Silver Lining: the aviation freak (aka

March 26, 2014

the aviation freak (aka

The old news: I'm terrible at gift giving.

The new news: For once in my life, I found a spot-on, hit the jackpot, money in the bank birthday gift for Jason.

The disclaimer news: Jason is a self-proclaimed aviation freak, to quote him directly. In case you're offended about me using the word freak to describe him. Lighten up, you freaks who read my blog ;)

The story: One day Jason came home from a career fair at school and told us about UVU's aviation program. They got him all psyched up about planes and flying and he wants to be a pilot when he grows up now (either a pilot or a scientist, to be precise). I was skimming through the brochure he brought home and found this deal: you can pay an extremely reasonable amount of money to get in a plane with a certified flight instructor and go fly around Utah, just the two of you. You get to steer and help land and everything! JACKPOT.

So I sneakily booked him a flight, and then had to wait until his birthday to tell him about it. It was a loooong wait. Although I'm pretty sure he suspected something when I didn't really ask what he wanted for his birthday. He had seen that ad too, and brought it up to me a few times, and there's a good chance he saw through my nonchalant attitude about it.

And then the big day arrived! Jason was beyond excited. They walked right out, boarded the plane, and took off. For Sam and I, it mostly involved sitting in the airport hangar for almost an hour, watching the news of the missing Malaysian plane play on the lobby TV. I'm no advertising expert, but isn't it bad for business to show news of a missing plane in an airport hangar?

When Jason landed, he was grinning from ear to ear. Totally loved it. His instructor, whose name was either Max or Matt, I can't for the life of me remember which, was amazing to work with. He gave us a tour of the flight simulators afterwards and let Jason sit in the cockpit of the bigger planes. It was awesome, and Jason loved it.

Jason was happy because he got to fly, I was happy because for once I gave an awesome gift, and the bebe was happy because we got Frostys on the way home ;) Thumbs up all around in the Emery household that day. And now Jason's saving up his birthday money so he can go again. See what I mean by aviation freak?


  1. That is so fun!! What a cool gift idea! Once for a mutual activity we went to the small airport in my town and got to go in the small 2 seaters and fly them for a couple minutes while we flew over our town. It was awesome! But my friend barfed. Glad Jason didn't throw up! :)

    1. That's way cool! Pretty sure I would have barfed if I was up there in that plane!

  2. Third picture - could Jason be any happier. Haha. It's great that he enjoyed his gift! And I bet you felt great for giving such a great gift. Smiles all round eh.
    Bits & Bobs

    1. Seriously. He loved it. Thanks so much for the comment Jade!

  3. The Pilot Shortage looming ahead on the horizon (for the next 20 years) means Jason has chosen to begin an aviation career at the perfect time. He will be needed badly and there will be great jobs available flying fantastic equipment. What could be better!? I loved every minute of my 33 year flying career! Yes, you could also say I am an aviation "freak!" We look forward to seeing Jason in our university program in a few years.
    Captain Jim Green, Full-Time UVU Faculty Member... and Retired Airline Pilot

  4. That was a fun flight. Jason was beyond enthusiastic and even knew about a number of the gauges on the instrument panel and the purposes of various components of the aircraft. It was a lot of fun watching his reactions as the airplane would turn, climb or descend - his smile only grew.
    I'll fly with him again, anytime.

    Certified Flight Instructor at Utah Valley University


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