Flight Lesson #9 – First Attempt

12 December:

I can’t tell for sure if I’m hungry, nervous or excited.

It’s about 8:30, and in a few hours, I’ll head out to the airport for my lesson and possibly first solo flight. First, I’ll do at least three take offs and landings with Brad, my instructor, in the right seat. Then if the winds and my own skills support it, Brad will hop out of the plane and I’ll do three more.

This all starts about 1 this afternoon, and I have oodles of chores to do before I leave. So I’ll at least be distracted while I am working, but at some point, I suppose I should face up to the likelihood that, by the time I get home, I will have actually flown a small airplane on my own.

So I guess this means that the next time I am on an airliner, and the flight attendant comes on the intercom and asks “Is there anyone onboard who can fly a plane?” I’ll be able to answer in the affirmative.

Damn straight.

12 December (afternoon):

Not quite.

I got close, though.

I wasn’t particularly confident that I had enough experience to get landings under control. Brad, my instructor, had 18 hours before he soloed. I had barely 11 this afternoon. But I did seven take offs and landings and next time, Brad feels as though I’ll be good to go. So it didn’t happen today, and frankly, I am relieved. I didn’t think I was ready, but of course, you have to trust your instructor, so I did. He’s supposed to make sure I wasn’t in a position to go up unassisted when I wasn’t ready. And he made the right choice.

Check that. WE made the right choice.

And for me, that’s just fine. I have the luxury of time. I am not doing this because I need it for work. I am not doing this under any time schedule at all. So I can take my time and be a little conservative with my goals until I am genuinely ready. There’s nothing worse than being pushed into something for which you aren’t ready, and in my case, I have no pressure to perform.

So next time. Probably mid week in the morning, if the weather’s holding.

More later. I’m pooped!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *