High Times Flying With Cheetah

Have you ever flown like a Cheetah??? (Not to be confused with Cheeta, Tarzan's buddy.) How about "in" a Cheetah?

OK, OK, so I'm referring to the Grumman-American Cheetah.

Still not familiar? This is an unusual animal. As most cheetahs, it flies pretty fast. But this one leaves the ground just a tad bit. By a few thousand feet.

Today, I was provided an awesome opportunity to jump on one and take flight. It's not every day a gal gets to ride a Cheetah.

Yes, it's been awhile since I was behind de yoke. No yoke. =) Especially, not in a Cheetah. (Cessna, yes). So there was some adjustment.

Taxing in a Cheetah was especially challenging, and not just because it's been a few years since I've been in the seat of a cockpit. It has a castering nose-wheel and that was unfamiliar to me. I must've looked like I had a few drinks as I weaved my way down the runway. hee hee. But Don, my well seasoned pilot, was ever so patient.

Don had no prob in turning the plane over to me; I was the one resisting. But being the fast-paced person that I am, I didn't take any time increasing altitude. As a matter of fact, a little bit sooner than planned. But he didn't mind, he just shrugged it off as we'd just rise to the occasion a little sooner to be able to cruise. Sure! The winds were not as friendly as the skies are supposed to be. So we bumped and bounced on our way to the top of about 2500 feet.

I've always relished in the two most dangerous aspects of flying...take-off and landing. And Don performed them to perfection, all the while including me in on the adventure.

It was a more than a refresher course, and Don was certain it wouldn't take me long to dive back into flying. That wasn't such a comfy pun, now was it? Don, by the way, was a commercial pilot for years as well as a CFI (certified flight instructor).

But I've decided flying is not my "thang" anymore. Yes, I do love to jump on a plane or a helicopter now and again for an invigorating high! However, I left that chapter a long time ago. Well, closed, with only glimpses of intriguing memories of my studies in aviation. I will forever cherish those days.

And I'll always be soooo very proud of myself for passing the FAA exam with "flying" colors. There was a time I never mentioned it for concern that someone might think I was being a little proud. Now, I'm getting old enough to not inhibit myself for others. Life is just too short to not appreciate all the work you put into something. And I did just that with aviation, as I have in other studies.

The temptation is no longer there. I guess I passed it all onto my son. And I'm more than glad to leave it there. He will do well with it.

I'm the one here on the bottom trying to keep up with my son!!!! hee hee. You go, Son!!!!!

PHOTO: Taken with my Iphone while taking off...

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