How to Get your Wife to Fly with You – Part 1

Flying Along

I have the great privilege of being able to regularly join my husband on his flights throughout Europe in a small but fast aircraft. He is a private pilot and flies mainly for business. We often combine the business appointment with a visit to something interesting on the way there or going back home. We sit together in the cockpit.


I now enjoy flying.

I now see the ‘flying along’ part as a privilege, but that was not always the case in the past. I did not look forward to joining him and felt insecure and uncomfortable. Why? Is this a universal feeling of women flying along or only mine? How did this feeling change? I would like to share my experiences and give some tips that might help you feel more relaxed while cruising along with your partner.

No interest in the technical stuff

If you are like me, not really interested in all the technology around flying, then you will most likely get into the plane like you step into your car: pretty much unprepared as you are just going from A to B. The aircraft is nothing more than your transportation vehicle to take you there.

Not so for my partner. As a pilot, he enjoys the whole process from preparation (you don’t just end up at your destination airfield just like that), studying the route and weather as well as of course the flying itself. It seems hard work for him. He takes the aircraft out of the hangar, adds the fuel, does the preflight checks, checks the oil and installs some extra equipment and maybe even some software updates. This is a totally different ballgame than just driving a car to the supermarket around the corner.

As a passenger I looked at this process and didn’t feel comfortable. Especially in the beginning, I felt unneeded and did not know what I could do to contribute. I had no clue to what my husband was doing and felt even unsafe as I did not know what to expect.

Tip #1: Get involved

My enjoyment and feeling of comfort started to grow from the moment that my husband involved me in the flying process. He started to explain to me why and what he was doing. That changed my comfort zone slowly. I learned to relax and started to enjoy flying along!

saskia-sj-11 saskia-sj-12

Helping along with refueling on Elba.

Some more tips

Here are some more tips for every partner that flies along, maybe for the first time.

  • Take a motion sickness pill about half an hour before take-off.
  • Bring you sunglasses along with you; the light can be bright and even if it is cloudy … above the clouds, the sun is shining.
  • Bring an extra pullover or cardigan, so you can manage your own body temperature a little. In some aircraft, the heater works well in the front, but not well or evenly well in the back of the plane;
  • And last but not least: ask your partner for the best headset there is. You already have to cope with all the impressions; a bad headset with lots of noise is not going to help here; get a good noise-canceling headset.


Flying to Avignon


Continue reading: Part 2.

– Saskia ter Welle
My personal blog: