Thursday, 1 August 2013

Within my grasp

Another text conversation with Bob, and another feeling to ponder. It started off with the usual figuring out our schedule for the next lesson.  Bob has vacation plans coming up and I’m busy workwise, but we figured out an evening that seemed to work for both of us. I enquired as to what the plan was for that particular lesson. I’m going to be stuck in a hotel room for the next few nights, so I might as well make use of the time and prep for the lesson.  I’ve discovered just how much difference those few hours of preparation can make.

Bob gave me a few options, all of them valuable experience, all of them exciting in their own way. A part of our conversation caught my attention though “we won’t be learning too much more new stuff at this stage.”
Wow, that’s kind of profound.

I’ve pretty much learnt all the basic skills I need at this point. What comes next is using them in new and different situations. Applying rather than acquiring skills.
That’s huge.

To be honest I don’t know how this makes me feel. It is very, very weird. I have come so far from the person who regularly forgot which way to move the throttle. I regularly have flashes of “wow, I just did that without thinking.” Little things like finishing off a solo flight and seeing dispatch standing outside the hanger, marshalling me into a space, I do this without a second thought. Knowing exactly where they want me to go. A mile away from the person who got lost taxiing back from the circuit.My run up checks are second nature. Situational awareness keen and focussed.  
Light years away from that scared passenger, now there sits a pilot. The realisation dawning on me that Bob is slowly cutting the ties, lessening my dependence on him. The first realisation came when I heard him on the radio,

With another student
While I was still flying

This was such a weird feeling; I can’t even begin to describe it. I mean even at the start of the lesson he asked me if I even wanted to bother with the dual circuits. He was happy just to hand over the keys and watch me go.
Eek! This instructor, this professional pilot; this person whose skills, cunning and wiles have seen me go from petrified passenger to solo flier is willing to just let me fly away without a second glance.

This is both scary and exhilarating at the same time.
I’ve come so far, and while the finish line isn’t in sight. It at least feels within my grasp.


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