Taking to the skies.

I was woken early by my phone. Gerhard said that the weather looked much better, and would pick me up in about twenty minutes. After finishing the final details of my Student Pilot Licence application, and sending it off, we headed to the airport, and after a detailed initial briefing, we were off. Our plane for the day was “Delta Tango Uniform”, a tiny two-seater Cessna 150.

After being allowed to taxi a very weaving course to the runway, Gerhard did all of the two-way radio stuff, and accelerated for the take off, but once airborne he pretty soon handed the controls over to me again, and I was flying!

There was a lot to take in initially, and like learning any new skill, it seems a little overwhelming at first. We did a couple of circuits, coming back in to touch-down on the runway, before applying power, and taking off again. As time progressed Gerhard handed more and more control over to me, and simply talked me through the proceedures, and I managed a couple of good landings on my own. We managed to fit six circuits into the first lesson.

We took a break for lunch, and afterwards we flew for another hour, with the responsibility for the radio being handed over to me too. Driving the mining trucks in Australia served me well here, as much of the radio proceedure is somewhat similar, with verbal confirmation of everything said being required.

By the end of the second hour I was doing most of the flying, and confidence was growing. Landings were improving too, and Gerhard seemed pretty confident that I would get to go solo if the weather holds up for the next couple of days.

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At the time it is a bit hard to remember to actually enjoy yourself, as there is so much to concentrate on, but it was an absolutely fantastic day, and I really feel I progressed well. It is fun to learn with Gerhard too, as he seems as keen on helping me to achieve my goal as I am to do so!

In the evening Gerhard had suggested I should go along to the local cinema, as it was half-price-night, and he thought “Amelia!”, the story of intrepid pilot Amelia Earhart, might still be playing. Unfortunately it was no longer showing, and I had to make do with “The Wolfman”.

If you want to learn to fly, you could do a lot worse than check out Matiba Bay School of Flight.

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