One Day . . . Two Solos!

He did it!!!  The weather cooperated and my son celebrated his birthday by successfully completing both helicopter and airplane solo flights!  I was so happy, so relieved, so proud!!!!  Evan was just about walking on air.  And he should have been . . . soloing in both a helicopter and airplane on your 16th birthday is not a very common accomplishment.

Our local paper came out and did a great article on Evan.  Here’s a link . . . https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/9416706-181/sebastopol-youth-celebrates-his-16th

We started the morning at Helico, Evan’s helicopter flight school.  He went through pre-flight and then took off with his instructor.  They flew over to “helicopter practice area” and did a couple of patterns.  Evan then landed and instructor Konnor got out.  Off he went!!!  It was a little surreal watching the small R22 helicopter flying around, knowing that it was just my 16 year old kid up there

.20190321_103921-1.jpg    Post-helicopter solo!!!!

After lots of pictures and congratulations, we went home for lunch.  A couple hours later, we were back at the airport, this time at North Coast Air, Evan’s airplane flight school.  Again, he went through pre-flight under the watchful eye of his instructor, but without any input.  They took off together and did three take-offs and landings.  Then, once again, instructor Art got out and Evan was off on his own!  Again, everything went beautifully.  Whew!!

20190318_120034.jpg   And post-airplane solo!!!

I think I was way more stressed about the day than I realized.  I know I was stressed over the weather.  People kept asking me if I was nervous about him flying by himself.  I’d bravely answer, “No!!” and usually follow it with something like, “I have complete confidence in his instructors and know they won’t let him go if they’re not 100% convinced that he’s ready.”  I meant that.  But maybe watching your 16 year old fly around by himself is actually stressful.  Whatever it was, at the end of the day, I was absolutely exhausted.

Completing your solo flight is akin to getting your driver’s learning permit.  Evan has a lot more training in front of him.  His ultimate goal is fly air tankers for Cal Fire or a private air tanker company.  Challenging, dangerous work.  Flying lessons are extremely expensive so I started a GoFundMe page . . . especially since I just lost my job.  Go take a look, donate if you feel so inclined. . . and, if you don’t, goodness knows I won’t be offended (I’ve always been a little divided on the whole GoFundMe thing, personally).  Here’s the link to that:  https://www.gofundme.com/help-evan-fly

Thanks for celebrating with me!!!!

 

Hourly Weather Checks

O.k., this is going to be a short post  . . . I’ve been anxiously wanting to write about this for days now but haven’t had time . . .

For the past 10 days now, I’ve been neurotically checking the weather.  By “neurotically” I mean at least 6 or 8 times a day, sometimes hourly.  It simply CANNOT rain this coming Thursday, March 21.

March 21, the day after tomorrow is my son’s 16th birthday.  He plans to celebrate by taking his solo flights in both an airplane and a helicopter.   Soloing on your 16th birthday is a HUGE aviation tradition – one that’s hard to achieve.  Soloing in both an airplane and helicopter on your 16th birthday is pretty rare – super hard to achieve!

So, it simply cannot rain.  Because he cannot fly in the rain.  Here’s how the forecast looks at the moment:

20190319_222426

See why I’m more than a little nervous?  See why WeatherUnderground.com is constantly open on my computer?

He has worked so, so hard for this.  He understands, of course, that we can’t control the weather, but he’ll be disappointed if he misses this milestone on his actual birthday.

So please!!!  Join me in my prayers for sun!  Or do a Sun Dance!!!  Or just send good, anti-rain vibes our way!!!  Thanks!