This post was actually inspired by a conversation with Flyinkiwi, my Antipodean* blog pal, with whom I swap regular emails about all things flying related. Flyinkiwi is usually the first to comment on any videos I upload and had a lot to say about my solo to Claremont, all of it nice!The general gist of the conversation was along the lines “you demonstrate good flying skills, even from your earliest videos you were doing stuff right, maybe without even realising it.”
Now I have a lot of respect for Flyinkiwi, he’s always been there with steady and helpful advice and freely admits that it wasn’t all plain sailing for him either. His comments spawned the following reply from me, edited a bit for various reasons:
Your comments mean a lot of me. I know I have blogged about it but it is really hard for me to express just how completely and utterly terrified I was at the start of this whole adventure. The whole thing was just too overwhelming to consider that I might actually manage it on my own someday.I know that most people are intimidated by flying when they first start because let’s face it no one knows how difficult it is until they begin, but those people usually have a desire to learn, you always hear them say “I’ve always wanted to fly.” Up until recently I never held any ambition to be a pilot, now I can’t think of being anything else.
For me it was very different. I just wanted RTH to be able to share his passion for flying with me. I literally trust him with my life, so I wanted to be in the plane with him but knew I couldn’t unless something changed. There was no way he’d be able to put up with me having a panic session and fly the plane.The trouble is that flying is totally bewitching and mesmerising, as I’m sure you know. I still don’t understand what possessed me to keep getting back in that plane lesson after lesson after lesson, when I was bone shakingly terrified about the thought of flying it.
I’ve been thinking that this is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, mostly because, yes I’ve had to work at it so much.I’m fairly smart and quite frankly a lot of things in life come fairly easy to me. If they don’t then I move on and try something else. Flying has been a massive challenge, completely out of my comfort zone and yes I have had to WORK at it.
But the biggest eureka moment is realising that to people like yourself, who have no vested interest in whether I feel good about myself or not, I’m indistinguishable from any other student pilot out there.Sometimes the opinion of strangers matters!
* I guess new Zealand isn’t the antipode of Canada, bah, well it was in the UK!