Sunday, 15 November 2009

Coolest Neighbour Ever

(Recent Developments)
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This is our neighbour, Phil. He lives directly next to us. He's friendly and pleasant (and quiet) and a good neighbor. Until recently the only distinguishing thing I could have told you about him is that he needs longer shorts for the gym. I'm embarrassed to write that now, after his kind offer we took him up on yesterday.
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Phil owns his own plane. I know! Trust me, he's my only neighbor in this bracket. Anyhow, he invited us to come to Springbank airport to go for a spin through an official program called Young Eagles where pilots take kids up and give them a taste for flying.
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Phil's plane seats 4 people, so Ken went up with Carmen and Chloe.
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Carmen took the first turn as co-pilot and got to control the plane once Phil got it off the ground. She helped fly to High River where Phil landed the plane and Carmen and Chloe switched seats.
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(Poor Ken didn't get a turn at the controls.)
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I guess when Phil gave the controls over to Chloe she didn't have the arm strength to maneuver the plane (it's a one-handed control for both altitude and direction). Phil suggested she try two hands, and when she reached across her body with the second hand and grabbed on to the stick the plane banked heavily to the left which provided some real excitement until Phil quickly corrected Chloe's turn. (By the time I heard the story it was funny.)
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When the first threesome returned to Springbank Steven and I went up.
(Jaclyn stayed home - too much homework)
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Steven helped pilot the trip south. We were interested and asked questions but Phil told us he was getting a lot fewer "Cool!"(s) and "This is awesome!"(s) from Steven and I than he got from Carmen and Chloe.
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I tried to be more expressive and conversational when I got my turn at the controls, but I still failed to match Carmen's enthusiasm I'm sure. I was nervous to take the controls - not that I was worried I'd crash the plane, but just that I wouldn't do well. I'm glad I didn't let that get in the way of trying because it was fun and interesting.
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Steven was a little bored in the back seat and I can't say I'm sorry because he took some pictures out the windows. Here are the mountains covered in clouds in the late afternoon.
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We flew past Steven, Carmen, and Chloe's school and right over the house of Steven's friend Sean, which we didn't get a picture of.
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Steven's view of the city from the west.
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Steven has been on a commercial flight before, but he way preferred this small plane. As he told Phil, flying commercial is like riding a bus. This was Carmen and Chloe's first time in the air and they loved the bird's eye view of things as well as the feeling of flying. Ken has gone on business trips in a small plane before, but just to exciting places like Saskatchewan. Phil has flown himself and his wife as far as the Caribbean!
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I know Steven has already posted about this on facebook, and Carmen and Chloe can't wait to tell their friends tomorrow. We'll remember this chance we had to fly a plane for a long time.

11 comments:

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a great opportunity. YOu must be great neighbors for him to trust you with the opportunity. What a day.

Mandy said...

Wow he really is the coolest neighbor, although I don't think I would have been nearly as brave as you all were.

I'm glad you documented your fun day!

melanie said...

I'm so glad you know more about him that his short shorts after this outing. Fun to take a turn at the controls and love Steven's photos. Little planes make me sick so I wouldn't have shared in the same enthusiasm as Chloe or Carmen either. What a great Saturday!

Kelly said...

I saw that on Steve's facebook, and wondered about the whole story. How cool! What a nice guy -- he must have had so much fun taking you all up, too!

michelle said...

What a cool opportunity! Your kids are brave to do that, I don't know if Lucas would go for it.

My favorite photos are the ones of the kids and you, priceless!

Tiffany said...

Our kids (the older ones) have gone up in planes on two Young Eagles events. They are the best!

Lucky you to get to go, too! (They won't let parents go on ours.) I love the real feeling of flying you get in small planes. It looks like you got a beautiful one to go in!

Jill said...

Wow, what an adventure and cool experience! We don't have any neighbors like that around here...at least not that I know of.

cheetah said...

Wow. How amazing. and yet I'd be a little chicken to do that!

Marie said...

That is a pretty cool way to spend an afternoon. Lucky kids.

Katie A. said...

Oh my gosh! That is a COOL neighbor!! What an exciting adventure.

Amanda L. said...

What an amazing gesture!

I can't believe he let everyone (but Ken) take the reins for a bit. What fun! What great views!

Is your school really that far away from everything?

I bet he gets some nice baked goodies this year for Christmas!