At the controls after 40+ years

The intrepid aviator

Nothing reminds one of aging so much as remembering how long it has been since some memorable event in the early part of one’s life. To mark my 60th birthday our children gave me a training flight at Ardmore Airport. They knew that I’d been in the RAF Cadets at school, and that I really enjoyed my gliding course as a teenager, proud to have done my three solo flights. It took a while to arrange to enjoy the present, the problem of seeking to find the “perfect” time for something really special ;) but on Thursday we went to Ardmore for the flight.

While the instructor talked me through the basics, standing on the wing and looking into the cockpit, it was something of a shock to realise that it is over forty years since I last touched the controls of an aircraft in flight!

Take Off

The lesson was great fun, he gave me the controls almost all the time, except the immediate take off, and landing. The day was calm, with only enough small gusts and thermals to make it interesting (for a total beginner) to keep the plane flying straight and level, or in a gentle turn. I was quite pleased that I still seem capable of that ;) He only had to warn me a couple of times that I was letting the nose drift up or down – unlike a glider a powered aircraft the noise of the wind on the wings gives less warning.

All-in-all a great time! I wonder how expensive gliding or microlight flying are as hobbies?

2 comments on “At the controls after 40+ years

  1. Dale Campbell

    I didn’t know :) My Dad is also a single-engine private pilot, and has built/restored about a half-dozen planes over the years. He has a hangar/runway set up at the house :) I’ll have to show you on GoogleEarth some time? :)

  2. Tim

    Crikey sounds brilliant :) I was wondering more if I could justify spending $1400 plus $9 per launch that gliding costs now-a-days.