I don’t like flying. I hate not being in control. I hate every bump and noise I can’t identify. I profile the other passengers. I know where my exits are. I pay close attention to the safety instructions even though I have heard them a hundred times. I monitor our route on line. I read the faces of the flight attendants making sure they are confident everything is going along as planned and nothing is out of the ordinary. I wear my seat belt at all times.
So, you can imagine the task at hand trying to convince me to go up in a little Cessna. Sweaty palms and a racing heart I sat down for the pre-flight safety briefing. Chief Pilot and Instructor Gary Reeves answered every question. It was as though he knew in advance every objection I was about to throw his direction. I now felt confident in Gary’s ability to fly the plane, so all I had to worry about was everything else around us. After I made sure Gary felt 100% healthy, we proceeded to the plane. I sat in the co-pilot seat while Rick & Vicky sat ever so calmly in the back. Gary turned to me and said “I am going to show you how to fly this plane. You will take the controls. You will fly during take-off” … I couldn’t believe my ears. Panic set in, the palms were sweatier then ever. It was too late. I had to go.
With the patience of a saint, Gary showed me what to do and I did it. Before long we were over Dodgers stadium, the Staples Center, The Hollywood Sign and Downtown Los Angeles. We passed over LAX and Santa Monica Pier. My palms stopped sweating, and my heart was no longer racing. I was able to talk, even laugh. By God I was enjoying myself!!
After we landed, and a champagne toast the big question was asked “Would You Fly Again?” … and surprisingly my answer was YES! Sometimes, the only way to face your fears is to stare them down. Just Do It.
FACTS that Make Flying Safe
Sunset Flying has conducted hundreds of flights over 5 years with a 100% Safety Record.
Only the best are certified instructors and they require it in addition to a commercial pilot’s license.
Gary, is Sunset Flying’s chief pilot he is an airline transport pilot with over 3500 hours a flight, instrument, & multi-engine instructor.
Back up, back up, back up. Every airplane system is built with a back-up. They even have 2 gas tanks!
Aircraft are statistically 1-2 million times safer than cars in Southern California and pilots are required to conduct an extensive preflight inspection before every flight
Sunset Flying is Authorized by the FAA to conduct sightseeing flights.
Sunset Flying conducts random drug/alcohol tests for all pilots and mechanics
Have you faced YOUR fears? How did you do it? What advise do you have for others?