On Thursday I got the chance to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time… Fly a plane. An actual plane. And I lived to tell the tale. Weird.
When I started blogging last year I wrote “My Bucket List” as one of my first posts. That was before I really told anyone about my blog so I was surprised to find that my mum had read it when she gave me a flying lesson for Christmas. What a babe- thanks Fiona. I had booked the lesson a few times earlier this year but it kept getting cancelled due to bad weather. The forecast for Thursday was rain and storms again but miraculously the sun came out and I got to fly.
I was pretty calm until I actually got to the airfield (in Perth) then I started getting really nervous. My lesson was a “double” lesson which meant I shared it with one other person. We were taken into a little office to get a 10 minute briefing about safety and how the controls worked. I was so nervous that I daydreamed most of the way through… oops. After that we were taken out to the tiny little plane.The guy I was sharing the lesson with insisted “ladies first” so I got into the driving seat and he sat in the back behind me. After the way I flew that plane I bet he wished he went first- I was like Dick Dastardly from Wacky Races in that thing. The plane had dual controls so I imagined it would be kind of like a first driving lesson where you get loads of help. Wrong. The pilot gave me total control the second we were in the air. There isn’t really much to it- it’s pretty simple but oh my god it is also TERRIFYING. Every little bump sent me into a panic, all the while the pilot was just chilling and looking out the side window, asking me about my hobbies. He started pointing out various landmarks on the ground for me to look at and I was just sitting there thinking wtf mate I am trying to fly a plane here. There was one point we were almost nose diving and he still wasn’t phased, just calmly told me how to fix it. Obviously I wouldn’t want a freak-out pilot who completely took over but I definitely didn’t expect to have 100% control straight away.
I finally relaxed a bit (for about 25 seconds) when he took over to turn the plane all the way round so we could go back to Perth. We flew over the two bridges and football stadiums in Dundee which was pretty cool and I was able to take some photos.
I’m so glad I got the chance to finally do it even though it was a thousand times more scary than I imagined. While I won’t be in a hurry to get my pilot licence anytime soon, it was definitely a really cool experience.
He gave me back control and the rain started soon after. Oh dear. I couldn’t see anything for miles but again he was so calm and just told me to keep the nose level. I was in control of landing up until 20 seconds before hitting the ground when he took over again. Wild. Once we landed I said I wanted to get out rather than go up again with the other guy. No way was I sitting in the back whilst he flew. If his flying skills were anything like mine I would’ve thrown up and/or been put off of being in a plane forever.