My friend Brandon is an electrical engineer. He is interning at Cirrus, doing complicated things with wires and electricity and airplanes. I also think it involves magic, but I'm not good enough at math to be sure.
Either way, he flew from Duluth, MN to the Middleton airport. By flew, I mean he flew a plane. He didn't ride in a plane, he flew it.
The brave soul that he is, he invited me to go up. In the sky. In a little plane. (Did I mention he has had his pilot's license since I before I met him when he was a freshmen in college?)
It was a beautiful day to get hurtled through the sky in a small piece of whatever material they make planes out of. I had originally thought that it would be a little scary, but I had all confidence in Brandon's ability to make this thing take off, and I figured gravity would take care of the rest. If anyone is nervous about small planes, just make sure you have a good pilot.
To top it off, Brandon showed me how to deploy the rocket propelled parachute, in the event he "keeled over." This would then allow the plane to descend and hit the ground at 12 feet per second. He even mentioned I shouldn't yank on the handle, as it might break off. Instead, I should pull it as if I were doing a pull-up. I failed to mention I can't do pull-ups.
"Oh, that? It's just the plane I fly around. No big deal."
Takeoff. I'm pretty sure my words were "Weeeeee!"
Ahh, the capitol.
The pilot. "I need to see two thumbs up," I said.
Getting ready to land.
Yup, the plane can't run away now.
No, really. Beautiful day.