Sunday, November 21, 2010

VT-2 Taxi Day

Yesterday was Taxi Day at Lane's squadron. They let student spouses and instructor spouses come to "work." While we were "at work" we got to taxi one of the planes with an instructor pilot.

The day started out with a safety brief from the squadron's Commanding Officer, Commander McGuire. He introduced us to the idea of being in the training planes. He seemed to spare no detail, including the fact that the planes have been in circulation for a few years, or so, and many students have "lost their lunches" in them and they sweat in them every day. He definitely made it out to be worse than it actually was! After he was done briefing us, we were introduced to buttons, switches, knobs, and anything else that we should not touch while in the plane. Honestly, I had no desire to touch ANY buttons unless they said to because there were SO many that you had no idea what they might do when pushed, turned, clicked, or whatever else you could do to them!

After the brief, the spouses went over to the line shack - where we were to get into the planes - to wait our turns. The line shack is also used by students and instructors that morning, and every day, to go over briefs before flying their instructional flights. I would not have wanted to be in that room briefing an instructor with all of us chatty wives in there! I wouldn't have been able to concentrate.

When it was finally my turn to "take flight" I donned my helmet and gloves (I was already in my flight suit), and I jumped aboard the bird to get strapped in and hooked up to the radio.


As soon as my radio was hooked up my instructor said, "Hey, who do I have back there?" When I answered him he responded by saying "Hey, Brittany, my name is Matt, you ready to go?" As ready as I thought I was, I was nervous, and off we went!

As we taxied around, he had me turning right, turning left, following this yellow line and that one, and then he showed me how to park the plane. When you park a plane you don't park between the lines, you park over the line, which is kind of weird. Once we were parked he took the torque up to the power level that it needs to be at in order to take off. After he did that we taxied on back to where we started and my turn was over.

Once I had my feet back on solid ground we took Eden over to the static plane and let her play in the cockpit. The static plane is there so that the students can familiarize themselves with the cockpit and all the gadgets that are there to play with! Eden enjoyed it because we didn't try to stop her from touching anything - just eating things! Who knows where all those pilots have been!

Taxi Day was a great day for Eden and I to get a chance to see SOME of what Lane does while he's at work every day. It also gave Lane a chance to see what I do while I'm at work every day! It was a nice little mix-up and it was something different that we don't get to do every day. I'll remember how difficult I thought it was to simply taxi the plane tomorrow when Lane *hopefully* gets his solo flight completed! Keep your fingers crossed!!

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