Today, our local airport had an open day. We made sure to get there early, so the kids could get their free airplane rides.
There were lots of airplanes to be visited, as well as some helicopters and police cars.
The free air plane rides were for kids ages 8-17, so I had four kids in that age range, but only two were interested. Quoting Cees 'I am not going to fly AGAIN!'. Kate officially was too young, but she was extremely desperate to go anyway. 'I will just tell people I am 8, they will never know!'. Until I downloaded the form last night and saw we needed to provide a date of birth. I told her I was not going to lie about her birth date, but she was welcome to convince them that she was mature enough to ride anyway.
The good news was that I met one of the pilots last night, and he promised me to take her up outside of the program even if she couldn't get the official certificate.
I just filled in the three forms for the three girls and handed them to the people at the registration table. Figuring they might not even check the birth date. They didn't for a while, until one of them suddenly noticed. 'Um... I think she is too young.' The other one reassured him 'That's ok, we sometimes fudge the ages'. I thanked them and told them that she was dying to go up and we were very grateful. Phew!
First Tara went to her air plane, soon after, Kate and Jane got to go to theirs. Those were small air planes, fitting four people. The flights were about 20 minutes, long enough to really get a taste of what it's like to fly.
They all had a good time, Tara and Jane didn't tell much about it, but Kate was full of stories. 'The cars were so small, they looked like toy cars!!! And they went really slowly! We saw clouds from up close, they were THIS big! When the plane went down a bit, I felt like I had to throw up, but I didn't really.' She just kept going on and on, it was a great experience for her.
One funny anecdote. When we were waiting in line, some volunteers came to talk to us, and one of them commented on Kate's bandaid on her head (from when she had the head wound). He asked her 'Oh, what happened, you have a boo-boo?' She looked at him disparagingly and replied 'This is not a boo-boo, it's a WOUND!'
A good day, I think it is awesome that they have this program to give free plane rides to kids. Kate is already looking forward to next year's flight.