Saturday, March 27

Jiggedy Jig

Tuesday dawns clear and crisp. A wonderful spring day with promise of temps rising into the 60's. At breakfast we find that there have been four more confirmations, bringing us to 23, which means two flights. Bill likes that, as he will be able to go along and observe.
At the airport, John and I go inside to register passengers, while the others attend to readying the Flagship. Our passengers are an excited and enthusiastic group. There is a boy of 12 taking his first flight of any type. Only one female is signed up, the wife of a city employee who will be on board also. A middle aged man is treating his father to a flight. One man is a dealer in aviation memorabilia and shows a trading card from his collection depicting our Flagship. We are excited about that!! Three friends are doing it together, one of them has not seen the plane, just going cause his friends said he needed to. The airport manager and two employees are also taking the flight. When the dust settles, I have entered one person on the list twice and one does not show, so we end up with exactly 21. Yay! One full flight yields the most profit. Bill takes the news well that he will not be observing after all.
Before long they are ready to depart and the right engine starts. It billows a lot of white smoke, spits and sputters but finally roars to life, followed shortly by the left. Lewis flies left seat, Gene right and John is cabin attendent. After a seemingly long warm up and taxi, they take off and take off into the pristine blue sky.
Before we know it, they are back. The photo above is of the plane landing after the flight. Please note the smiling faces and cameras in hand. The passengers are grinning from ear to ear. The woman, Joni Morgan, runs up and hugs me, saying, "Thank you, thank you for bringing this plane here. This was a wonderful experience!" Most of the passengers got to visit the cockpit and Gene said their smiles were so wide it seemed their faces would split. Chase Hunter, a corporate pilot friend of Charlie's, has been taken out early for pre-flight, given a few minutes on the stick and follows the crew around after the flight learning more of the routine. Gosh, it is so gratifying to be a part of something that makes people so happy.
All good things come to an end. We have rented a car and head for home in early afternoon. It is an easy 3 hour drive to Covington. We will wash clothes, Gene will repack and head back tomorrow for the rest of the mission. I will continue to write with reports from "on the scene" correspondents.

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