When you write your bucket list, do you really anticipate actually doing any items on the list? I can honestly say that there were some on my list that I NEVER thought I’d get accomplished. Namely, flying a plane! Lucky for me, Virgin Experience Gifts has an intro to flight experience!

So..I signed up! EEEP!

I have to fully admit – one of the first things I thought (after I got over the crazy pit in my stomach, roller coaster ride, ate too much, this is actually going to happen pit in my stomach) – Who will want to come with me and what do I wear?!?!?

My friend, Rupel, said she would come. So I was all set with the WHO!

Cloud 9 connected us to a flight academy – the lady there told me to wear whatever is comfortable (but no flip-flops). So I wore capri’s and just a basic T-Shirt and she wore jeans and a T (in case you were wondering).

We were good to go.

The flight school gave us good directions to the Broomfield Airport as well as where on the airport that we would need to go. We had absolutely NO problems finding the location. Upon our arrival at the school – we had to sign some release forms (it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought).

The instructor, Matt introduced himself. He was amazing. He made my friend and I feel comfortable right from the start. Once we were ready to go he handed us our headsets (they come in a brown bag) and we headed out toward the planes (there were several there). He pointed us to our ride for the day – a red and white Cessna. He let us do our posing and took several pictures.

The inside made me think of the jeep that I learned to drive in. But before we got in – he walked us through the entire check list of things that a pilot would need to look for when they are really flying this thing (I guess since I really was going to fly it, it would be important to do that stuff).

He talked us through the entire thing – remove the control wheel lock, the flaps go down, the fuel shut-off valve is on, rivets are good, no dents, right wing aileron moves freely (as does the left), and the flaps, remove the tie-down, check the actual gas (making sure the color is right (blue) and that there is no water in it), the tires, the breaks, check the front of the plane (make sure no birds have made it their home), make sure the nose strut doesn’t have any dings in it either, other wheel and break, remove the other side tie-down and then make sure that the stall warning indicator is good.

I am not even close to being a mechanic (as far as my own car goes – I know I need to put gas in it and get regular oil changes…but as long as it goes and the stereo works, I’m usually good). But the way Matt walked us through each part and patiently answered all my questions (I’m certain that he went back in and rolled his eyes at the crazy questions girl). He also made me feel like I really learned something today (beyond just the experience of flying – but really the things that need to be checked and HOW to check them).

We got in…started the engine…yelled “clear” and then talked to air control. Matt announced our “license plate number” and then we were good to go!

Steering down the runway is done with foot pedals. Matt had informed us of that prior to heading out – so I kept my hands on my lap to ensure I wouldn’t want to steer with the handle. When we got to the end of the runway, we revved the engine up to “60” kind of like a drag race where you rev it up but don’t go anywhere yet.

We were cleared for take-off. It was almost too simple. We steered down the runway with our feet – and when we were ready to get up in the air, we pulled back (towards ourselves) on the steering wheel.

After my stomach realized I was really flying this thing…I was just plain amazed! I was so nervous about doing the wrong thing up there! I kept my hands wrapped around the steering wheel. Matt was so calm, cool and collected – he made it seem so easy…I even let go of the wheel to take some pictures.

While we were in the air Matt took us over the School of Mines (he also informed us that we don’t want to get too close to the paragliders – as they would get kind of like an “air wake”), he let us feel the “G Force” (I wanted to call it the Gretchen), stalled the engine (we didn’t fall out of the air!), flew around downtown, and back up US36 on to the runway with a perfect landing (I didn’t do this alone…I just kind of held on to the steering wheel – it was all Matt getting us there safely).

Oh Lordy – now I’m totally hooked!

It didn’t seem like enough! I want to do this again! And most definitely something I will NEVER forget. And yes, it is fun to have all my friends comment on my Facebook photos…

“Are you really FLYING that plane?”

“Yes, wanna come with me next time?”

What is on your bucket list? Did you know that you can probably make it happen easier than you think? Just check out all the experiences at Cloud9Living.com.

Gretchen Yoder is a blogger extraordinaire over at Mile High Mamas.  Connect with her on Twitter: @GeeWhy93