Sunday, 1 March 2015

Truly solo

I finally caught a break in the weather on Saturday, long enough for me to get a quick hop in. In a spate of bad timing, I wanted to take a friend up on the Friday of next week but my currency lapsed on the preceding Monday.

Not a problem, seeing as the weather decided to cooperate, mostly. It was cold and a little windy but mostly sunny and bright. So I dutifully grabbed a plane for a quick 3 times round the circuit jaunt. Just enough to persuade myself that I do indeed remember how to land.

 It was the most bizarre flight I think I’ve ever done.

For a start it was the first truly solo flight I’ve done since getting my PPL.  Every other flight I’ve had either passengers or RTH or Bob on board. Someone else in the other seat.

That combined with the fact that the apron was completely and utterly empty, left me with a really strange feeling.

I picked up the keys from the previous pilot, signed the paperwork, filled in the flight sheet and grabbed my cushions.

“I’m just going to bash out some circuits.” I inform no one in particular. No one seems remotely concerned about what I’m planning on carrying out with the plane that has just been released to me.

Dispatch are busy shuffling planes and timings and the owner is busy haranguing dispatch.

Noone is remotely concerned about the ink-barely-dry-on-her-licence pilot and her intentions.

I complete my walkround on an eerily quiet apron, leaving the engine cover on until the very last minute. There’s not even anyone around to help me wrestle the beast back into the rear baggage compartment.

Finally as I go to start the engine, I lean out the window to call “CLEAR” and realise I am the only plane on the apron.

I look around one final time and mutter to myself, “I guess I’ll just start the engine then….”


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