Need advice -Wifes first time up

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ron Stubblefield, Jun 15, 2022.

  1. mcdewey

    mcdewey Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    Annapolis

    Display name:
    Mike
    I searched for "pilot pinch hitter course". AOPA has a ground school to introduce non-flyers to GA (https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/online-learning/safety-spotlights/pinch-hitter), but nothing else that I saw. However, lots of flight schools offer pinch hitter courses. I didn't see anything about the 99's that one of the commenters above mentioned.
     
  2. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,300

    Display name:
    jsstevens
    Lots of good (and bad) advice here. Without knowing more it's hard to say.

    That said, some things really stick out:
    Smooth air-early morning, late afternoon, whatever.
    Don't surprise her-tell her what the plane is going to do before your do it: Opening the throttle to take off, Banking to turn, pulling the throttle to descend, side slip for crosswind, etc.
    Short flight, mostly straight and level (i.e. don't make a trips around the pattern, go somewhere even if it's just over your house), 1 takeoff and 1 landing (unless she really seems to enjoy maneuvering flight) and be ready to head right back RIGHT NOW if she's uncomfortable.

    My wife is happy to fly places with me. She's no fan of just flying to fly. She usually falls asleep relatively soon after reaching cruise.
    My youngest daughter would rather fly with me than in an airliner, but NO BUMPS!

    Does your wife tend to motion sickness? If not, don't bring it up. Suggestion is a thing. Have a barf bag handy but don't even mention it unless she's feeling uncomfortable.
     
  3. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    3,349
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico

    Display name:
    rgbeard
    I was co-piloting with @Pilawt (yes, I fully understand a PA-32 doesn't have a SIC position.)

    He was flying family to/from San Diego, and I was being somewhat ornamental, and twiddling radios.

    I was well-aware that this was the smoothest ride I've had, and was making notes about things he was actively doing to smooth out the ride. For example, as we're approaching SDM, and it's time for the first notch of flaps..... I'm just kinda a "pull the bar" kinda guy. But, wow. I watched him sllloooowwwly select the first notch of flaps, and it was nearly imperceptible. I'd guess his pax in the rear felt darn-near NOTHING.

    Flying with him that day sure taught me that I still had progress to make to be smoother to pax.

    That said, I've been flying with my wife for now 27 years, and nothing, seriously, nothing really rattles her.
     
    Whitney likes this.
  4. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    3,349
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico

    Display name:
    rgbeard

    I'm all about the stealth Barf Bag. I don't see a reason to talk about it.
     
    Whitney and jsstevens like this.
  5. Ron Stubblefield

    Ron Stubblefield Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2022
    Messages:
    8

    Display name:
    Ronbo422
    Well, all good advice still. And no, I won't divulge that I have a barf bat (or two) in my flight bag. I was talking more with her today, without letting her know that I have this thread going, and she said again that she wants to get in the plane and go....instead of driving....to some cool places. So, I said, I think we should pick a weekend when the girls are home (active teens) and stay a Friday night in a hotel close to the airport. Then, bright 'n early the next morning, get in the plane and fly out when the winds tend to be more calm. We can fly up to Tennessee somewhere, pick a little airport off of the beaten path, in a historical area, and have something to eat, hopefully grab an FBO beater car and go see a few sights before heading back to BHM in the evening....again when winds tend to be "on their best behavior". She was totally into that and added that she might be able to talk herself into a trip like this.
    What I didn't mention, in my first post, is that she's my 2nd wife. The ex-wife freaked the f**k out as soon as I left the runway. That was back in 1990 (right after my PPL checkride). It quickly went to an immediate circle-around-the-pattern-and-land event. She never went up with me again! She was nutso anyways, hence the "ex" part. :)
    Now, after 17 years of being inactive, and getting back into GA, I want to go places with her on XC's.....without all the darned windshield time. Our kids are almost grown so we'll have extra "us" time to do so.
     
    TomF, Whitney and jsstevens like this.
  6. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    829
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Display name:
    Challenger1
    I don't know you guys personally but have long thought Pilawt was very experienced pilot. You have now confirmed that in my mind. I have read his posts and pictures on other websites, awesome pictures, thankful to have him posting.

    I have become friends with a 40 year pilot who just celebrated 21 years as a Captain. He has been teaching me to be smooth and be nice to my passengers. I am so lucky to fly with him.
     
  7. Brad W

    Brad W Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    1,100

    Display name:
    BLW2
    those few words say so very much! There's sadness, happiness, truth, half full, half empty, and all sorts of other things in that sentence.
     
  8. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    May 9, 2022
    Messages:
    1,127
    Location:
    BC Canada/Baja Mexico

    Display name:
    Whitney
    I'm surprised that people are so nervous about going for a ride. I have people asking me to take them up, because they just want to go for a ride.
    I flew commercially for years, flight instructed for a while, and been a plane owner for 26 years, many different planes, and taken a lot of people up...and had 1 who was nervous in all that time, and she was a grandmother, who was in her 70s, and never before been on a plane, and her grandchildren bought her and her husband, a sight seeing flight. When we landed an hour later, she was thrilled to have gone in a plane, saw the country side, her home from the air, and the experience of going in a plane. She hugged me, and thanked me numerous times. It really shouldn't be a traumatic experience. This week i picked up 3 friends and flew them to Yellowknife, and took 2 others up for a ride who wanted to go since arriving. They loved it, no anxiety, and are not regular fliers.
     
  9. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2020
    Messages:
    986

    Display name:
    SkyChaser
    @Whitney , I think most of the nervous people are the ones who read the news too much or don't have knowledge of how a plane flies. There are a LOT of people who think if a plane's engine fails, it literally falls from the sky and you are going to die with no way to stop it.
     
    Whitney likes this.
  10. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    12,820
    Location:
    New England

    Display name:
    PaulS
    You're not married to them, it changes the dynamics a little. My wife is a trooper, likes to go places, really no fear of flying. But many people are not like that.

    For Ron, I would not plan the first flight around any other event other than the flight, maybe a stop for breakfast or lunch but no other expectations for the flight, such as meeting someone or going to an event. That way if the conditions suck, you can cancel easily. Once you figure out if she is nervous or not (hopefully) you can work her up to less ideal conditions. I have many pilot friends whose sig others don't like to fly. Not a great thing for a pilot.
     
    Whitney likes this.