fun experience for my son this week:
upon boarding the plane with Ronni, Colin was invited by the pilot to come into the cockpit and check it out. Ronni told the pilot about Colin's love of flightsimming, so the the pilot showed Colin all the controls and instruments, even letting him push and pull the throttle (currently inactive, of course, since the engines were off, but very cool for Colin nonetheless).
then came the real fun. the pilot asked Colin if he'd like to address the passengers over the cabin microphone. (it's worth knowing at this point that Ronni's mom and sister were already seated in the plane, unaware that Colin and Ronni were in the cockpit...) "hi Grandma!" announced Colin for all the plane to hear. "this is Captain Colin speaking." Grandma, and Aunt Paula, as you can imagine, nearly fell out of their seats. "would everyone please sit down and buckle their seatbelts, because big daddy is ready to go!" (big dadddy? yeah, I had the same question. apparently, big daddy is how the pilot refers to himself. i'll have to ask some pilot friends if that's common practice among pilots...)
the flight was great, and Colin and Ronni seem to be having a great time out there in Colorado. missing them a ton already, though, that's for sure.