|Sunday, 9 November 2003|
Flying ... Low (link)
Monday is my birthday and today I got an early present from Kym which she'd arranged in advance last week. When she told me I needed to wake up on Sunday without a hang-over (for a change) I had my suspicions that it might be something like a rally-car drive or parachite jump or something, but turns out I was gonna be doin something equally as exciting.
I got to fly a plane today !!!
A real one ... not the Microsoft-flight-sim variety I've been blasting about in over the last 6 months or so in the office at home. This one was a Cessna-152, a cute little 110hp 2 seater with enough room behind the front seats for a set of golf clubs and a couple of dozen beers.
Jeeze it was a blast. I didnt get to do the take-off or landing of course but once we were safely in the air I had the controls for about 20mins of flying time. I asked if we could fly out and around Ngahinepouri where I grew up, and where my Mum still lives, and this was OK with the instructor, basically we had the 20mins to use up and it didnt really matter where we went.
I rang Mum before we left to go out to the aero-club to let her know to watch-out for possible out-of-control aircraft in the district at about 1:30pm. She told me tonight that she did poke her nose up from the gardening at one point, and even waived, but I was so freeked out keeping the plane on the level I didnt really have time to wave back.
Barn-storming, I was not :-)
Although I was bursting at the seams to let my instructor Roger (unfortunately I missed the chance to use the Roger-Roger line on him) know I'd knotched up a hundred odd hours in the flight-sim, I managed to keep it under my hat. I've learned that real-pilots basically dont give-a-shit about flight-sims. They just kinda smile condascendingly and try to change the subject as soon as possible.
At $80 for a 25min trial flight I reckon its a bloody good deal. Its a thrill, plus gives you a pretty good idea about whether U wanna take it any further or not (a private-pilots-licence takes about 50-hours + exams and costs about $10,000)