On Wednesday, Scott turned 30. Because I am the greatest girlfriend ever, I called around and found a flight school that would take him up in an introductory capacity. Scott has always wanted to fly, and as we are getting older it is time to start checking things off of the old bucket list (this led to a very lengthy discussion of what the Indiana Jones bucket list would look like and included things like “flying a plane, fighting a Nazi, riding in a zeppelin”…you get the idea).
I called Mike Williams of the Mike Williams Flight School in Dexter, NY and he scheduled us for a 9am flight. We arrived slightly late as we always do to find Mike waiting for us in his office. Mike looked a bit like Shatner and had an incredibly friendly disposition, which made me like him right away. He walked us out to the hanger and showed us around. Mike walked Scott through all of the preflight checks, explaining what the everything did and how it worked. He was very detailed and concise and Scott couldn’t stop smiling. I crawled in the backseat and put on my super sweet Top Gun style headset as Mike walked Scott through turning on the plane and the basics of driving.
When I called Mike, I initially thought that he would show us what the gages did and then let Scott work the controls a little once we were up in the air, this however, was not the case. Scott did everything as Mike confidently walked him through taxying out to the runway, taking off, steering and even doing some of the landing. I was utterly terrified and thought I may blow chunks in my purse until I made the conscience decision to concentrate on my camera and leave the rest up to luck and Mike’s mad skills.
We had mentioned that we lived in Sackets Harbor earlier that day, and before even 5 minutes had passed we were flying over our town. It was glorious! I have only flown on two other occasions and those were commercial flights, nothing like this tiny little Hyundai sized plane, but my photos were spectacular so I stopped worrying about death. I was having the time of my life in the backseat of that plane with Mike and Scott poised at the helm.
When we had finished, Mike ran down all of the costs involved in getting a pilot’s license and all of the things you could do with one once you had it. I saw the stars in Scott’s eyes and knew that eventually we would have to pursue getting him his own license, and thought it may be fun for me to get mine too. We will most certainly call Mike Williams when that day comes.
I asked Mike if I could feature his business on my blog and he seemed pretty excited about the opportunity. I would give anyone looking for a good flight instructor, plane rental or joyride his number. Mike was an extremely concise, friendly and assertive instructor, not to mention just an all around nice guy. Our flight cost us a mere $89.00 for an experience we will never, ever forget…and so it was, the best birthday ever.
Michael C. Williams • Flight instruction • Aircraft Rental • Aerial Photography • 315-778-7333 • $110.00 for 30 minute flight for 3 people to the 1000 Islands and back • $210 for 60 minute flight for 3 people to anywhere ($210 an hour).
As a brief aside, Mike Williams is also an antique car enthusiast and had a very lovely Corvette sitting outside of his office. He was generous enough to let me shoot his car with my trusty Canon to keep in my bank of stock images. Thanks for a wonderful and memorable day, Mike!