My last flight was good overall, I nailed those steep turns and made the field easily on my forced approach. What wasn’t so good was the hand-wringing angst that accompanied my solo flight.
I told Bob that I wasn’t mentally prepared for the flight ….. I wasn’t
I told Bob that I was worried about judging the cloud base ….. I was
The truth is, I was back to my old habits. I thought I’d grown out of this “should I, shouldn’t I?” game every time we planned for me to solo.
Bob was up with another student by the time I landed. We spoke later on the phone. As usual I was completely honest about what I’d done and how I’d done it. No point in lying to Bob, but honestly I didn’t have much to comment on negatively. I’d hammered out those steep turns until I was happy with them. I’d made the field and shown good time management by getting the plane back in time for the next student.
I felt the need to apologise for the grief I’d given him before I soloed off. We both agreed that it was probably just nerves from the fact that I hadn’t flown in a while, that I’d get over it. Still I don’t like to be that way, I don’t do needy, it’s really not me. Then Bob said “you know WMAP, you have great judgement. I have students who have naturally good piloting skills but you I trust to go out there and be safe. It’ll be ok.”
Now that kind of flattery I can take. The trick to any compliment is to make it believable. If Bob’d turned round and told me that I have amazing stick-and-rudder skills and that I’m going to breeze through my flight test without a second glance, well I would have instantly spotted it for the hot air that it was. But this, this I may actually be able to invest in. I’m cautious up there, I’ll always err on the safe side. I’ve never tried to do anything stupid. I regard being allowed to fly solo as a privilege to be cherished and not an opportunity to mess around and do stuff that you know your instructor wouldn’t let you.
That one sentence from Bob was probably enough to reinvigorate my belief in myself. Given the choice, I’ll take being a safe pilot over a “natural” one any day.