My First Flying Experience

It was the day after my sixteenth birthday when me and my father arrived at the airport. We were scheduled to depart in just over an hour and as the departure time drew closer, the butterflies in my stomach became more active. Suddenly I found myself worrying about things that hadn’t even crossed my mind in the weeks leading up to our trip.

What if I was stuck sitting next to someone who forgot to shower or a baby that just wouldn’t stop crying? What if the in-flight meal didn’t go well with my new low-carb diet? What if the pilot suffered a medical emergency and couldn’t land the plane? My mind was going a mile firstexpa minute. All I wanted in that moment was to turn around and go home. Unfortunately, this trip was not for pleasure and going home was not an option.

Shortly after arriving at the airport our plane began to board. While the process only took a few minutes, it felt as though hours had gone by waiting for all of the passengers to board the aircraft and for the pilot to begin pulling away from the gate.

As the plane began to make its assent I felt the pressure in my ears begin to build. For a brief moment I was sure that my head was going to explode. Thankfully my father took notice of my discomfort and offered me a piece of gum. I placed the gum in my mouth and began chewing. Virtually immediately my ears popped and the pressure in my head disappeared. For the first time since we arrived at the airport my body felt relaxed and comfortable.

I took a moment to look out the window and was shocked at how small our once seemingly huge city appeared. Big houses looked like mere shacks and the people on the street could not even be seen from this distance. Suddenly I became overwhelmed with a feeling of power. From up here it felt as though I could easily take the whole world into my hand. With just a flick of my wrist I could knock over skyscr or clear entire forests. Everything was so small and I felt so big. It was the most amazing feeling I had ever felt.

As we made our way to visit my Grandmother who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, our flight would travel more than two thousand miles with layovers in two different cities.

After just a few hours our plane prepared to make its first landing. As we made our decent, the butterflies once again returned sending my stomach into a whirling rage of discomfort. When the wheels finally touched the ground and the plane began to slow I let out a sigh loud enough for the entire plane to hear. I was glad to be on the ground.

As our second departure time grew near, I was surprised to find myself looking forward to the experience of flying.

I was prepared for the pressure that take off brought this time around. By chewing a piece of gum as the plane ascended, I was able to avoid the discomfort I experienced the first time around. I just couldn’t wait to get back up in the air where I could look down at the rest of the world going about there daily business never thinking twice about the eye in the sky looking down on them. Today, that eye belonged to me.

By the time our flight made it to our final destination, I knew that I had to find a way to spend more time in the sky. I shared this feeling with my father who was shocked by the rather dramatic turn of events. Just a few hours earlier I was begging him to take me home. I would have given anything for him to tell me I didn’t need to get on the plane.

Surely there was another way for us to reach my grandmother’s house. However, by the time we drove away from the airport, I would have given anything for him to let me back on the plane for even a few more moments of glory in the sky. It was this first flying experience that drove my lifelong love of flying and my desire to become a pilot.