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Maryland Travel Uncategorized

That Time Adam Flew a Piper Plane in Maryland

I usually go all out for any kind of celebration, but I promised Adam I would not go overboard this year. So for Adam’s big 27th birthday I had to be simple, which meant buying him a flight lesson to fly a plane in Maryland! In my defense, this really is me being simple, yet creative!

Ironically I came about this because I wanted to buy Adam something other than clothes, cologne, shoes, the usual stuff he finds boring and for gift giving so do I. After going on so many amazing adventures during our long summer vacation to Europe I wanted the adventures to continue. Just because we were no longer on vacation didn’t mean we had to stop being adventurous. This led me to Groupon, you would be surprised of the great deals you can find here, sure enough I have twice. I came across a flight school that allowed guests to learn and actually fly a plane. I thought, “wow this would be awesome!” So then I searched and found a better deal and flying school that had all amazing reviews and would allow me to sit in the plane to enjoy all the fun too. Besides Adam flying a plane on his birthday we even got 4x the Chase Ultimate Rewards Points – booya!

Washington Flight Academy

The Washington Flight Academy is located at Montgomery County Airpark in Maryland. From Alexandria, Virginia the drive was about 45 minutes long and very easy to get to. As soon as we were in the Washington Flight Academy’s driveway we could see the airstrip and all the planes. Our excitement was building…

Piper plane

We checked in at the front desk and were quickly assigned our pilot, Herman. Herman took us out to the airstrip to meet our plane, N8445S – it was a maroon and white piper plane, WHOOP! Some things are just meant to be. The plane was in great shape and so pretty with our college colors (Missouri State and Texas A&M).


Flight Training

Adam’s flight training consisted of learning the basic ins and outs of the plane he was about to fly. Herman did a great job going over every detail and making sure we understood what each part of the planes purpose was. Again, he was very thorough which I think Adam appreciated, he was excited, but also nervous to fly the small piper plane. Checking and going over all the parts of the plane was very reassuring that we would all be safe flying.

Once we checked all the parts and received gas in the plane we were ready to fly! I had the backseat all to myself and surprisingly for the size of the plane there was plenty of space. Adam sat on the left while Herman sat on the right. We all had headphones and mics to communicate with each other and the air base.

Before we did anything Herman and Adam had to go through a checklist of making sure every control was working properly. Again, thorough. Once they checked everything off the list Herman radioed the air base for permission to start flying, checked the weather and then we were ready to fly! Listening in on the radio calls was a really cool experience. As frequent flyers it was nice to be on the other side of things, to hear the process and safety of flying a plane.

Lift Off!

Herman drove the plane to the runway as we listened to him communicate to the air base of when it was our turn to take off. Once we were in the clear we were ready to lift off! Taking off is always our favorite part of flying and this took our flying experience to a whole other level. When we fly Adam and I usually have to fight for the window seat, but in this plane we both had unlimited views of the sky.

Sky High

Almost during the whole process Herman was guiding Adam on what he was doing, how he was flying and our flight route. Once we reached 2,000 feet Herman passed the torch to Adam and Adam started to fly the plan (with Herman’s help of course). The two pilots worked on keeping us balanced and in the air while I was relaxed and enjoyed the views. As cool as it is to fly a plane, I think I enjoyed being in the backseat not worrying about everyone’s safety.

Scenic Views

The views of Maryland in the fall from the air are beyond beautiful! So many colors – bright orange, golden yellow and powerful reds filled the space below. We could also see the cute cottages and neighborhoods with their beautiful trees surrounding them. We were told that if we lived nearby we could have flown by our house. So for the locals this would be something special. We also flew by a beautiful lake and a few ponds, they were absolutely gorgeous! If you are to ever fly in Maryland or the east coast in general I highly recommend doing it in the fall. Great weather and even better scenic landscapes.

Adam let Herman take over after about ten minutes of flying the plane because he too wanted to be stress free and enjoy the views. Flying the plane was really cool and exciting for him, but he agrees that the views were the best part of the experience. The flight never felt short at all, it was a perfect amount of time in the air. Up in the sky, we felt limitless. I can only imagine the beautiful views a pilot sees everyday on the job.

Smooth Landing

When it was time to head back Herman communicated to the airbase to get approval for our landing. It was not long before we slowly started our descend. The third best part about flying for us is the landing. Even with the high winds and our small piper plane, Herman managed a smooth landing. Our adrenaline finally started to ease up as we slowed down and made our way back to the airstrip to park the plane. I think we both exhaled a deep breathe when we unbuckled our seats.

I have to admit I thought of a pretty cool birthday gift and we both surely enjoyed it. Herman and the Washington Flight Academy made this experience easy, stress free, professional and of course, fun! Thank you for an adrenaline-rushed experience!


Herman and Adam


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Washington Flight Academy
7940 Airpark Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Tel:  240-246-7529
M – Su: 8am – 6pm
Email: [email protected]




  • kser

    Dang! That’s awesome! (And terrifying haha. Not sure Lynds would trust me to fly her 😉

    P.s. I initially thought the title was supposed to be “paper” airplane. This was much cooler than that

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Haha Thanks Kyle we thought so too. You should try to find a Groupon flying lesson in Houston! Lyndz could always just watch from the ground 🙂

  • ilive4travel

    Looks like great fun and the views are amazing. We actually got my dad a flying lesson a few years ago and he loved it. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go up with him but then I have been lucky enough to fly in a small plane a few times 🙂

    • OurSweetAdventures

      That is awesome! We would definitely do it again. We love seeing cities from above whether its in the air or the highest peak possible 🙂

  • Wow this looks like an amazing experience! My partner (other half of luxurybackpacking) LOVES flying, and would be very jealous! Also great videos, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Your welcome. I am not sure where you live, but I have hear that Groupon has discounts to flying lessons in other cities too! You should look into it!

  • Vyjay Rao

    That was really cool. I think most guys have this fantasy about actually flying an aeroplane. This is something we dream of as young kids and the fantasy persists. Cool that Adam could actually fly a plane. Of course you had the best of both worlds from your vantage place at the back,

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Haha I surely did. Your comment about every young boy wanting to fly a plane is partly why I thought this would be a cool gift for him. Whenever we travel Adam always loves the flying experience so I figured why not let him actually fly the plane for a change 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Katrina | Aqua & Ink

    This looks like SO much fun!! I’m actually quite a nervous flyer, but there’s something so cool about flying your own small plane… I feel like Adam must have felt quite accomplished afterwards and gained a massive TICK on his bucket list!

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Haha to be honest he loved the views more than flying the plane himself – he was so nervous, but yes he does think its super cool that he can say he has flown a plane now 🙂

  • flunkingmonkey

    I initially read this article as paper plane and became really confused … obviously, after scrolling down I saw my mistake! This seems awesome I’ve always wanted to do this, even though I am scared of heights. Thanks for the first person description of this! Glad to have more details on it.

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Haha your the second one to have read it that way. Until I booked the plane I had never heard of a piper plane so I could easily understand reading paper 🙂 You should do it! You will forget your fears when you get to see a beautiful city or landscapes below. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Mr Mike

    I’ve always wanted to fly in a plane or at least be up front. You’re so lucky to be able to have this opportunity! I’m glad the instructor went over the safety instructions in depth because that would make me nervous!

    • OurSweetAdventures

      You should definitely look up flying lessons near you. I am sure you can find a flight school that will give you a great experience!


    what an incredible b-day gift! 🙂 Now I wish my boyfriend (Adam as well!) bought me the same gift for my upcoming birthdays :))
    I am pretty sure you guys have enjoyed this experience a lot! I went skydiving few weeks back and I agree that flying in a small plane just feel different. Sometimes it is great to see things from the other side as well 🙂

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Haha Adam is a great name! Maybe you should leave my blog post open on the computer screen as hint 😉 Adam does want to go skydiving, but I am still on the fence about it. Would love to hear about your experience!

  • Gareth

    What a wonderfully unique gift idea although I must say, I doubt my girlfriend would ever trust me enough. And even if she did, there would be absolutely ZERO chance she’d be going up in the plane with me! Which is unfortunate because those views look incredible although if I was Adam, I would most certainly not be looking down! Very entertaining post

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Haha more fun for you in the air then! The views truly were amazing. The entire time we both felt really safe and looking down we never felt nervous just in awe of the beautiful scenery. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  • 100cobbledroads

    Wow, what an adventure. You brave souls! Makes me remember that movie starring Harrison Ford and Anne Heche, for some reason.

  • Luca

    It’s probably safer than driving a car on the city traffic, but after my flight on one of those “planes” above Nazca lines, I don’t know if I’d like to try myself to fly it. Good thing is that after that flight in Chile, everyone puked but me 😀

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Oh my gosh!!!! Yeah I cannot imagine flying in a small plane after an experience like that either. Maybe give it a few years before you get into another small plane 🙂

      • Luca

        As you can see, I wrote Chile instead of Peru, so I’m still bringing the terror with me! ?

  • You said “Wow it should be awesome” , well it’s exactly the same thing I have thinking for ever! When I was young I always played a flight game called F22 Raptor; I would like to do the same of you guys, amazing experience!
    thanks for sharing it,

    • OurSweetAdventures

      You should play F22 Raptor in real life and go find a plane to fly yourself! 🙂 Thanks for commenting and reading.

  • Lara Dunning

    Experience gifts are the best kind of gifts and Groupon and Living Social are perfect for finding something fun to do at a good price. Great idea! Especially since you both enjoyed it!

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Thank you. I have not looked into Living Social yet but now that you mention it I will!

  • Olena Kagui

    This is so cool! I’ve always wanted to try this – Adam is one lucky guy! I definitely need to look into Living Social once I move to the US. Thanks for sharing this amazing experience 🙂

    • OurSweetAdventures

      I used Groupon, but I have heard of Living Social too. Check both 🙂

  • Wanderlust Vegans

    What an amazing birthday present! We never buy stuff, we buy experiences for our birthdays. This may go on the list of gifts in the future!

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Aww I am glad to hear that! We like a little bit of both for our gifts. One tangible one experience 🙂

  • sudiptode

    Wow a single day flying lesson sounds so awesome. I did not know that you could do that in a day. The colours of Maryland are very beautiful indeed.

  • What a fantastic birthday present! I flew a little plane once with a friend that was learning to be an instructor – I absolutely loved it. Also tried my hand in a helicopter that found that to be much scarier! Definitely an experience to remember 🙂

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Wow that sounds awesome! We have only been in a helicopter for a ride over Las Vegas, but we cannot imagine flying one!

  • travellingslacker

    Flying isn’t my thing. But I am sure the aerial views mus have been great. I wish someday I can get such views without the sensation of flying.

  • Call of Travel

    That’s so awesome, I had no idea that you could just try flying like that. Honestly I would be a nervous wreck myself!

  • Nerdventurists

    Hey, i’m from Maryland! I think I know where this is too! It’s definitely a unique experience ot have. I flew a plane briefly a good long awhile ago, and I found it terrifying!!

    • OurSweetAdventures

      Aww thats awesome! You should definitely do this too then! Find them on Groupon for the great deal!

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