Tag along with RAM®'s graphic designer, Zachary Lough, for a first-person point of view as he takes his first private flight in the Pacific Northwest with Jason the pilot and his trusty Cessna 150.
"Zach, do you like to fly?"
Outfitting Jason's 1969 Cessna 150
It's Time for Takeoff
The headset Jason provided me was nearly brand new and dual purpose: communication in the plane and to neutralize the insane amount of wind and engine noise… so we could actually communicate. The RAM® Mounts weren’t the only modern piece of equipment in this plane. I was forever thankful for those headphones when I briefly took them off while taxiing and experienced the full force of the plane noise. Growing up in Seattle I was always familiar but this sounded like you were inside the engine. The headphones stay on. Noted.
I watched Jason tap on his phone, adjusting some information on his tablet, then start chatting with the tower—there was a lot happing here. I could only pick up the slightest bits of information. Tail number … the runway number... It was like trying to listen to a conversation in a different language where you only know three words. Jason would occasionally give me the translation between coms and I appreciated the quick context in this fast-paced environment.
After letting other traffic make their way back to the ground or up in the air, it was finally our turn. Our plane pushed forward, smoothly gliding down the runway and the exterior noise shifted pitch. It didn’t take much for Gonzo to get airborne and I got a real sense of the miracle of flight that I hadn't appreciated in large commercial jets. I could feel the sharp smile on my face getting bigger as we gained altitude and a whole new perspective of Seattle’s waterfront appeared.
We circled south lake union, the space needle, and then rolled out easterly heading towards the cascades. We could see fog banks lingering in the lowlands, unique blue shapes the bodies of water made, and all the traffic on I-5. Jason pointed to his tablet to show me our heading and where we would turn around. He also showed me the other planes in the air along with their respective heading and altitude. For those unfamiliar with the aviation world, the flight programs that pilots use have everything they need to stay safe in the air, including visibility on others, weather insights, and wind data. Jason explained to me that all the gadgets and screens incorporated into flying these days has created a bit of a rift between the older pilots and the younger ones about distractions in the cockpit. These screens can provide a treasure trove of good information, but there will never be a substitute for looking outside the airplane. It’s important to remember that for 100 years, people flew based off dead reckoning, radio navigation, and basic gyroscopic instruments. The nice thing about RAM® Mounts is the flexibility and variety of products. They enable pilots to incorporate technology in such a way where it’s not actually distracting from the safety of flight. A real win-win! So with just one properly mounted iPad, we brought this 1969 Cessna into the 21st century.
As our time in the air came to a close, I got to witness the skill and focus that it takes to make a landing appear effortless and smooth. As we gassed up the plane and brought it back to his hanger, Jason shared, "Zack, this mounting setup is a gamechanger. The only problem now is that I think I have to buy a new phone to match!”.
I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t look up the process to get my pilots license after this adventure. It’s not cheap and takes a lot of time and dedication, but at least I would have the mounting solutions figured out.
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