How Not To Fly A Plane


Most of you probably already know that my husband is a flight instructor. He is paid to hop in a plane everyday with people he barely knows and teaches them how to fly gracefully above the beautiful Texas land. As you can imagine, a job like this would require a fair amount of trust and patience (neither quality I strongly posses’). While I have been given the chance to fly quite regularly with Matthew over the last 5 years, I have never really taken the initiative to ‘learn’ the ropes of the plane if for any reason to share in his hobby that he is so passionate about (and of course to be able to personally answer yes if a flight attendant yells “oh my gosh, is there a pilot on board” on a crowded plane). Well that all changed today when I asked my brave, oh so brave, husband to treat me like a first time student and not his wife of three years. I could see this ending in one of two ways; 1. I am a natural Amelia Earhart, a maverick in the sky, pushing all the right buttons and making all the radio calls. or 2. I am a natural yet elusive Turkey, surprising agile, but limited in airtime as we like to stay closer to the ground because that is where the food is at. I’ll let you all be the judge of that. The following are just a few key items to remember when wanting to learn how to fly:

  • Evaluate relationship with flight instructor


  • Whether your married to your instructor or not, it is probably a wise idea to make sure that the personalities line up enough to where you feel comfortable to learn and to be taught. If it is someone who makes you nervous or annoys you, the motivation and drive to really learn may not be there. In my case, I needed to look at several different things. Were our wills in place just in case I manage to kill one or both of us (ie. who will get the cats..liz lemon?)? Are the spare blankets clean in the event of a major fight that will result in my husband sleeping on the couch for a night or two? Have I done anything to make him angry in the last month that would tempt him to push me out of a plane at 3,000 ft. Who has the better divorce lawyer? These are all very important situations to consider!
  • Pre-flight Check List


  • I am a list girl, so when Matthew whipped out this little book of items to check before taking of, I was in OCD heaven. Of the 100 or so preflight tasks to complete, I shall focus on an important one.  Apparently it is quite crucial to UNTIE said plane for the earth to which it is bound to. Who knew that three tethered ropes make the difference between going….and not going. My flight instructor knew this the whole time, and was testing me. I, failed miserably..Plane 1 Jennifer 0
  • Get familiar with dials on panel


    • We were flying a 2001 Cessna 172 which contains about 15 circular dials and one updated flux capacitor. Matthew did a quick rundown of a few of the dials, and I will short hand for you what I learned.
      • 1: Air speed indicator, tells you how fast you are going Smile duh..even a flightless bird such as the Ostrich could tell you that!
      • 2: Attitude indicator, reminds you ‘loose the tude’ and to check yourself before you wreck yourself, literally
      • 3: “Imitator” lets you know on a scale of 0-9 how close your imitation of being a pilot is. 0-2 you look like an ostrich,3-5  you’re a turkey 6-9 Amelia Earhart
      • 4:  Turn Coordinator with Gyroscope tells pilot how sharply they are going to need to tilt plane. if done correctly a fresh Gyro will be waiting for them upon landing.
      • 5: Plane indicator, is there solely to remind pilot that they are in fact flying a plane and not a train or a car.
      • 6: Vertical speed indicator..which is code for..your falling to the ground..and this is how fast your going to get there
      • 7: Candy cane indicator, lets pilot know exactly how long and how far they have to fly to get to the North Pole
  • Be clear with radio
    • For almost your whole flight you are connected with the flight instructor and tower by way of radio. This is so your position and your intentions are clear to all around you. For me..a person who clearly loves the sound of their own voice, it became a new venue to sing todays greatest hits. Fun fact: Did you know singing Miley Cyrus’ “We Cant Stop” is sudden and instant grounds to be dismissed from the plane by the flight instructor, even at 3000 feet? Furthermore, At one point I asked Matthew to stall and kill time as I was texting a friend that we were currently above them so they could come out and waive…he took this statement quite literal and “stalled” the plane..I stopped singing Miley after that.

We were in the air for a whopping total of 18 minutes before we, in an attempt to save the plane the citizens of bell county and our marriage, decided to land gracefully. I am proud to announce that no one died, no one is getting divorced and no one is sleeping on the couch. I will, however, be finding another hobby though Smile

I’m Back!

Summer break is over, and my writing hiatus has ended! A lot has happened since my last post (hence the writing break) So I will need to catch you up in a pinch. What better way to do this than with an epic “list” post covering everything some stuff I’ve learned or experienced in the last few months.

  1. My instructions I left you in my last post about how to pick a winning NCAA bracket (read it HERE) are apparently not accurate. If anyone lost any money on using my “sure fire” method…sorry everyone!
  2. Buying a house is a stressful situation but in the end is totally worth it! Love having a HOME to come to after a hard day of work versus an apartment that has the haunting stench of the former renter’s pets.Home Sweet Home!
  3. Pets, even the ones you love dearly, become slightly less loveable when they all the sudden rack up a 500 vet bills and permanently require cat food that costs 50$ for 20lbs. But then they look at you like this…and it’s all better! 
  4. Cannon ball jumping into a 4ft pool when you are 26, slightly fluffy and on a vacation that requires a lot of walking is a bad idea…unless you want to spend the rest of your vacation with elevated feet in a hotel room with nothing but TELEMUNDO! Just ask my husband 😉
  5. I have beaten my record of consecutive number of days without chewing on my finger nails from 1 day to 2 weeks. Watch out world!
  6. Did you know that if you spray furniture polish on stained concrete floors you can instantly create an Ice rink fun for any man woman or four legged creature already struggling with friction problems.grave mix up in the kitchen...
  7. I have recently come to grips with the fact that I may never be able to “twerk” and am completely ok with that revelation. (so is half of America that is gifted with the sense of sight).
  8. Twinkies are back in stock, therefore I am stereotypically complete again!130712113828-walmart-twinkies-620xa
  9. My brave husband is teaching me how to shoot gun, believe it or not, I managed to hit the target, just above the right shoulder (not a kill shot). He is convinced I will get better with time and practice. I am convinced I will get better with time, practice and a pretty pink gun with an engraved rose or maybe a cat on the grip.17746_10100419870513244_1077010215_n
  10. Upon my request, my husband recently paid a mariachi band 10$ to serenade me at a river walk restaurant in down town San Antonio, furthermore, this was the best 10$ I have EVER spent! (Please excuse the fat arm, I was trying to discretely record this epic experience.)