Aight, this is my third post for today.
A few weeks ago, I slept under a Vampire's wing. And it was awesome!
I did a trip from Toronto to Hamilton (distance maybe 40 miles), taking some cub scouts and their parents to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum at the Hamilton airport. For a sleepover!
The museum has a great program called "Night Operations" where they allow various groups to bring sleeping bags and sleep under the wings of warbirds.
On the way to Hamilton, Toronto ATC let us circle the CN Tower at only a few thousand feet, and the kids in the back loved it. Except for the one kid who barfed during the 12 minute flight, but what can you do - kids barf over just about everything.
Anyhoo, we landed in Hamilton and headed over to the museum. The client offered a hotel room for me, but there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to watch 200 kids run amok all night in the museum, so I packed my sleeping bag and joined the group.
The staff at the museum were absolutely excellent - they did a presentation on the basics of flight, then gave the kids little foam gliders to toss about the main museum hangar.
Picture a couple of hundred little kids and parents running around with foam gliders, flinging them with glee. Absolutely hilarious.
After what seemed like just a few minutes it was time for pizza, then bed.
Notice how I didn't say "sleep", as that was impossible after the kids were so wired up, but it was worth it.
One thing that I did find amusing was that at 3:14 am I heard the unmistakable sound of an MU-2 medevac plane landing and watched it taxi by to drop off their patient. I don't miss those all-nighters at all.
We flew home the next day morning, bleary-eyed but happy knowing that a new generation of people just got bit by the flying bug. I wonder what form aviation will take in the next 30 years - I think the industry is going to be profoundly different from the way it was just a couple of years ago, but I have no idea what form it will take.