I was lucky enough today to enjoy a special treat. A coworker of mine invited me to go flying with him in his homebuilt airplane! I may have mentioned it before, but just for the record I am a huge fan of airplanes and flying, so this was a big deal for me.
There's a small airport about 5 miles from my house and he had a reason to be landing there today, so I drove over to meet him and actually managed to get there in time to watch him land his plane. Once he parked the plane, I met him over by the skydiving school. His 89 year old cousin was going to go skydiving today!
Then the moment of truth arrived when my friend told me that the plane was mine to fly and let go of the controls. It's actually not as terrifying as it sounds, since airplanes like to fly straight and level. After a little of that and some simple turns, I gave control back to the left seat and we started back to the airport, where we had an uneventful landing.
The one thing that made this so enjoyable was that I fit into the cockpit of the plane without any trouble at all, something I wouldn't have been able to do 18 months ago. The plane seats two people and the interior is only about 43 inches wide at the shoulders. It didn't even occur to me that I didn't feel cramped up in that small space until I was driving home!
The only problem now is that I'm starting to feel an itch. An itch that I haven't felt in years. A very expensive itch. I wonder how much flying lessons cost these days...