Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

A dirty trick for a pilot to play on his girlfriend.

I was just reading a post on Delightfuleccentric‘s blog about a date that her new-ish pilot boyfriend had taken her on. It was the first time he had taken her flying in his plane. She wrote:

He asked me, “You doing okay?”  “Yep.”  And he dipped the plane a bit, forcing my stomach into my throat.  “Hey!”  He laughed.  “Well, at least I made sure you were doing okay first.  Didn’t want you to throw up all over my plane.”  “It’s okay if you do that, just warn a girl first!”

She should think herself lucky and him a gentleman though, because it suddenly reminded me of a much dirtier trick than this that Bf played on me when he took me up in a plane similar to this one…

We’d been together for four months at the time. I was already madly in love with him, and although he was still only a cadet, and had only recently returned to the UK after about a year abroad building hours.  He was not checked out on any local aeroplanes, but he was keen to take me flying, to show, share and include me in the other love of his life.  Then an opportunity presented itself; he had to visit midlands, and it so happened that some years ago, he had attended a flying club in the area. He arranged to get checked out with his old friend who ran the club, and then take me up afterwards.

I was so excited about it, that I’m surprised I didn’t burst!   I even took my video camera with me so that I could capture the whole experience. I videoed him checking out the aircraft, and doing his touch and go’s, and remember being surprised that it was all so strictly structured even at this PPL level. He spent what felt like hours preparing the aircraft, checking various fuel and oil levels and planning his flight. I’d had no idea it would be so ‘involved’. I guess I just assumed that it would be like driving a car: that we’d just hop in and fly wherever we wanted at whim!

Well, it was well worth the wait. It felt thrilling to be up in the air in such a tiny plane. So different from a passenger jet! Then it suddenly struck me, that if anything were to happen to Bf, I’d be screwed-I wouldn’t have a clue how to fly the plane, much less land it. Hell I wouldn’t even know how to radio and ask for help!  It was quite a sobering thought; and I quickly voiced my concerns to Bf. No worries he said, I can show you some of the basics.  He started explaining this and that, but to be honest I couldn’t really take much of it in.

Then, he actually let me ‘take the controls’ (obviously he still had complete control from his seat the whole time too).  He showed me how the stick worked, and then instructed me to fly straight and level. He also said that whatever I did-I must not touch the foot pedals.  I assumed that the stick was the only directional control, and also that (like in a car) the foot pedals would be associated with thrust/propulsion…

Well, the plane started veering off course, only a little at first, and he said “erm, just try to keep it straight and level, that’d be great”. I started being really conscientious, but not only would the plane not correct itself, it started going even further off course!

I started totally freaking out, because the plane was turning-and nothing I could do seemed to stop it turning, in fact, it just seemed to make the problem worse! I was convinced that I’d broken the plane, and that we were going to crash and die, and it would all be my fault…  In fact, I was cursing myself for ever allowing myself to take the stick! Yikes-what would happen to my kids?!

Bf obviously knew exactly I was panicking, but he sat there and let me panic to the point where I started crying and screaming before he admitted that the foot controls were for the rudder which also controlled the direction, pulled his foot off the rudder and corrected the plane’s pitch and attitude!  He pretty much had tears rolling down his cheeks from laughing so hard at me! I guess I should have just looked at him, and I would have known immediately that he was responsible and was teasing me, the fact that he wasn’t losing his cool should also have been a dead give away! I think I was so caught up in the excitement/fear of the moment that I was completely zoned in to my survival instincts!

It didn’t affect my enjoyment of the experience at all though. He knew me well enough to know that I’m a fearless white knuckle ride type, not someone who would ever have a fear of flying… I managed to see the funny side immediately, and felt like a dumb blond for falling for it!

What a dirty trick to play on his new beloved though! The rat! 😉

When we came in on the approach to land, he said “Please don’t tell anyone on the ground about the trick I played on you earlier? It would probably be frowned upon.”  I guess that was his conscience having a little nudge!

It was an amazing experience though! I still have it all on video (well, except for the part with me and my white knuckles) hehe!

After that I was a total addict, and even managed to blag my way onto several of his training flights. I must be the only passenger that would ever look forward to and hope for the flights where his instructor would hand me a sick bag and tell me that I might need that for this flight (because I knew that would mean that the plane would be getting thrown around more)!


One Response to “A dirty trick for a pilot to play on his girlfriend.”

  1. haha I would have been so pissed! I like the first trick MUCH better 🙂

    I made the pic with GIMP a photo program I downloaded online and then just added the picture…. if you have like 3 or 4 pictures u want it to flip through… send them my way and I’ll hook you up 🙂 airrikajswan(at)gmail(dot)com

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