As always, I say a prayer before the flying lesson, “God keep us safe and get us back on the ground.” Today I add, “and don’t let me make a fool of myself again.” Thank you, Jesus, for the ability to attempt this at my age. Amen.
While in Tulsa a few weeks ago, I went shopping with friends and bought a leather jacket. Yes, me! It makes me look like a real aviator. Doubles as an Indiana Jones costume when I put on the hat Pa gave me. Glenn, my instructor doesn’t notice.
During the flying lesson, my instructor stresses the word “stabilize”. My touch and go landings look like a drunk weaving down the highway, nausea could easily overtake me. It feels like those occasional gusts of whipping wind that attempts to wipe your car off the road. So “stable” is the word for the day. Stable on downwind, on approaches, on landings, and on take offs. Basically, control the plane a little better. Even when it whips back and forth like a volleyball? Especially then.
I finally learn to keep my hand on the throttle while flying around the pattern, just in case we get too low, go too fast or, crazy thought, overshoot the runway. Good advice, Glenn.
By the way, in debriefing, he asks if I plan to fly solo. Me, the unstable one? Which, I’m reminded, proves why I need these lessons. But solo? Fly by myself? Take that machine up into the sky alone? By the way, my pilot husband thinks my instructor has found a gold mine, the years it will take to teach me to land, much less ever solo. I think I can pass the medical, but the biggest drawback to flying solo, I learn, besides the thousand hours I need to become “stable”, is passing a written test. Have you seen the detail in that book? I’m getting familiar with Chapter 1 because I’ve read it about 20 times (not exaggerating) but the next 11 chapters have titles like Procedures and Airport Operations, Flight Instruments, Navigation and Weather Service. What do they think I want to do, become a pilot?
For the first time, I consider flying solo. Maybe it’s possible, say, ten years from now. At the moment, I’m still trying to get stable.