My first flight in a single-engine airplane took place when I was four years old. I can easily remember the flight; Grandpa Country was flying, Dad was in the right seat (he wasn’t a pilot yet), and I was in the back seat of a Cessna 172. I was wearing a dark plaid shirt of some sort. We took off and flew around the area. I remember looking out the window to the right and seeing the ground below us and enjoying the sensation for a little bit. I then started feeling queasy. Dad looked back at me with his usual grin. I would come to recognize that grin when he gained his pilot’s certificate; Dad really liked aviation. Someone asked me if I was OK. I asked if there was a radio like in the car and Grandpa Country briefly tuned in the local country station and I think he did it over a LORAN, which operated on AM frequencies. Unfortunately neither Grandpa Country nor Dad is around so I can ask.

After a few moments of loud country music I barfed, all over my plaid shirt. I remember the airplane landing and then Grandpa Country and Dad frantically (for them) cleaning up the airplane. I also remember being brought back to the family farm and being cleaned up by Grandma Country and Mom. Apparently a clean airplane was more important than a clean son to the aviators of the family.

Luckily, that’s the only time I’ve ever gotten sick in an airplane.

Tonight I went flying with an instructor to continue getting familiar with the policies and procedures of the (new to me) flying club. I demonstrated five landings, all wonderfully graceful and impressive. We even did an engine out landing and that was a lot of fun.

I totally get Dad’s usual grin when one is in an airplane.