View Full Version : My great motivator

Paul Thomas
10-27-2006, 10:00 AM
Lack of motivation is familiar to me too, though one of my best inspirators has been my grandson. I’d like to tell about a rather long simflight together with my best flying-companion and flightsim-supporter , my 6 years old grandson Magnus. Together we have experienced several great flights in all sorts of weather, both at day and at night, Flight-Sim time.

When we first started flying together he was about 4 years old and he preferred flying solo with a Cessna Amphibium . “ I wanna fly the yellow seaplane grandpa. Pleeeeease?” Off he went in a rather steep take-off, some stalling and then a crash. I think he enjoyed the crash most of all. Then the screen turned black and he was set back to Active runway in Seattle. Both of us were politely told by well-understanding and well- meaning adults that playing computer games, watching too much TV or too much this was........with the result that the two of us sneaked down to the first floor and had a “secretly” great flight.

Then one day he managed a complete and successfull landing. This was great fun but he wondered how come? I told him about take-off speeds, landing speeds and approach angels. He realised that reading numbers could be of necessity for good pilots. Then he tried again and again, and after he had learned reading numbers flying became more fun. ”Hurraaaa---, look grandpa; I made it! “...” Why did the propeller stop? The motor is running but the propeller won’t turn”. He had a tough sea-landing just outside Bergen. Then the two of us had a deep discussion and our conclusion was that maybe the landing on the water had been too hard and damaged the propeller.

Now he is flying the King Air B200 with Medical configuration having fun. He prefers dark and cold start, following the start-up sequencies with great interest, reading temperature settings. He wonders ” Where is America”—”Where is Legoland” or ”where is Africa. He has a good friend from Sudan, also 6 years old. He has learned the necessity of calculating fuel and is often asking me to look up the ILS- course for approach. He still finds the ILS a bit complicated so he leaves part of this job to me, his co-pilot.

We are now on a ”Round the World Flight”. Two weeks ago we took-off from Flesland in his King Air B200 and flew down the west coast of Norway, then further down europe. We are now resting in France, until we fly further on east until we one day end up back in Bergen. So we still have many long flights ahead of us.This ”Round the World Flight” is going to take quite a while as we read the maps, study the globus and read about the various places we visit. The young pilot in charge has also discovered the necessity of reading and writing as writing the Flight-plan is his resposibility. ” This is very important “, he says while carefully typing on my old Olympia typewriter. There is no fooling around, if we’re going to fly then it has to be done the right way he says, and I agree. He knows how to write lots of words by now, at least 12 included his own name and grandpa’s. Maybe he will have to learn a bit more of calculating too. Being Chief-pilot and in charge of bunkering fuel this might come handy. Though here it is still handy with grandpa as co-pilot, otherwise what are co-pilots for? In addition it seems to him that learning how to speak and understand english might be a good thing. He is still depending on his co-pilot/grandpa when it comes to understanding the ATC. This is a bit frustrating, but one thing at the time.

Recently he returned to pre-school after having had one week of autumn-leave spending it with his plane –crazy grandfather, that’s me. He was a bit worried that his pre-school classmates should have picked up more “learning” as he said, but as his friends comforting told him that neither they had learned anything due to the leave he felt relaxed. He told me he was not the only one who had not learned anything during the leave.

Our ”Round the World –Flight ” started with take-off from Flesland- Bergen Airport in Norway where we live. We have flown many short-flights heading south on our trip down europe. We are now in the south of France where his father, being an officer in the Norwegian Royal Navy is on a training-mission before going on a UN-mission to Lebanon. “ He is having fun driving his MTB”, my grandson says. A few days ago he was lucky to have a phone-call from his father, my son, and told him about the two of us being in France with his King-Air B200 flying medical colours. In case anyone onboard the MTB were to stumble and twist a leg, or even worse, get cut by a knife and start bleeding we would be right there and fly them straight to the hospital.

When it’s time for rest after long and demanding flying-hours, my Chief-pilot tells me goodnight. Part of co-pilots duties is to see him well into bed after a long day. We’re having some small talk about our events and flights to come. Then it’s the goodnight hug from my great little pilot.

You might think that he dreams about becoming a pilot when he has grown up? Well, I asked him and he told me that he wanted to run a chocolate factory, or sell coke and scrolls on the B737. Though he did not want to sell any soup on the plane, that would mean too much cleaning up.

Best wishes to all of you from:

My motivating Chief-pilot Magnus 6 yars
and his co-pilot Paul Thomas 57 years

10-27-2006, 04:25 PM
Hi Paul,
That is a very endearing and motivating story you told us. It's so great when someone so close to you shares and enhances the fun! Kids are fun and the most fantastic people we will meet.

Paul Thomas
10-27-2006, 05:51 PM
Thank you Kester. I fully agree with you. With my grandsons care and interest for my simbuilding I have one more good reason to justify the spending of that amount of money and time that this great hobby takes. A couple of days ago he asked me who was going to take over the sim. when I was gone, "cause you're a little bit old grandpa", he said. " I guess that will be you when the day comes", I told him." Cause you're the one who has really shown interst" I said. First he smiled and looked at the sim, then he turned more severe, looked at me and said. "But who's gonna fly with me then" He started thinking, then smiled and said "then you can be my guardian angel and we can fly forever". No wonder I love children and this great hobby.

Regards Paul

Matt Olieman
10-27-2006, 10:58 PM
Fantastic story Paul, I can relate to this.... My grandson (he's 4 years old, in Illinois and he calls me Papa) when I lived there and had the sim set up, he would come to visit, the first thing he would say to me "Papa.... Fly....Fly.... " and of course we would go flying, with him pushing all the buttons... :D It's motivational... amazing what the little kids will do for you:)

10-28-2006, 02:45 PM
Dude!! That is a Beautiful Story man!! I fly with my son in the Sim all the time he loves it... I actually never saw it from the point of view that numbers could be learned from simming!! You are SO RIGHT!! I have to say it took the tears out of me beautiful story and excellent way to Enjoy your grandson... I´m sure he´ll be an excellent pilot someday and he will treasure those moments with his Grandfather!

Keep simming guys!!



11-18-2006, 05:33 PM
Awesome story. Thanks for sharing that with us.

My granddaughter is 7 now and she always wants to fly with me. My only problem is that I built a one-man sim and so she climbs right into my lap. Makes it hard to operate the controls...

Grandkids are God's reward for living that long.

02-06-2009, 02:49 PM
I am new to OC and just found this old thread. What a great story! Thank you for sharing.

My own little copilot (2 year old son) is already helping me build my sim. :D


03-15-2009, 01:36 PM
This is such a nice thread! I hope that when I get children and grand-children I will have a cockpit to share with them. (17 now :P ) (OT: wriley, where did you buy that white switch on that photo? Just above to the left of the light-switches...)

Thx in advance, Didrik

03-16-2009, 01:23 PM
(OT: wriley, where did you buy that white switch on that photo? Just above to the left of the light-switches...)

I just got lucky and found that switch at my local electronics surplus store. The last time I looked they didn't have any more. :(

03-16-2009, 04:14 PM
Aww, too bad I'm looking for switches like that for my possible DA20-build, well well, back to ebay :P, thx anyway :)