A First Flight and emotions flew too.
Last weekend had a definite aviation theme attached to it. With the weather gods shining, it was time for Trim Flying Club's annual Summer BBQ. Not to confuse things, but the club is now based at Weston Airport. So off Team Murf headed in the direction of Darby's Resteraunt, currently under the stewardship of one Mr. Paddy Ryan, a gentleman whom I know for over 20 years, small world huh?
Cousin Brian and Rhys flew in from Navan airfield for the BBQ. As the afternoon drew to a close, the evening began to get a lot more exciting. You see, just as we were about to head home (full to the gills with Paddy's succulent steaks), Brian and Rhys hatched a plan. "Would Aoife like fly back to Navan'?
Aoife, taking off from Weston Airport
on her very first light flight in a light aircraft.
(Piloted by Rhys Kellett & Brian Meegan).
Well, I never saw excitement explode onto a little girls face as quick and as much as it did last Sunday evening at Weston Airport. From a safety point of view, I personally had zero issue with it. There are 4 fixed wing (PPL) pilots on this planet who I would trust impeccably with flying my daughter. 50% of them were going to be upfront in the cockpit and at the flight controls on this flight, for this fantastic opportunity.
As myself and Alison left Weston to chase a certain aircraft to Navan, something totally unexpected happened to me. Yes, I was just as excited (probably even more so than Aoife), but as we raced down the M3, I could both sense and feel deep emotions emanating from my mind. With my eyes welling up in the car, this somewhat unusual jigsaw puzzle of the mind began to join some dots.
I could just envisage Aoife 1500ft above our heads having an absolute ball on board. As we tripped the fast pass toll as we zipped thru the fast lane, the tears were rolling down my cheeks. "This is a HAPPY event, so what the bloody hell is wrong with me ?" I cried inwards.
Then the penny dropped. My mind had just jumped years down the road. "Wouldn't Aoife make a fine pilot, even just for on a hobby scale" were the sounds coming from an inner voice in my mind. Would I be around to witness this, or would Aoife's solo flight be bitter sweet for the apple of Daddy's eye ? That thought kept circling my mind, just as a shark takes count of it's prey. I looked up, "For the love of god, please make me better, I have to witness Aoife's solo flight in years to come". My mind raced further on (as it does): "This little girl needs her Daddy, please help me'.
Yes, I was so excited to witness Aoife on her very first PPL flight, so this is NOT meant to throw any negativity on it. I was just so gob-smacked by that tint of a thought that entered my mind which was packed to the gills with emotion. I think the trigger event for this surprise blast of retro thoughts happened many years ago, ironically when I was age 9 too.
How did Aoife enjoy her flight?
Press play and have a listen.
Here's an unusual fact pertaining to same:
This first flight for Aoife (9) was from Weston Airport in an aircraft owned by Neil van Lonkhuyzen.
My first flight (age 9 too), 40 years ago, was from Weston Airport in an aircraft owned by Neil's brother, Peter van Lonkhuyzen.
If I had a crystal ball, my dream thoughts along this type of saga would be:
Rhys or indeed Brian will acquire their flight Instructor rating and teach Aoife to fly.
If I get to nail my bastardised tumor to the wall, then perhaps Aoife can fly around the balloon in years to come ?
What a cool photo that would make.... with a decent story behind it too.
To Rhys, Brian, Thank You so much !!
If you are at a loose end next Thursday night, July 20th, please do come along to a talk I am doing in the Pastoral Centre at 8pm.
My talk is called 'INSIDE OUT'