5/8/15 – This is my third week of flying, and we got onto straight and level flight. It makes you wonder what we’d been doing up to this point yeah? Well when you study to become a pilot you go through a series of exercises, numbered from 1 to 19, all of which are a standard system for flight training. (see https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=41146 for an overview). So, odd though it sounds, Straight and Level Flight is exercise 6 in the training. It’s also the easiest type of flying to do of course, and there is a trim control in the aircraft that helps you make sure you don’t climb or descend when you don’t want to. Learning how and when to use this is an important part of the training process.
The plane I trained on for my first few lessons was the Cessna 152 (example above). This is a light two-seater high wing aircraft. Personally I wasn’t keen on the high wing aspect, and as it was pretty small inside, I found the space a bit tight as I am quite chunky. Later on I’ll explain why I moved on and what to.
29/7/15 – A week after my trial flight I was back for my first real lesson, without wife and son this time. As I’d been so worried about them before, them not being there actually made me feel more comfortable, though if you listen to the podcast, you’ll realise I was still pretty nervous. There was a lot of talking about what we were going to do, and then my instructor took off and I got another chance to try to be a pilot.
Why I decided to learn to fly
Why am I doing this? Well you can blame my wife partly, after all she’s the one who bought me a trial flight for my 52nd birthday in 2015. But really the roots of wanting to fly go back to my childhood, to a geeky pre-teen who used to go down to Sheffield Central Library every week and check out books on flying, flight training, anything to do with planes. I’ve always loved history as well, so military aircraft were a big thing to me, including building Airfix models (who didn’t of my contemporaries?).
But we were pretty poor, and my eyesight wasn’t brilliant, and I was chubby and not very athletic, so the opportunity to be a pilot wasn’t ever going to come my way. I did look at joining the RAF but it just wasn’t going to happen, and then, like a lot of childhood dreams, it just faded away.
But being older, and having a bit more money, and time, meant my opportunity has come round again. I’m not going to be in the Red Arrows, or fly 747s across the Atlantic (thank goodness), but when I get my licence I’ll be able to fly for my own enjoyment, whenever I like. And that seems like great thing to be able to do.
So have a listen at my first podcast episode, If you like it, come back, there’ll be more. And thanks for listening and reading, please feel free to drop any comments you think are relevant, I’d love to read them.