It was our family’s summer vacation and we were heading east to Colorado in the plane. As usual, we got a pre-dawn start from home, in order to make a dawn wheels-up departure from the airport. The weather and turbulence is SO much better in the morning that it makes sense to do this.
We took off, climbed over the Sierras and I had just leveled off when I felt a little dizzy. I thought it was probably from getting up so early, but when I leaned down to get a chart from under my seat, I got the whirlies. Something was wrong and getting sick in the plane with my family is not a pleasant thought.
I explained what was going on to my wife, then called Reno approach and told them too. I didn’t declare an emergency, but I was prepared to if needed. I really wasn’t feeling that bad yet, but I could tell something was approaching and it wasn’t good.
We landed without incident and taxied to the FBO. It was ridiculously early to get a hotel, but my wife and someone at the FBO arranged something, because by now it was clear we are not going to take off again. We took a taxi to the hotel in downtown Reno, but as my wife and kids went inside to check in, it hit. I ran down the street, turned into the nearest alley, and let loose. When I looked up there were some Reno winos staring at me.
Wow, a few short hours ago I was feeling fine and taking off heading for a vacation in Colorado. I could never have imagined I would end up throwing up with bums in downtown Reno before noon.
Luckily it was a 24 hour kind of thing. I stayed in the room and slept while my family walked around Reno and went to the movies. By the next morning I was feeling good and we continued the trip.