Ashley Intro Flight

Hey there! So, this crazy thing happened today,….I flew a plane!!! Well, kind of. Okay, not really. Well, not totally. Let me back up….

My name is Ashley. I am the Director of Business Development for Class Bravo Air. I haven’t always been, obviously. Before coming to Class Bravo I worked as a recruiter in the financial industry. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my children. The point here is, I like predictable, logical, and safe. That being said, when someone asks you if you want to go take a short flight while sitting co-pilot, you don’t say no. In fact I leapt at the chance! So much so that I had second thoughts before we even hit the runway.

“What the hell did you just agree to Ashley?!” My heart was racing and my hands were a little shaky, but there was no turning back now. Jacob explained to me what he was doing when he checked everything inside the plane. He increased the engine’s power and decreased it again. He checked the flaps and the instruments. He radioed to the FBO (the people in the front office at the airport) and let them know we were about to go for takeoff. I was told that I should have a little bit of something in my stomach before flying, as it would help to keep from getting an upset stomach, but in the moments that the plane was speeding down the runway, that didn’t make any sense to me. My stomach was in knots! But then it happened. I felt the tires leave the earth, and suddenly the knots in my stomach became butterflies. All the worry and anxiety that I had on the ground were gone. I stared out over the river and the valley, and was overwhelmed with this huge sense of freedom, wonder, and gratitude. It was AMAZING.

As we climbed in elevation, the plane would bounce and shift from time to time. This made me slightly nervous, but Jacob explained that we were simply moving through thermal pockets that rise from the earth. He compared it to being on a boat. When a boat goes across shifting waves, it rocks the boat. The choppier the waves, the more it affects the boat. I grew up on a lake, so comparing it to a boat and waves was right up my ally. Thermals are like waves. This I could understand, and understanding it put my mind at ease.

I was caught in this paradox of wanting to know everything that Jacob was doing and understanding how to fly, and also wanting to admire the feeling and the view. I didn’t have to ask too much, Jacob walked me through everything that he was doing and also told me a little bit of why. He told me I could put my hands on the yoke and “follow along” with what he was doing as he explained it. It was all making perfect sense. Until he said, “I think you’re ready to fly a little bit!” “Wait! WHAT?! I can’t do this! Are you serious!? It’s your life too, you realize??!” I blurted. “You’ll be fine.” Jacob reassured me. “I’m right here.” “Yeah, I know, but are you sure about this, like really sure because I’m not!” I replied. “You’ve got this” Jacob said. This only made me feel slightly better. But I figured that he knows what he is doing. I trusted him. Before I knew it I was steering the plane! It was liberating!!!

By the time that we got back to the hanger I was on a high. I couldn’t wait to get back up there and do it again. To feel that rush and then such a weightless calm, like time is suspended. I have found my happy place. And who could let that go? So after thinking about it for a hot second, and taking the customary selfie, I’ve decided. I’m doing it. I’m going to become a private pilot!! It’s going to take time and a lot of work, but it’s worth that it! Stay tuned for more updates on how lessons are coming along!

-Ashley

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