Many, many thanks!
My wife and I were invited to travel to Las Vegas from our home here in the Atlanta area for her son's wedding. While I used to fly extensively, my wife had only been on an aircraft once before and it terrified her to death. But, seeing as it was her son's wedding, she was bound and determined that we should go. She spent many hours working through your course and your book. She quizzed me endlessly on what things would happen, what she'd hear, how it would feel. When the time came to purchase tickets, we opted for Business Class just so that she wouldn't feel crowded and so it wouldn't create another bit of anxiety for her. We also had our doctor prescribe a couple of "happy pills" for her just in case.
Well, the big day arrived and we showed up at ATL ready to go. She was remarkably calm. So, bags checked, we manage to successfully negotiate the TSA adventure and make our way onto the concourse. On the way, we stop to get her a drink so she can partake of a bit of the chemistry our doctor provided for her. The flight is called and we board. Just a wee bit of trepidation at this point. I show her where we're sitting, point out the video games in the cockpit to her (the cockpit door was still open at this point). I called them video games for her benefit as she has no clue what a VSI, HSI, or EFIS display is. Anyway, I digress. I then ask her if she'd like the aisle or the window. She chooses the aisle. She's a bit more nervous now that it's real. We get situated and belted into our seats as the flight attendants provide the requisite pre-flight refreshments.
Thump. The doors close. The safety briefing starts on the video screens, and we feel the slight jerk as we start push back. She's remarkably calm now. Not at all what I had expected. As we push back, she hears a noise and I have to explain to her that it's just the engines spooling up. Ok, she's happy with that. Now, onto the taxiway and join the traffic jam headed for the active. We're number 3. A few moments later, we turn onto the active, line up, and then it's time to go. The whole time she's sitting there calmly. We accelerate past V1, V2, then VR and just like that we're airborne. Gear up. Flaps coming up. I look over at her and she's sitting there with this angelic smile on her face. She's actually enjoying this!
We climb out smoothly from ATL on our way to LAS and as we climb, she's leaning over me so she can see out the window better. Once we get to cruise altitude and get settled down, she makes a quick trip to the bathroom and, as she comes back to her seat, asks me if we can trade. Can she have the window? Of course, I agree and she settles into the window seat and, with a twinkle in her eye and wonder in her voice, starts pointing out all the interesting things she's seeing. This is exactly what I had hoped for! Between you and me, I had chosen our seats for this flight leg and had taken the starboard side of the aircraft hoping that 1) she'd want the window seat and 2) the weather would be clear enough for her to see some things. The Grand Canyon springs right to mind. I wasn't disappointed. Sure enough, we're soon passing over farms (she liked the circular crop plantings), and then the Grand Canyon comes into view. She's beyond fascinated. Shortly thereafter, we begin our descent into LAS and pass over Lake Mead. Again she's fascinated that she can see the boats as they traverse the lake.
Landing is a smooth non-event and, as we deplane, she hugs my arm, declares that our flight was indeed fun for her, and that she doesn't believe that she'll need her other happy pill for the trip back home. And indeed she doesn't. The trip home is as smooth and uneventful as the trip out. And she's now a convert to flying.
In large part, her success with this is attributable to your program. She's happy. I'm happy. And I thank you for that.