A girl, her pilot and their plane

Our next adventure was just the two of us. We planned to fly to a restaurant called Patti’s, eat some of their famous two inch porkchop and boat sinker desert and enjoy a gorgeous night flight back. I was super excited about flying at sunset…I’m a huge fan of the flying sunset scene in the movie Pearl Harbor (can you say super romantic)

As you can see, the view was out of this world. The pictures really do not do it justice. The flight was smooth, and when it wasn’t, I really didn’t notice because of the full glass of wine I was nursing on the way there. 

Little did we know that the “fun” wouldn’t begin until we landed. As he did his post flight checklist, I called Patti’s to let them know we were at the airport ready to be picked up. It wasn’t long until we saw a vehicle headed our way. 

Now I must preface the next part by saying I am a country girl; I grew up in a small, farming community. I am in no way against small and slightly dirty, pickup trucks…that’s just not what you want to see coming to pick you up at the airport for a romantic dinner in your cute clothes and carefully fixed hair. But, that is in fact, what we got. 

A little white pickup with an official park seal on the side pulled up to where we were waiting. The older gentlemen rolled down his window and asked if we needed a ride. My boyfriend and I glanced at each other before confirming that we did indeed need a ride. The driver then proceeded to clean a spot so we all three could cram into the little bench seat in the front. Even though it was uncomfortable, I was determined nothing was going to spoil this night. 

As we drove, the driver told us about the various wildlife that inhabited the park and pointed out an eagles nest among the trees. A little further down the road he asked how long we planned on staying at the park. We explained to him we had just flown in to eat at Patti’s because of all the wonderful things we had heard about it. 

“I’m from the park service, I can’t take you to Patti’s.” Was his horrifying response. How could this be? We had called Patti’s for a ride hadn’t we?

Unsure of what to do or where to go from here we told the driver just to continue on to the State Park and we would figure out from there. I was starting to get a little nervous…hell, a lot nervous. How had we got our rides mixed up? Once we reached the park we called Patti’s again and told them our situation. Our real ride was actually at the airport and they would have them come pick us up from the park. 

While we waited for them to get there, again, we tried to piece together what happened. All we could surmise was the man from the park must have just been driving by and saw us and we assumed he was our ride. Thank God he wasn’t an axe murderer who was just waiting to pick some helpless jet setters up from the airport! 

Once we got to Patti’s they were phenomenal about getting a table ready for us even though we were an hour late for our reservation (I think they felt sorry for us and our ride blunder). Our food was amazing and their service was even better. I could have eaten my weight in the strawberry butter and flower pot bread. I very highly recommend this as a place to add to your fly too list. 

I also highly recommend never to get into cars with strangers! 

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Impress your pilot

Here are a few simple ways to get you started impressing your pilot without spending hours studying.

  • Learn the alphabet

I know what you’re thinking…we all learned our ABC’s in grade school. But the alphabet I’m talking about is the ICAO Phonetic Alphabet, also called the NATO Alphabet. Ever listened to your pilot talk or heard radio communications where they used a word to replace the letter they were trying to say? There is actually a method to the madness! Who knew? Learn some of the words that correspond with the letters and impress the yoke right out of his hands!

Letter Call Sign Letter Call Sign
A Alpha N November
B Bravo O Oscar
C Charlie P Papa
D Delta Q Quebec
E Echo R Romeo
F Foxtrot S Sierra
G Golf T Tango
H Hotel U Uniform
I India V Victor
J Juliet W Whiskey
K Kilo X X-Ray
L Lima Y Yankee
M Mike Z Zulu

  • Six Pack

This is the only six pack you’ll ever need! These six instruments are standard in every aircraft and fairly easy to learn and understand. Just to make sure I explain it right I referenced the website https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_instruments

Altimeter – The altimeter shows the aircraft’s altitude above sea-level. So basically it tells you how high you are.

Airspeed Indicator – This shows the aircrafts speed, usually in knots. Knots are a unit of measurement like miles. Knots and miles aren’t exactly equal, so if you are driving 45 MPH, it doesn’t mean you are going 45 knots per hour. Wikihow says, “the equation to convert knots to miles per hour is: 1 Knot = 1.15077945 mph (1.85200000 km/h). Take your number of knots and multiply it by 1.15. This will give you how fast you are moving in miles per hour.”

Vertical Speed Indicator – This instrument tells you how fast you are going either up or down.

Heading Indicator – Your heading is where you are “headed” too. The easiest way for me to learn this one was to pull up the compass on my iPhone and whatever number was at the top was the direction I was currently facing or heading in.

Artificial Horizon or Attitude Indicator – This is the very first one I learned and is, for me, the easiest to remember. It “shows the aircraft’s relation to the horizon. From this the pilot can tell whether the wings are level and if the aircraft nose is pointing above or below the horizon” (Wikipedia). If you have seen any aircraft/pilot shirts that say “Watch your attitude!” This is what they are referring to.

Turn Coordinator – We go from the easiest to the hardest in my opinion. This instrument is designed to tell the pilot both an aircraft’s rate of turn and quality of turn.


  • Tell them what time it is…in Zulu time

Time is always relative to what time zone you are currently in. It may be 1:00 P.M. here but just a couple hours away it could be 2:00 P.M. That can cause a lot of confusion when you are flying. That is where Zulu time kicks in. It is the worlds time. It is also called Coordinated Universal Time, UTC and GMT which stands for Greenwich Mean Time. It is the same time everywhere! You can read more about it here http://www.navy.mil/navydata/questions/zulutime.html

Click the following link to see the current Zulu time:

Zulu Time