Wednesday, 17 July 2013


My solo to Claremont was a major milestone for me. Not skills wise because quite frankly I wasn’t doing anything I haven’t done a hundred times before, it was a mental milestone.

Bob got the timing perfect on this stepping stone. I’ve probably had the skills for a while now to safely fly to Claremont and back, what I didn’t have was the belief in my abilities. By the time Bob saw fit to release me for this flight. I wanted it. I was champing at the bit ready to go. The desire to progress far outweighing any lingering doubts. The lack of panic allowing me that mental clarity to deal with anything that could be thrown my way. It was the right time in every way.
So what now? Well long term Bob hinted at the fact that I’m “very close to doing cross country flights now.” A statement which evoked a thrill of excitement rather than the gut-churning angst I’ve previously felt. I have no doubt that I’m going to need easing into that gently, building up my confidence with some easier destinations before going for the big , 2 landing 150 miler. And I have no doubt that Bob’ll weave his usual magic and do exactly that. Ease me in gently ‘til I reach the point where I know I can do it and equipping me with the tools to cope if it goes a little awry.

Short term, I’m going to be back at the practice area on my own. Our next planned flight is a repeat of the previous one. Ok well maybe not an exact repeat. I’m sure Bob would actually like me to attempt the steep turns this time! And I will, I promise.
My personal goal is to just tidy it up a bit, polish my performance. My altitude control wasn’t exactly erratic but I wasn’t transitioning smoothly from one height to the next. Climbing a little steeper than I needed to and ditto with the descent when re-entering the altitude controlled zone.  With that comes the need to expand my comfort level of what I’m happy doing out there on my own. At some point I’m going to have to do stalls and forced approaches and all the other crazy stuff solo. That’s going to take some nerve!

But it’ll be okay. I have big goals and small goals to work on and I’ll tackle them a couple at a time.
We’ll get there; Bob, JES and myself!

1 comment:

  1. yay! good for you! mental milestones are even bigger than physical ones