Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life's Embarrassing Moments

I was hurtling down the highway on the way back from the City a few hours ago when my mind turned to just going through memories apparently. All of the memories presented for my inspection seemed to be embarrassing ones or those that would best be forgotten. One came up as I was looking at the clouds in the sky reminding me of THE most embarrassing moment ever that I can remember, bar none.

As Sophia would have said "Picture it. Montgomeryville Pennsylvania back when I was thirteen years old!"
( we were up North for Daddy's job) Anyway, Daddy had a pilot's license and he took me for lessons and before very long, I soloed. That's going up all by yourself, maps and so on firmly clutched and anchored down through all the wind seeping through the two doors and the flimsy windows. That meant going to an agreed upon point and coming back to the airport ( a large grassy field with two runways and hangars along with tie-downs as well, lining the fields' borders) So..after the pre-flight check/inspection my instructor saw me off onto my very first alone time in the air..part of getting the license. I had a student pilots license then.

There I went down the run way and lift off..up to 400 feet and while still climbing, a gentle turn and rising to 600 feet. Along straight and level for a while and then, still climbing I got to 1000 feet. Turned again and began a slow gentle descent. This went along until I was lined up with the runway and began my actual landing. The aircraft's nose in the perfect position..RPM's exactly right..down..down..down..floating in the air until I made a perfect 3 point landing. Then, I taxied to where I had begun and revved the engine a bit in order to turn the plane around to position it for parking as it were. Then, embarrassing disaster,. After all of that just exactly right work on my part, I ran the belly of the plane (a fabric covered 2 seater single engined one) over one of the field markers, metal field marker and tore a good swath out of the belly of the plane.

The owner came out and said not to be so concerned and horrified as he had insurance. Me..I had to go home and tell Daddy. (one of his friends had taken me out there to do my scheduled solo flight..he was at work).

I thought he would be mad but instead, I don't think I have ever before or sense ever heard him laugh like that!

Anyway it was awhile before I could get over the embarrassment enough to go on back out there. Luckily it was not recorded in my log book which I saved and still have.

There you are..a day in the life.


  1. Great memory. Isn't funny how the reaction we get is so far from what we expect. Love it.

  2. Oh, this story is great! I pictured everything in detail, and it was terrific. Even broke up laughing with your dad, lol. (Thank goodness for insurance, right?)
    It was amazing that you were only 13 and doing that. That took guts on your part AND your father's part :)

  3. I totally commend you for following through and getting your licence- I was in the same situation as a kid- both my dad & I went to take lessons to get our pilots licence. I went up once and decided my tummy couldn't handle the woopty-do's. But my father was able to use the saved money & get his.Fantastic story and I for one am proud of your accomplishment-embarrassment aside :)

  4. It's amazing how we can look back on things and really laugh...or at least's not just a saying that time heals all wounds! Loved the little trip down memory lane!

  5. well, we learn something new everyday, i had no idea that you had flown a plane before,,,for me not knowing anyone who flys, that is quite amazing to me..great story too by the way.

  6. Carole, the Water Wiggler is at
    You're going to go crazy trying to decide, plain, ceramic cover, green ceramic that makes sounds, a lighted one, the list goes on and on. Being the time of year it is, you should probably wait until Spring. When the freeze starts, I'm going to bring mine inside and remove the battery until next year. Then again, we've have some very warm winters (other than the great blizzard last year). Gawd, good thing you're not asking ME to decide, lol.

  7. Crap. Forgot to say that mine is a ceramic cover because I felt it protected the inner workings better, and besides it looked better than plain, smooth plastic. Yep, girlie, girlie all the way.

  8. Dear Carole, Years ago I sold some engine hoists and bering presses to an airport in Wi. I gave them a deal but told them that I wanted to go up for a half an hour or so. The owner smiled and took me to a Piper Cub and introduced me to the filght instructor. It was a clear fall day and the instructor asked me if I could fly the plane. My reply was, " get her up to about 75 mph or so and lift off". I then slid back my side window, tossed my scarf around my neck and yelled, " Clear prop "! With a bravado and proceeded to take off. Though I had flown in many large and small planes, this was my first time at the stick and it was great! After learning how to adjust the trim the flight was flawless, I did wear glasses then and only requested assistance on landing because I was not sure of my depth perception. Loved each and every moment of the experience. My last flight was in a DeHavalland Tiger Moth WWI bi plane. Top speed was about 75mph and the air space was in the Chicago area NW suburbs, it was a thrill and an adventure I shall never forget. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and as ever be well

  9. I'd never have the courage to pilot a plane, but I'm glad you got the experience. And I'm glad you were kept safe.

  10. Thanks for sharing this great memory Carole. I had no idea you were a pilot either and think that's great. I love to fly but don't think I'd have the courage to pilot a plane.

  11. Wow! You pilot a plane?
    That's amazing!
    At 33 I still can't park my car in one single attempt!

  12. Wow I didn't know you were a pilot! So you got the flying part down, it's just when you get on the ground that you have a problems.
    As far as embarrasing I'd have to say that I have embarassed myself much more severely than that. It was so embarassing that I can't even tell it here. I don't wear it as a badge of honor.

  13. Carole, What a wonderful story and I am sure to this day you have a good laugh when you travel down memorylane. You must have been so proud of flying the plane solo, and then I can imagine how you felt with the mishap,and how your dad reacted , Wow! He made everything better by putting you at ease. Thank God your mishap was on the ground and not in the air. :)
    I remember shortly after I got my car license, my dad got a car and fixed it all up for me, and as I was backing out of his driveway, I backed up into the ditch, and he had to pull me out. It took me a long time to live that one down. When I think of it , I just shake my head and laugh at myself and how my dad was so good about it all also.
    Hope all is well and you and miss cat are having a wonderful day. Thanks for your visit and comments. It is always good to hear from you.
    Hugs, Dianne :)

  14. I always thought it would be fun to learn to fly. I've never even been up in a small plane. Bet you have both funny and sublime memories from that time!

  15. Oh...not embarrassing, just part of learning. I can't even imagine flying a plane and while many friends have offered to take me up in their small planes, I only trusted one--the very first vet I worked for as he was meticulous in his line of work and I knew he would be in the air, too. I have fond memories of he and his wife and I flying to lunches and picnics together.