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Am I the only one??

oilcanbland

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I don't know about any of you, but my parents are freaking out at the idea that I'm flying planes all by myself now. They get completely nervous, right before each one of my flights. Especially my cross countries. When I told my parents that I went on my first solo cross country last week, they almost had a heart attack. When I see them getting nervous, it makes me think that I should have something to be worried about. (As you can tell, I am the only pilot in my family).

Did this happen to anyone else? Do they finally get used to the idea of you flying planes? How long does it take.
 

FL000

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My father never had a problem with it. He had a PPL years ago. My mother simply requested that I tell her about my solo flights AFTER they occured. Now she worries only when she hears about bad weather in the area or drunk pilots being arrested in the cockpit.
 

Timebuilder

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My Dad was in the RCAF, and flew for many years after I was born, so it came to my mother as no surprise that I would also be a pilot.

When a child dies on a bicycle, I ask doubting friends if those dangerous bikes should be outlawed, or I use some other example.

Life is full of risks. The key is how you asess and control risks, both small and large.
 

avbug

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My father still tries to convince me that flying isn't a good idea, and to this day, won't go up in an airplane. My in-laws all believed that I should get out of flying and get a real job...driving a logging truck. They still think that.

They're probably right.
 

chawbein

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"You'll kill your fool self!!!" - That is what I heard from my mother. My mom is terrified of flying, she almost has to be knocked out to fly in a 737.

Solution: Don't say a word.

I'm glad my wife is supportive.
 

RichardFitzwell

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Don't tell your parents what you're up to.

If they're like mine (and it sounds like they are) they still think of you as their baby boy. I think it's hard for them to see you as the safe and competent pilot you are. Remember, to them you were crappin' in your diaper just a few years ago.

BTW -- Congrats and good luck with your progress!
 

Timebuilder

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Here's a twist.

My mother is proud to tell her friends that I am a "jet pilot" as she puts it.

She wouldn't tell ANYONE that I was a broadcaster. :D
 

bobbysamd

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Parents and flying

I was almost 31 when I started flying. If my parents were worried about me flying alone in an airplane, I never heard it. They thought it was a good idea because I was enjoying it so much, so they gave me some money toward my Private. When I decided to try it full-time, at age 36, my father was 100% supportive. He said I should have made that decision ten years before. As it turned out for me, he was right.

I took my mother flying in a 172 once. Although she denied it, it was clear that she was nervous, if not scared outright. My father would not go up with me. I believe it had to do more with his heart condition than fear. He told me he went up in a small plane when he was in college.

Best thing to tell your parents is that the most dangerous part of the flight is the car drive to the airport. You're far more likely to be injured by a moron driver than while flying. It's a big sky out there. Moreover, you have learned how to deal with emergencies; the most likely of which is the engine quitting. You know you won't run out of fuel because you will have looked inside the tanks during the preflight. You fly a 152, so the fuel is either on or off. You know to open carb heat if you add power and get no response. So, you are well versed on emergencies. One other thing to mention is you are tied to your instructor for your cross-country flying; he/she won't sign you off unless he/she is satisfied that you can complete the flight safely.

Try those stratagems with your parents. Good luck with your solos.
 
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bobbysamd

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Hey, Timebuilder . . .

My mother wasn't particularly thrilled about my radio career, either. :(
 

AV1ATRX

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My parents HATE that I fly, and they especially hate it that my husband and I fly together. They never tried to stop me from flying, but they don't encourage it, either. My mom tries not to tell people what we do for a living, but it eventually comes out. And one more particularly sucky thing - my dad went flying with my husband once, but won't even cosider flying with me. Both of my parents are very afraid that more than one family member will die in a plane crash. Neither one of them has ever had any problem with all of us flying on the same commercial flight, though, even all the way across the pond!

Yeah, I celebrated my first solo without my family, but the old guys sitting around hangar flying all helped cut my shirttail and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life!

I hope your parents eventually get over their fear, but I doubt that mine will. I've been flying for 5 years. We talk about flying in general, but don't talk much about the actual flying that we do.
 

Andy Neill

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I think one of the prime reasons I chose to go to flight school was because I grew up hearing my dad sigh as a plane would go by, "Oh, if I had only learned to fly."

Many years later, I had a chance to take my parents up on a flight around the area where they lived in Arizona. Both were thrilled with the chance. I was particularly glad that my mom could go because she was terminal with cancer at the time.

It wasn't until after she had died that I discovered she had taken flight lessons before WWII, but had to suspend them because of the war. It makes that one flight all the more meaningful for me.
 

VFR on Top

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My 'rents knew back when I first soloed in '86, but I didn't tell them last year when I resumed training. I told my mom on Mothers Day that she was now the mother of a pilot, she immediately told all her friends, said it made for pretty good bragging fodder.
 

bigD

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My Dad never understood why I'd fly for any reason other than getting from point A to B, but he always had the opinion that if I wanted to do it - he wouldn't stop me. My Mom was always cool with it since my grandfather on her side flew for the Air Force. Both parents used to drive me to the airport back when I could solo, but didn't have my driver's license. They always just said, "Be careful." And that was that.

After I got my Private, I took my Dad flying, and he got very comfortable with it. Not completely comfortable, but after seeing the various things I have to do and the seriousness that I give it, his forehead didn't sweat anymore. Now, he asks almost every flight if we can do some Zero G nose overs!

My advice would be to not tell them about it until you're finished. They'll come around eventually.
 

172driver

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Get them to come take a ride with you and your CFI. They will see that you are, in fact, flying the plane by yourself and will have the added security of knowing someone experienced is right there. You might want to wait until you collect a good amount of experience to take your parents up flying by yourself. Or do it on an extremely nice day. I look back at flying people around with 40 hrs under my belt and think maybe it wasn't the brightest idea, though they were all good experiences.
 
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Timebuilder

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Great story, Andy.

What a gift you were able to give your mom.
 

oilcanbland

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Thanks for all of the advice. I guess I did the right thing by not telling them that I got lost on my 2nd solo cross country the other day. It was a really hazy day, and I was supposed to be going to Bedford, IN. Never found the airport. Had to turn around and land at Bloomington, IN.

The sucky thing was when I got back, I found out that it didn't even count as a cross country flight, because it wasn't at least 50 nm. I plan to make it up with a really long cross country in the next day or two.
 

aero99

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Ignorance= Fear

Most people that are afraid of planes/flying are so because they know nothing about how an airplane actually flies. Case in point, most non-fliers think a "Stall" is when you have engine problems.

You can either tell your parents nothing, or educate them in what you are doing. If you do ever take someone up that is affraid, give them a task in the cockpit. Hand them the chart and show them where you are and where you are going. In flight, have them dial the radio or set the tranponder. This gives them something to do and takes their mind off of their fear and they are learning.

I still can't get my wife in a small plane. I try and turn the news off everytime there is a blip on the tv about a plane crash.

Oh well....
 

C90Guy

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My mother was the same way. I would tell her growing up that I wanted to fly airplanes but some how she thought I would grow out of it. I didn't. She did the same as your parents. Would cry if I was flying home to see her, called me stupid the summer before I started flying, that I would kill my self. Remember that its not so much the flying that scared them as it is you getting hurt from the flying. I made the misstake of going in to conversations with the wow look what I can do, telling them the more dangerous stuff, stalls, spins, things that really aren't dangerous to us but to the untrained person can be a nightmare. When you talk to them down play things, if its something rather complicated be brief. Try and give them a sense that its just like driving a car. Unfortunatly for you this might mean not telling them about all the fun your having. If it makes you feel any better I taken my family flying and after a few years they have seen that it is a safe profession or hobby at least to have.
 

popilot78

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They hated the idea when I was a flight instructing. Now that they get free airline travel, they love it. I guess also I'm never really home has something to do with it.
 

Delta3

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Nov 28, 2001
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oilcanbland-

I know what you're saying about x-countrys in Indiana. It's hard to pick out your checkpoints in the air as every small town looks the same and there are really no unique airports.

If I were you I would use VOR triangulation more than checkpoints.
 
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