Feb 15 2009

First Flight of 2009 and Learning a Valuable Lesson

Category: RamblingsDaniel @ 5:03 pm

I had my first flight of 2009 this morning and I learned a very important lesson.  January was a tough month to fly weather-wise and I was traveling a lot for work.  All those flights on United and listening to “Channel 9” (the air traffic control radio feed) had me itching to fly into a towered airport.  My neighbor just turned 30 on Friday and since he had never been in a small plane before and the weather was supposed to be nice I invited him and his wife to join me and my wife flying.  I had planned to fly us into Janesville (KJVL) to grab lunch at the Kealy’s Kafe restaurant on the airport (another first for me).

ziploc-gallon-freezerThe weather was looking beautiful and the takeoff went flawlessly.  About 2 minutes into the flight, though, my neighbor mentioned was feeling a little sick.  2 Minutes later he confirmed it was only getting worse, but urged me continue on.  About 40% of the way to Janesville, he was starting to look rather green and I was thinking he was gonna’ lose it any second.  I didn’t have much to use to “catch” his airsickness, and I felt bad telling him to puke in his shirt, so I suggested he use my headset bag if he really had to ralph.  Although we were almost halfway to Janesville, I decided it would be best to turn around and head back to Westosha.  I tried my best to keep things as smooth as possible, even “rounding out” my pattern as best I could to avoid very steep turns to land.  Luckily he was able to hold back the pukes and we landed without incident.

The lesson I learned is to always carry a large sized Ziploc bag or two, and keep one ON your person, in case something like this happens again.  I highly doubt if he used my headset bag that I’d be using it much more in the future.  Thankfully everything worked out.  I’ve also heard that the smell of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) can help alleviate queasiness.  So, maybe I’ll try to get my hands on some of those little alcohol wet-naps to have on hand for the next time (hopefully never though).

After landing back at Westosha, I dropped off the passengers and did 2 quick laps around the pattern to stay current with club rules (and just for practice).  I’ll have to hit Kealy’s Kafe sometime in the near future to make up for missing it today.   Overall, though, my neighbors did say they enjoyed the flight.  I guess he simply had too much booze a few nights ago for his 30th birthday and never fully recovered from his hangover.  Hopefully we’ll go up again sometime soon.  It was nice to get back in the air even with all this drama though, I must admit!

This flight I logged 0.8 hours of flight time.

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5 Responses to “First Flight of 2009 and Learning a Valuable Lesson”

  1. Tony says:

    I’m taking my wife up for the first time tomorrow. I hope not to have an experience like that.

  2. Andrew says:

    When I was taking lessons, one of my friends wanted to come along and video tape it. Of course I forgot we were working on stalls that day. Looking through the viewfinder of the camera and the movement didn’t help his cause. Within minutes he turned green and my instructor went full speed back to the airport. Previously, a passenger had thrown up and he got stuck with cleaning the vomit out of the back seat. He wasn’t about to see it happen again. We made it back without my friend throwing up, but my friend kissed the ground when he got out of the airplane.

  3. Andrew says:

    I forgot to mention, a few weeks later we went to show the footage to some friends. When we popped the tape in, we realized his sister had recorded her soap operas over the footage.

  4. Todd says:

    Whenever I fly commercially I grab a sick bag and bring it home with me. I have a nice stash that I keep in my flight bag just in case.

    Let me know when you plan to check out Kealy’s. We might be able to organize a small midwest meetup.

  5. Finally Flew to Kealy’s Kafe, and Engine Starting Troubles | Dan's Pilot Times says:

    […] I was supposed to fly there 2 weekends ago, but because of an airsick passenger, I had to turn that trip around.  The weather for the day was brisk and cold (around 15-20°F), slightly windy, but not a […]

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