Week One Update – Spreading My Wings

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

-Leonardo Da Vinci

So. It’s been a week, and we were only grounded one day. It was hard to gauge my progress – Sandra seemed satisfied with it, but I couldn’t tell if I was progressing faster than average, or slower, or what. She only has be do a maneuver once or twice before moving on to another one, which is fine, honestly – it keeps me from getting frustrated if I don’t get it perfect. In fact, her teaching style suits me really well. Some people like to practice one thing until they get it perfect, but I prefer the moving on to the next thing and then reviewing what I’ve learned next flight, because generally even the next time I’ve improved just from practicing in general. But I’m, well, it’s not that I’m competitive, but I tend to not be happy with myself unless I’m doing better than average, like if I’m not earning praise by standing out then I’m not good enough. *sigh* I know I’m too hard on myself, and it’s a good thing I’m good at so many things and catch onto most things quickly.

Anyway, Friday I got my first sense of how fast I was moving. Weather had caused bookings to overlap, and Sandra sent me up with another Instructor, Jeremy, to do my first circuit work. On the way out to the plane, he asked me how long I’d been flying, and I told him Monday. He raised his eyebrows and said “Monday? And you’re on circuit work already?”

Well, at least part of that – possibly all of it is because I’m going every day, so I don’t have too much time to forget what I’ve learned, but we did still get grounded on Thursday. But I’ve given away all my shifts at work to do this, so I’m going balls to the wall with the flight training already.

I have learned so much in the last week. I feel like Sandra’s pushing me hard, but she seems to have a good sense of what I can handle. Friday we got to spin and spiral recovery, and she says I’m getting the hang of that pretty quick. This isn’t me, but here’s a video of someone doing a spim and spin recovery in the same plane, first from outside the plane, then from the cockpit. (Just watched it again – still can’t believe I did that.) The annoying wailing noise is the stall horn – it goes off when you’re getting close to a stall, which you do when you’re entering a spin on purpose. But the ground spinning in front of you, that’s no exaggeration, it’s actually like that. And it is totally less scary when you’re doing it yourself.

And the feeling of having done that – to have gained the skill to be able to put the aeroplane into that state, and be able to bring it out again, without help – it’s really awesome. I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing right now than flying, and I can’t think of anything that would be more fun. I can’t help but think it’s strange when I talk to people who are afraid of flying, because in my mind, who could possibly not think it’s the coolest thing in the world?

Anyway, going into my second week – I need to get studying the stuff for the PSTAR exam, and the radio exam, so I can qualify for my student license. Here’s hoping for more good weather.

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12 responses to “Week One Update – Spreading My Wings

  1. This is from the Weather Network, so hopefully it won’t ground you, but just in case…

    Winter Storm Watch

    Summary

    Possible blizzard Monday. The potential for severe winter weather exists over these regions.

    Details

    A low pressure system currently located in Central Montana is tracking eastward into the Dakotas today. This system will bring a swath of snow to Southern Manitoba today and tonight with highest accumulations north of the Trans Canada highway. Accumulations of 15 to 25 cm are expected by Monday morning in the warning regions with lesser amounts to the south. Over Southeastern Manitoba, 10 to 15 cm of snow is expected with this system. In addition to the snow, gusty northwesterly winds in the wake of the low will create some reduced visibilities in blowing snow on Monday. A winter storm watch has been issued for the Red River Valley and east for possible blizzard conditions developing in the wake of this system in the Red River Valley.

    • yeah, not looking all that great. Sounds like it should be less terrible in the morning, so maybe it’ll blow itself out by the time my flight’s scheduled at 12:30. If not, I’ll see if I can get my radio exam written.

  2. Definitely worth hanging on to the end of the video for the horn-squeaking ground-spiralling bit! I’m not afraid of flying, but rather you than me.

    From one of the comments above it looks like you might get grounded again at some point this week, but you’ll be back up there soon enough.

    I hope you continue to make good progress – I am sure you are ‘walking the earth with your eyes turned skyward’

    A

  3. Quaking with trepidation from 6,260 kilometres away (yep, I looked it up – assuming you are in Winnipeg)

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