & some kids toys, no problem.
    I took my granddaughter for her 1st flight @less than a year old. Now almost 3 she begs me to go to the plane!
    The Skylane is a Can Do plane. Much more stable than low wings too.
    Capt Gary
     
  25. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Not all kids want to look down at the scenery. As a matter of fact I would say if you have 2 kids one probably won't be that interested. We found with our daughter that if there is a "destination" it changes everything. We try to keep the flight to around 40min or less one way. Then hit a breakfast or other aviation event with lots going on. Right now, her favorite is a 20 minute hop to a town with a pizza place we like. We phone in the order and the deliver to the airport. We each eat a slice under the wing, talk a bit, hit the bathroom if needed and then head back.

    One thing our daughter does not like is the front seat. She wants to sit up front and we let her. However the panel is so tall she can't see anything forward. When she flew in the Aeronca with my wife (and a pillow) she could see great and still really misses that vs staring at this huge panel.
     
  26. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    The 4 stages of kids:
    1. Whee! We're flying!
    2. Ooh, look down there!
    3. Are we there yet?
    4. (If you're lucky) Can I fly the plane this time?