Saturday, August 26, 2017

We're now officially a flying family

Plane: Cessna 172 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Clear, 69 degrees, wind 070 degrees at 5 knots

I've been hinting at this for a while now. Of course, I wanted to feel 100% current and fully in possession of all my flying faculties prior to taking our little girl flying. Parenthood has a way of shining the spotlight on conscientiousness and responsibility.

She was all decked out in appropriate attire

Mariella was in a rather good mood this evening (per usual - we really did get lucky as she's quite the happy baby) as we got her changed into a proper first flight outfit. Gina and her said hello to everyone in the office while I preflighted the airplane. Once everything was ready, I carried her over to the 172 and buckled her car seat into the back of the plane. She fell asleep not long after.

Strapped in and sound asleep

Gina buckled herself up next to Mariella in the back and I ran through my checklist and started the engine. Apparently the little one perked up with the noise of the engine but quickly nodded off again. Gina ended up cutting down some regular ear plugs for Mariella's tiny ears, since the baby headset I bought is too wide on her head when she's wedged into the infant car seat.

Her reactions on short final and landing are priceless (about 1:10 and 1:35 in the video)

Once I was completely sure the plane and passengers were all ready to go, I taxied onto Runway 8 and we took off into the calm evening sky. Mariella was awake at this point and stared at Gina while chewing on her hand - a favorite pastime - as we climbed out. She seemed pretty content.

A happy family together at 2,500 feet

I made very shallow turns and leveled at about 2,500 feet. It was already late in the evening so I anticipated a short flight from the start. Nonetheless, I heard a few cries behind me as we flew down the valley so I turned gently back towards Stewart about five minutes after takeoff. Turns out someone decided to convert the clean diaper to the non-clean variety; that usually results in notable crankiness.

Passing by the lake on our way back to Stewart

A great sunset for moving into our next chapter of flying

We were on short final about ten reasonably good minutes later. Mariella was still a little fussy, as expected, but she really did quite good overall. Gina gave her a pacifier and that kept her calm for the most part. She made some pretty good bug eyes when the main wheels touched the bumpy turf, too.

So, as the title of this post says, we're now officially a flying family! We'll be flying commercially next week so we'll see how that goes - but I think it goes without saying that I couldn't let Delta have the honor of providing my daughter's first flight. I was pretty impressed with the little squish on her first aerial experience. Here's hoping this is just the start of a long, long tradition of family flying adventures.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.4 hours
Total Time: 379.1 hours


  1. Congrats! She'll grow into those hearing protectors pretty quickly. The Bear certainly did.

    1. Yep, they fit her just fine on the ground, just not wedged into her car seat. I'm sure they'll get plenty of use in the future!

  2. Great first flight, congrats! The power of video...good memories with many more to follow.

    1. For sure - we already have an absolutely ridiculous collection of Mariella multimedia!