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Operation Munchkin

Yesterday the lovely Laura Lee and I had the privilege of carrying out what we called Operation Munchkin, to get two cute grandchildren from Birmingham over to The Ford Plantation in Georgia. We have a family reunion coming up this weekend so we wanted the two oldest munchkins, Stella and Pierce, here early to spend a little time with “Pops” and “WuWu” without their parents in the way. As I’ve always said, children and grandparents get along so well because they have a common enemy.

We took off from the airport in Hinesville at around 10 am Eastern time and arrived Birmingham just after 11 am Central. The skies were fairly clear early in the morning, but typical summer clouds and showers were already starting to build on the trip west. I knew it was likely to be a bumpy ride back with the girls, but the real storms were scattered out enough to dodge everything serious.

Stella will be five years old in August and Pierce will be four in November. Stella has only flown once in her life on an airline when she was an infant (although the claims to remember it). Pierce has never flown before. So we wanted the experience to be fun, and it was. You can see from the giggling in the picture above that they seemed to enjoy themselves. Laura Lee sat with them in the back and they all giggled whenever we hit bumpy air. They are convinced that the clouds had the hiccups, and said their favorite part of the flight was the bumps. There were buildups on the return trip, but we dodged the worst of it and laughed our way through the clouds.

I’m convinced that people’s attitudes about flying can be formed early by conveying confidence and humor to them. If children spend time with adults who are afraid of flying, they will end up afraid of flying. If they grow up giggling at every bump in the clouds, you might spot them giggling on a business trip 30 years from now.

Pilots often claim that flying is safer than driving even though this has largely been disproved by statistics. However, what is true for a pilot is that safety is much more in your own hands flying than it is driving. There is no question that most flying accidents begin with pilot error or pilot misjudgement. If there is an accident, it is much more likely to be your own fault flying, as opposed to being blindsided by a drunk driver. So for me, I feel much safer flying than I do driving, and I’m happy to play a part in conveying my confidence to a new generation of passengers. 

Operation Munchkin was a great success, and we’re having fun with Stella and Pierce visiting us.

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Reader Comments (1)

Love this post John, the girls are precious. Have fun this week! We miss you all.

June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley Spotswood

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