Here’s a little story of my flying the other night. First off, I was flying with this incompetent first officer in our little 8 pax propellor plane, so it was like being “single pilot.” We had to pick up 5 large pax in Maui and fly them to Kona on Big Island at 10 PM. It was a dark and stormy night with wind gusting over 40 mph. The first thing the matriarch of the that family says, is we have a lot of bags and might they, should they, leave some behind. I assure her that it’s absolutely no problem as it’s an 8 pax plane so plenty. 50 lb bags are nothing, it’s all about the center of gravity. No worries, I squashed three large ass bags in the nose compartment to counter their five heavy butts which are on the other side of the middle of the plane, fore and aft on the longitudnal axis. It is pouring rain. They are boarded but Lei, other pilot, and I are soaked.
We get in and get ready to start engine, but Mother hen is now protesting, stating that she now has serious second thoughts on this flight. What, two middle aged women in the middle of the stormy night in a small ass plane? What?! I reassured her that I’ve been flying since 1983 and spent 24 years plus in the Army. I also reassured her that the plane had a payload of 4,000+ lbs. She finally agreed to go.
Well, we did hogger out and believe me, I flew the leg with the pax on it, on instruments. Well, we finally got to altitude and past Haleakala and the turbulence smoothed out. Before they got on the plane, they said one of them was a pilot. I don’t know what level, but I flew as if it was an airline pilot level, perfection. We had good weather there with only 8 mph wind and clear skies, at Kona. The best part was that on short final, the pilot back seater pointed out to everyone, that I had just flown a perfect instrument approach, then I greased it on and they applauded. Yeah, yeah, it’s easy to impress when the people underestimate you, which they invariably do when they see a woman. I guess the topping on cake is that they gave Lei and I, each, a $100 bill tip! Pretty cool, huh? Not too bad for an old lady.
(pax = passenger)