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Jeff tries new things all the time.
We let him write about it.

Jason (behind the scenes BYT guy aka Dad -ed.) kept telling me how fun it is to fly an airplane and how he is taking flying lessons and how we are going to be able to rent a plane and he’ll fly us down to Florida in October to watch the Space Shuttle launch:

I figured I might as well see what this was all about. So I booked an introductory flight at Dulles Aviation in Manassas:

1 Person, C-152 $ 59.00/1/2Hr
2 persons, C-172, Warrior II $ 69.00/1/2Hr
2 persons, C-172R, C-172S, Warrior III $ 79.00/1/2Hr

We got up at 5:30 AM, which is not fun on a Saturday. If you saw our skydiving post, you’ll remember that nothing gets you ready for skydiving like McDonald’s breakfast. Same drill here. I went with the McSkillet Burrito thing and Jason had some sort of a sandwich with pancake where the English muffin used to be in an Egg McMuffin. We’ll call it the Egg McPancakewich. I highly recommend the McSkillet Burrito. It’s everything you need to fly an airplane. Besides the plane.

We got there around 7 AM, had a quick tour of the office and instruction center with our instructor, he gave me a headset and we headed for the plane. It was pretty easy.

We spent some time doing the checks to make sure the plane was flight-ready and hopped in. It’s a lot like getting in a car.

‘kicking the tires’

Our instructor took off and showed me what he was doing, I was a little overwhelmed with it all, but I was able to pay attention despite the early hours, thanks to my premium hazelnut Iced Coffee from McDonald’s

After one lap around the airport we landed. “Your turn” he said. “I thought you were just going to let me fly it when we were already up in the air” I said. “Nope” he said.

Okay, I wasn’t really prepared to actually take off and land a plane and at that point I got a bit nervous.

But actually, the only difficult part of it was driving the plane along the runway, because you steer with your feet and not the yoke.

Anyways, I ended up taking off, lapping the airport and landing the plane twice. It was fantastic. The pictures speak for themselves.

I upgraded to the three-seat C-172 for additional ten bucks, so including the McDonald’s breakfast for two people (ten bucks) the whole thing ended up costing me $79. Not bad for getting to fly an airplane.

Special thanks to the awesome and super-friendly staff at Dulles Aviation (and Manassas McDonald’s) for a great time (and delicious food). I can’t recommend them enough. This would be a great first-date activity. Or ‘man date’ activity, if you’re into what’s hip and cutting edge:


Dulles Aviation
(703) 361-2171
(888) 8FLYDAI (835-9324)
Dulles Aviation Inc.
10501 Observation Road
Manassas, VA

And finally, I think we should all, once again, revel in the hilariousness that is Jason jumping out of airplane to the sounds of Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen (‘jump’ to 4:00 to see the awesome):