I have always been interested in flying, and it has long been a dream of mine to have my own plane, and be able to fly when and where I want. The first step towards this is to actually learn how to fly, and for my 100 weeks flying goal, my aim is to fly a plane on my first solo flight.
While in Port Elizabeth about a month ago, through helicopter pilot John, I met flight instructor Gerhard, and when we chatted about my goals and travels, he became quite enthusiastic, and offered to help out with this goal.
He reckons he can get me flying solo without too many formalities, and with only a few hours of lessons. I have done a bit of flying of gliders before, and did manage to fly a couple of solo circuits, and this gave Gerhard some confidence in my potential.
So from Rio I booked a flight which took me to Sao Paulo in Brazil, and from there to Johannesburg in South Africa, and a final short hop down to Port Elizabeth on the coast. I settled back into the same hostel I was in last time I was here, and gave Gerhard a call.
Unfortunately the next day the weather was cloudy and windy, and Gerhard suggested that we put off our first flight for a day or so. so after an easy day, I met up with couchsurfing contact Karl in the afternoon. Unfortunately Karl is unable to host me at the moment, but was happy to take me for a quick tour of Port Elizabeth, including the new football stadium, in the final stages of preparation for the forthcoming soccer World Cup.
The next day I had to get a couple of passport photos for my Student Pilot Licence, and Gerhard had booked me in for a medical exam. A trip to the hospital for a chest x-ray thinned my wallet down, and after a very thorough medical, I had to make another trip to the cashpoint machine to pay the hefty bill!
At least I got a full, clean bill of health, apart from my eyesight, for which I need a new prescription, again! Not long now, I think, until I have to wear lenses and carry reading glasses too. Oh dear!
Afterwards I spoke again to Gerhard, and once again weather was causing problems for a first flight, so once again I am on hold, hoping to fly tomorrow.