This was a summer of special visitors from faraway places. Happily, most were enthusiastic about flying, so I got to play aerial tour guide.
First up were Jean’s beloved “Swedish sister” Helena from her foreign-exchange-student days, with husband Pelle and daughters Majken and Linnéa.
Flight opportunities were limited given six people and our four-seater airplane, but assisted by our friend Richard piloting his Bonanza, we accomplished a two-airplane Grand Canyon tour, followed by Sunset and Meteor Craters. “Routine” for us, but our guests won’t forget it.
A month later dear friends arrived from Canada on their first Arizona visit in seventeen years. Marcel and Lise have flown with us in the past, and have several times welcomed the Flying Carpet to Quebec. The airline they flew from Montreal doesn’t serve Flagstaff. So in lieu of a three-hour rental car drive after umpteen hours of airline travel, Jean and I picked them up at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (KPHX) and had them relaxing at our home 90 minutes later.
Along with terrestrial adventures, we reprised our Grand Canyon air tour a few days later, which again was a hit. Then in casual discussion, our guests revealed that they’d always wanted to visit Las Vegas.
“It’ll be hot there this time of year,” said Jean, but that didn’t deter Marcel and Lise. Their short stay allowed only one night in Vegas, which an eight-hour auto round trip would have largely consumed. But at ninety minutes each way by Flying Carpet, we could enjoy virtually a whole day and night there…
**Continue reading Greg’s entire column, “GIFT OF FLIGHT” **.
Top Photo: “Lise & Marcel with Greg & Jean at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (KLAS)” Lower photo: “Linnea, Helena, Pelle, & Majken celebrate their Grand Canyon flight.
(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!