A Stranger in the Cockpit

My first evening flight is scheduled for 7:30pm.  An afternoon thunderstorm rolled through about 5:30 and moved on to the East leaving behind cooler temperatures and clear, smooth skies. I was eager to get to the airport and get back in the air; it’s the one thing that calls to me, beckoning for my return.  I can never get back there fast enough!

I got to the airport, grabbed the key to Juliet (Piper Cherokee P140) and started my pre-flight checks. By the time I was finished with pre-flight, the sun was beginning to set and Robert was ready to go. The engine was a little slow to start but once we primed it, she started up and was purring like a kitten. I turned to make sure no one was coming as I was preparing to taxi and saw, to my horror, a yellow jacket sitting on the window inside the cabin.

 

The stranger

The stranger

I motioned to Robert that we had to shut it down and get out of the cabin now! We killed the power to the plane and jumped out. I pointed to the yellow jacket and he took care of getting it out of the plane for me. I am deathly allergic to them and carry an EPI Pen with me always.  I certainly did not want to fly with it in the plane.

Catastrophe avoided and we entered the cabin again to start her up.  You’d think that I might take that as a bad sign and that maybe I shouldn’t fly tonight but I took it as a lesson learned. Close the door during pre-flight and check the cabin for unwelcome guests next time!

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