I had three sisters and wished for a brother all my youth. My penance is to have three sons. Now I treat them like the brothers I always wanted. The upside is they need to do everything I say. The downside is, they get their allowance from me.
But this isn’t a “Fatherhood” site, so I’ll stick to flying-with-Julio stories. My third son.
Whenever Julio and I fly, something happens. The first time he flew with me was also the first (and only) time anyone used a sick bag with me.
Oh, I’ve whipped out sick bags for others in the airplane. Even Cool Nichole had one in her hand, but she didn’t need it.
Later, we realized that it was because he couldn’t see out the front. Next time, he sat on a pillow. Actually, two pillows.
When Jules was taller, he flew with me again. We departed runway 31 at Manila. I remember checking flaps 10 degrees for takeoff, then we rolled. Popped into the air at 50 knots. Whoa! Lots of lift! Airspeed decaying to 48, 47… . Nose down, to regain airspeed, but then we would go through the Baclaran church’s dome. What the…?
Pitot not blocked. Airspeed hovering 49-50. Positive rate of climb. Flaps up. Problem went away, climbed out at 70 knots.
Ok, touch and go at Plaridel airfield, to ferret out problem. Downwind, select flaps 10 degrees.
Boom! Airplane hits a wall. What the…? I look out. Sure enough, flaps are 30 degrees, full down.
Failed flap positioning microswitch.
I retracted and beat a retreat to Manila, flapless landing.
Julio: Let’s try it again, Dad. We’re high enough now.
Tonet: No. I’m not a test pilot.
On downwind for runway 31, we had an A320 cross ahead. Ok, maintain altitude to clear wake turbulence.
BOOM! Airplane jumps 50 feet. Flaps finally ripped off? Flame? Smoke?
We landed flapless, with Julio’s finger under the flap switch, to keep me from inadvertently lowering any flaps.
Days after that, he texted me, “That was a cool flight, Dad!”
The next time he flew with me, we went into a thunderstorm. In a Cessna 152.
But I’ve written about that here before: Julio and the Level 3 Thunderstorm.
Now, when Jules flies with me, we do the checklist extra carefully, even quiz each other on each other’s names and the airplane registration number.
We’ve had adventures. We’ve been to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, of all places. I had to leave Jules alone to explore while I attended business meetings.
I did take him out to dinner at a place with a Mariachi band.
I had him try Mexican lemonade. Which he really loved. Then he passed out.
Many years later, when he again tried tequila, Jules looked at me, remembering.
I taught Nichole how she could draw on Julio’s foot while he was totally jetlagged in San Francisco. This is how I get back at my sons for their allowances.
He’s gone snowboarding at Lake Tahoe, with Cool Nichole. I took lots of video of him falling down. His first snow.
And here’s Jules falling for the oldest trick in the book, at Muir Beach in California.
“Go back. I want to frame you with the waves in the background.”
“C’mon, back some more. More, just a little more.”
Boom! Soaked to the waist.
Julio Just laughs everytime he grabs his allowance. Payback.
Happy Birthday to Julio today! Great sport, cool guy, my youngest brother. Son.
Posted from Manila, August 2, 2008.