Monday, July 9, 2012

Flying and Gliding

I leaned pretty heavily on Wyatt and Tate to TAKE MORE PICTURES this time, and they really came through for me :D  Saturday morning, bright and early (and can you guess which parent gets up at 4:30am to get the boys to the airport by 5:30?) they met their pilot before the sun came up to go through the pre-flight checklist.  I think they were in the air before 6:30.  Heading south, the sun was lighting up the Olympic Mountains, to the west.

"Their" plane is the middle one.  While our boys are learning about gliders, their pilot is taking other CAP cadets for powered O-Flights.

And they do a lot of learning.  See that little trailer?  The gliders come in trailers, and the cadets help assemble them before they fly in them.

The boys wear their full BDU's when they're doing a CAP activity, but the glider cockpit is small and hot, so they're advised to bring t-shirts, shorts, and gym shoes... hence the mixed bag of apparel you see.  (Even Tate doesn't usually wear black socks with shorts, y'know?!)

Looks like they've got it nearly ready to go.  I think Wyatt approves.

Tate's good to go!

Here's the front seat of the driver, where the student sits.  You can see the rudder (is that what they call it? The boys are already in bed.)  The yellow handle is the tow-cable release, which the cadets get to pull.  They get to do a lot.  In fact, they really do get to fly the planes.

And here the glider is fully assembled, and ready to go.  It kind of looks like a toy, but I won't think too  much about that!

And up it goes.  Wyatt took the pic, so I think that is Tate, flying!

They had just touched down.  If you look closely at the wings, you can see the "brakes" (little flaps) are up.  I'm sure there's a better, more technical name for them, but the boys are unavailable for consultation.

And... flying home, that's Wyatt in the co-pilot seat :D

Looking west over Hood Canal, at the Olympics, now in silhouette.

Not sure exactly where this is, but what a unique place to live!

The boys laughed when I commented that it looked like the pilot had gone to sleep...

... leaving Wyatt in control of the plane.  But they assured me he was just checking some paperwork.  (He's a great guy, very responsible.  But it does look a bit suspicious ;D)

They overflew Whidbey NAS, which we toured last year.

I love this shot Tate got of the double bridge at Deception Pass.  We've driven over it many times and the view is always breath-taking.  The tide just races through, as you can see in the photo.  I've seen boats with their engines going full bore, barely making headway against the current.

And finally, nearly home, with a view of "our" Mt. Baker.

They really had an awesome day, in the fullest sense of the word.  They are LOVING Civil Air Patrol!


dlefler said...

Wow - I had no idea they had to build the plane before they flew in it! Those gliders are very cool - though they do look a bit like toys. The views are fantastic from the plane ride home. CAP is such a cool experience - where else can a kid actually fly their own glider? Way cool.

Choate Family said...

I'd say the boys came through with taking more pictures this time. What a great trip!

Rebecca D said...

Wow... What amazing photos! So cool that they get a chance to do this. (PS. That pilot does look to be asleep!!)

Jena said...