Off we go…

i should have known better than to drink whisky at a charity auction.  Just another Thursday night, and i was hanging out with Studley at a fundraiser for a local community outreach foundation.

Mostly, wanting to drop a little change in the till, peruse the raffle items, and encourage others to empty wallets, it seemed like a pretty brilliant idea.  i was also working the network of non-profits, kissing politicians buttbones and making connections to support my pet projects.

Four drinks into the evening, it was time for the live auction.  One of the items?  A chance to rappel down the side of a 30 story building during the annual autumn city festival.  Oh, THAT is a grand item for a woman with a paralyzing fear of heights!

My auction paddle (how DID i end up with an auction paddle, anyway?) jumped into the air and i started the bidding at $500.  Mercifully, i was outbid, and somehow found the good sense to put the paddle under my arse and stop bidding when it approached a thousand dollars.

Whew!  Crisis averted!

Momentarily, it turns out….

Not fifteen minutes later, there was another item that caught my attention.  “Fighter Pilot for a Day”.  Hello!  What’s that?  A chance to do ground school, and then sit right seat in a fast Italian turbo-prop acrobatic plane!  Well, that could be a good day.

Paddle flies into the air before i can stop it!  Bad auction paddle!  Stop that!

It was a bit of a frenzy, as there was a gentleman across the room who seemed fairly intent on indulging his testosterone on a day in the wild blue yonder.

What?  Me?  i won?

Oh, shit…. Yeah.  How’d that happen?  Well… ummm…. (heh, heh) It’s for charity, right?

Air Combat

So it’s on.  Still to be scheduled, but i’m going to do this.  Likely sometime this summer, i am going to put on a flight suit*, do a little bit of training, and launch myself into the sky to do a little formation flying, dogfighting, and underwear soiling.


This was posted on the book of faces later that night.  The next day at the office, i passed a friend in the hallway who had seen it.  He stopped me, shaking his head.

Bill:  You’re nuts, you know that?

daisyfae:  What?  i just bought a “Fighter Pilot for a Day”.  What’s the big deal?

Bill:  Have you figured out what you’re going to do with him yet?


i’ll admit, this is a little scary.  When i went to bed that night i stayed awake awhile, wondering if i could really suck it up, sit right seat in a very fast, acrobatic plane, and set myself up to pull up to 6Gs…

The next morning, i woke up with a very different thought.  Sure, i’m afraid of dying.  But i’m more afraid of not living.  Bring it…


* i will be wearing a substantial sanitary undergarment under my Muy Macho flight suit.  Video is taken in the cockpit.  It may be an hour of me screaming…

52 thoughts on “Off we go…

  1. I’ve said it before…..bananas. ‘Cuz they taste the same coming up as they do going down. (I think that comes from a Bill Engval bit.)

    Have fun! Post the video, wontcha?

    • Yes. You are not the only wise soul to suggest this. i am far more likely to just not eat much for the two days prior (bananas and protein shakes). The video is likely to be made semi-public. Unless i am screaming and puking for an hour… Oy!

    • i’m well insured. my spawn are grown, and independent. my reflexes are not likely to get much better over the next decade. And if i’m gonna go out in an accident? Doing the unimaginable? Hells yeah… i’ll write this one up. if i get to the other side of it, that is! (zoicks!)

  2. Huge smiles. You rock – and my mantra is that I can have a life – or an existence. I am more than a little bit uncomfortable in planes (read sh*t scared) so I might have chosen an existence rather than the fighter pilot gig – but love that you did. Now I can live this particular experience vicariously. Thank you.

    • you can have a life – once you’re on the other side of the current medical roller coaster. it’s there, i know it! i will do my best to enjoy it, and am actively telling myself that the risk is so highly managed, it’s more like riding along on an extreme roller coaster. right. yeah. that’s all it is….

  3. And, when you return to solid ground, I shall henceforth call you “La Aircombatusa”. And when introduced to people, you should give the salute (as above)
    Well, the URL looks MUCH more impressive than plain ol’ Air Combat U.S.A.
    Hell! Maybe you can become a lady wrestler, with a name like that. 😉
    Bad auction paddle, indeed…

    • Oh what a call sign! Or the name of a latin dance perhaps! i might use it! Have to earn it, though! It could also become my roller derby name – i shall definitely tuck it away.

    • i’m taller than Tom Cruise. And generally less of a turd… These aren’t jets, but they are quick and very nimble. Most likely, if i attempt to make a carrier landing, something has gone terribly wrong.

    • This is a fun way to donate to charity! They get a good chunk of change, and i get to play. Win-win. Unless, of course, i paint the interior of the cockpit with body fluids. In which case the lineboy will be the big loser…. This one is pretty nuts. But game on!

  4. Roll on, Daisyfae! Can’t say I’m jealous. Or at least only a little. I share your feelings about heights. Enjoy the ride and take it easy on the whiskey for a while.

    • i learned something pretty cool through this, though. i generally drop a good bit of scratch for charity. but it occurred to me that i can increase my selfish factor substantially by buying shit like this at charity auctions! of course, it has to be for something i want to support, but if THEY get my money, while i get to PLAY? Win-Win! Tax deduction AND Adrenaline Rush, while the local foundation can continue to do good deeds in the ‘hood.

  5. Oh, I am SOOOO jealous! My life was “ruined” at the age of 13 when I learned that my lifelong dream of being a fighter pilot for the Navy was dead in the water due to the fact that women were not allowed to fly jets. I would be so there, and since I seem to have no gene for motion sickness whatever would probably love the whole thing. I’ll bet you will too.

    and it’s not like you are going to be without a guardian angel. Sitting “right seat” means that you are the CO-pilot, not the Pilot, and I’m positive that the lawyers of liability will not allow you to be in any danger whatsoever during the event.

    Expecting and waiting with great pleasure your report.

    • i was always out of the game because i am nearly blind. never even considered going for military flight training (even though i was briefly recruited by the service academies when they first allowed women in 1979). but this is something very near and dear to my heart, and despite the fact that i DO suffer motion sickness, i’m going to run hard at this…

      Studley has agreed to work with me over the next few months on some “G’s”. We did a night flight in his plane, and he did a couple tight turns to get me up to 2Gs. i loved it! but barrel rolls aren’t possible in his plane, so… yeah…. it’s only an hour! and as you said, it’s gonna be pretty safe.

  6. There are times to sit back in comfort, and times to kick comfort in the ass and do what is uncomfortable.
    It keeps you young and reminds you that you are in fact, ALIVE!

    I would double up on the “substantial sanitary undergarment”
    Just in case.

    • i’ve been very involved in my “winter project” at home, and the new job has put a damper on my social life, as i’ve been working longer hours, and (egad!) some nights and weekends! so this is just something… something out there. Pushing the envelope – literally and figuratively.

      Bonus? i get to practice with a pair (or two) of Depends! Sort of like preparing for my elder years, eh?

  7. “I feel the need… the need for speed.” Of course in my case i’m handing money to some stranger on a dimly lit corner but i must admit your gig sounds pretty fun too…

  8. You’d better take pics. And you’d better post that video. Or PM it to me or something.

    Off topic: Did our favorite Nurse ping you about her housemates big Grammy win?

    • You’ll get to see it one way or another. Unlikely to post it, but i’ll bring it with me next time i see you.

      YES! I was watching and saw it happen! She said they were running so far behind he didn’t get a chance to say ‘thanks’ – and that the microphone actually started to disappear below the stage so they COULDN’T speak! Very cool!

    • Seems as though this adventure is going to force me to learn how to edit/upload video snippets. The actual video will be an hour, and i’m pretty sure that’s going to be overkill. Will work with some friends to snag decent clips – and by “decent” i mean “clips where i am not screaming and hopefully doing something awesome at the controls” – and get them posted!

  9. daisyfae,
    My human loved your auction post. Said it reminded him of a friend and his wife who had a “auction” experience in Thailand. Seems buddy and wife were looking for some clothes for her. He spoke NO Thai but had been getting along alright. He asked the hotel clerk where he might get “Thai clothes” for his wife by saying “Thai” then pretending to dress his wife. The hotel looked confused for a few seconds, but the light donned. He gave my friend and his wife directions to “Give to drive man.” Laughing heartily as he did. His wife remarked it was going to be expensive when they saw the clothes being modeled by live models as they entered the store. They sat in a mainly male audience, were given an auction paddle, and told to pick what they wanted. The second model that came out was wearing a stunning red and gold camomutra which wifey said she wanted. After a couple rounds of bidding they bought the dress at what they considered a very reasonable price. The man assisting the auction came over and my friends wife asked to be sure they had the dress in a size six. The man looked confused. “She wants to be sure she can wear it.” The man looked confused for a few more seconds, then grinned. “You think you buy dress?” he asked. “yes” they nodded. The man informed them, “You bought girl, NOT dress.”

    • Wow! i suppose that means i should file this in the “It could always be worse” folder! Very bizarre, and quite sad. But perhaps if the woman they bought at the auction knew a bit about sewing….

  10. You are my hero. And I need more details. What kind of plane? F-18? F-22? F-16? And can you choose which pilot? Because I would want to choose the hottest flyboy for this. Also, if it’s any help, I’ve read that women can tolerate extreme Gs better than men can.

    I’ve contemplated taking ground school but I’m a complete chicken when it comes to the idea of actually flying a plane myself. My dad can fly a plane, and I’ve flown with him, but I’m too nervous to entertain that thought. And the idea of flying in a fighter….I can’t even go on rollercoasters. I’m a wuss. You GO, girl!

    • It’s a SIAI Marchetti SF-260 (details here). Italian turbo prop. Italian? Does that means it drops it’s own rifles? [oops… couldn’t resist…]. It’ll pull up to +6Gs, ~240kts. Enough to make me fill my flightsuit… umm… with glee!

      Can’t choose my flyboy. i don’t care so much about his degree of ‘hotness’ as his degree of ‘competent’ at this point. Any pilot that gets me up there, and back, is going to be the sexiest man on planet earth when i step out of that cockpit.

      Whether it’s women or not, those with more bodyfat tend to do a little better in high G environment. In which case? Bring on the centrifuge, baby! i’m GOLD!

  11. Rather you than me, Daisy Fae. You’re brave. I wouldn’t mind a sky dive but my experience with being upside down and making rapid ups and downs at so-called fun fairs tells me I would vomit in a fighter pilot plane.

    • not brave…. just nuts…. i adore roller coasters, but have a terrible time with anything that goes in circles. which will be a problem on the barrel rolls. oh, and as a card-carrying, certified CHICKEN when it comes to heights? i don’t think i could jump out of a plane. but flying doesn’t bug me…

    • i should have stayed a bit more silent – apparently it was on video, so somewhere out there is a clip of me yelling “Woo HOOO! We’re goin’ to Sizzler!” when i won…

  12. They were some prizes!

    I have a slightly lost in transatlantic translation question. You bid using a *paddle*? They give you one of the things you use to make a canoe go through water?

    • Not the large, aquatic propulsion paddle. A small hand-held thing with a number on it. A number attached to my name and credit card so once i waved that damn thing around, i was all in… Very exciting. Easy to get carried away in the moment. Especially when one is drunk.

      • Oh I see. In auctions over here you can just nod your head slightly. You have to be careful to sit very still if you don’t want to go home with an antique wardrobe by mistake!

        • Stock auctions are very much like that here in the midWest. Once when I was visiting my mother I we were at the cattle auction and I was carrying on an animated conversation with her including arm waving and I unwittingly purchased a nice calf… The auctioneer obligingly ran it through the auction again and I actually made a slight profit…

        • Luckily he was a good guy! And the profit? makes me wonder if there could be some sort of investment strategy here…. mostly, though, live auctions scare me. more than flying right seat in a fast acrobatic plane! too emotional. too caught up. and (if it’s for charity) too easy to say “WTF! It’s for a good cause!”

    • Thanks, whiteladyinthehood! i’m easily encouraged, so a good bit of applause can get me into all sorts of trouble! Strangely, i have a paralyzing fear of heights but have no trouble in planes – large or small. it’s ‘edges’ that make me freeze! Will check out your blog when i get some free time!

    • Hi, KP! Thanks for stopping by! For all of the ‘adventure’ i chase, i am TERRIFIED of heights. Ziplining about caused a stroke… oddly, i am not freaked out by small planes. But the thought of jumping? OY! Not sure i could do it….

      i am trying to take on this fear of heights, though. jumping might be a way to do it. next year…. or the year after… 😀

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