Friday, December 01, 2006

Up up and away...

I called Christian at work yesterday to tell him 
that I would be coming to pick him up from work at 4:00.
Of course he asked me why and of course I told him I 
wasn't going to tell him, because it was his birthday surprise.
I also told him to be prepared because all his dreams would be coming true.
I picked him up from work and he was full of questions.
I asked him to lay his seat back and close his eyes, then I drove us to Scottsdale
where I arranged for him to have a R22 helicopter lesson.
As I drove into the hanger, Christian was totally suspicious.
Then I told him to sit up and right in front of him was a red heli.
Then I told him he was going to fly that red helicopter.
Christian's face actually turned white because he was so excited,
he was speechless.  This has been something he's only dreamed about doing.
He kept kissing me and asking me if this was actually happening.

He acted like a 10 year old circling the helicopter and eyeing
the gadgets and controls.
Turns out he was a natural
Flying is a passion Christian has always had, and this flying lesson
 has ignited a something deep inside of him.
He told me in the car on the way home (after he let out a little scream),
 that he is seriously going to take flying lessons at 
Boeing where he works.  He will begin the 40 hour ground school, 
and I 100% support his decision.
Christian shared his thoughts about the evening in the 
Nielson family newsletter:

"I JUST FLEW A HELICOPTER WHOOOOO"
Here is what he posted on our family's news letter:
Today I flew a helicopter! You got it folks...take a back seat Mr. Jack Bauer
 because I know how to fly this thing! For my birthday, 
Stephanie told me to make sure I could get off work because
 we needed to leave at 4:00 pm for a surprise birthday gift. 
She made me keep my eyes closed for 45 minutes in the car while
 she drove us to Scottsdale Airport , and into a private hanger. 
I had no idea that Stephanie had signed me up for a flight lesson.
 But then we stepped into the hanger where our bird was and
 I was greeted by "Ross" my instructor.Less than 15 minutes
 after arriving Ross and I took to the air in order to get the 
best evening flight light. BAM!...in an instant we were airborne and
 200 feet above Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and Scottsdale Road . 
We pierced the tip of the FLW Blvd blue needle at the intersection
 and then banked north into the desert. After 5 minutes of instruction Ross
 showed me the last cabin instrument (the heater) and passed me the controls! 
Of course he held onto the instructor's controls in the left jump seat
 and made necessary corrections when I drifted off course. 
At first I was really frustrated with how hard it is to fly a helicopter
 (like the day I bought Little Bird – my remote controlled heli…still battling it)
.But after a while Ross folded his arms and watched me fly!
 It was amazing! It just clicked for me! 
The funnest thing I have ever done in my whole life!!! 
The last 15 minutes of our flight it was just me and this flying machine! 
I guess all those costly crashes with Little Bird in the back yard and 
dining room finally paid off...I was flying the Robinson R-22 by myself!!!
So, after logging 15 minutes of personal stick time we took it back in.
 Ross showed off a little in the confined area between hangers and did a few
 "bowl maneuvers" and "360's" in front of Stephanie.
 It was the best birthday ever!
 I'm definitely going back up for the 40 hours needed for a license.