Monday, November 8

day 10203: i can fly, i can fly, i can flyyyyy...

I flew a plane yesterday. A teeny-tiny, blue and white two-seater Cessna registered C-F00U. It was no bigger than a Smart car. Actually, it was much smaller. There was just enough room in it for Instructor-Phil, yours-truly, and a plastic bag... "just in case the Gravol doesn't do it's job."

Armed with instructions of "See that panel... if we go down, and I can't get to it, tear down that panel and flip the switch for the emergency locator... Don't worry, you'll be highly motivated to get the panel off..." we were off.

I taxied haphazardly down the runway looking like a drunken clown trying to walk a tightrope, pushed a button here, pulled a lever there, read the altimeter, flipped a switch and took off... or rather, Instructor-Phil did the whole acceleration bit, and I got to pull back on the which-a-ma-callit-steering-wheelie-thing to get us off the ground.

We banked left, we banked right. I learned how to turn, how to gain altitude, how to "dive" and how to straighten out the plane. I learned what cruising altitude was, learned not to bank too steeply... whoops... and learned that flying is very much like driving a car.

Except that you can go anywhere you want.

Oh, and except that I have no idea where I'm going, and that I can't see the other planes coming towards us until they're almost completely below us.

At the end of the session of "circle over this town", and "head towards that swamp", and "follow that road home... no, not that road"... Instructor Phil took over the controls and landed us safe and sound, just so I could taxi back to the airport, all drunken clown like...

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