A few lessons in I thought it about time for a quick post with an update on my progress. As such it kind of goes without saying that I am still flying.
During the initial trial flight I was seated at the back with the pilot in the front. I also sat holding on to what ever I could find; which as you will have guessed from the pictures is not a lot. A few times I felt a little uncomfortable as the wind caught the wing or we flew through turbulence. These feelings were sufficient to make me wonder if this was really something that I wanted to do.
During my subsequent flights I have been in the front and for the most part in control – except of course for all the important bits, take-off, landings and the like. In the front and with my hands on the control bar I have felt considerably more comfortable. Although I still get the occasional anxious moments.
Slowly I am getting to understand the plane but also the time it is going to take to really master it and be in a position to be up in the sky completely on my own. Basic maneuvers are being learnt and practiced and over the coming weeks joined together.
Each lesson is an hour in the air with briefings before and after the flight. That is with the exception of the Trial which was 40 minutes. Flights so far:
- Friday 11th July – Trial flight
- Sunday 20th July
- Saturday 26th July
- Wednesday 30th July
- Tuesday 5th August
Minimum flying time for a license – 25 hours.
A way to go yet …….
Friday 11th July
30 years ago I had a trial flight in a Microlight having seen one on the TV. It was brilliant. Total freedom in an aircraft that could take off and land on any reasonably flat piece of ground. Unfortunately my finances at the time meant that it wasn’t possible to take the adventure any further. The trial flight was the only flight.
That was until today.
Over the intervening years l have been lucky enough to fly several fixed wing light aircraft, I have even had a go at flying a helicopter, but nothing has come close to my memory of the complete sense of freedom that the Microlight afforded. You are open to the elements sitting in a simple trike with a hang glider wing and a lawn mower engine keeping you in the air. Ok so the technology is somewhat better than that, but in aircraft terms it is as simple as it comes.
The flying school I chose is on the outskirts of Lichfield. When I arrived I was met by the owner Mick Shea who spent some time talking me through microlighting and how the days session would pan out. Then we got kitted up and it was time to fly.
We were in the air for forty minutes during which time I got a chance to take the controls. This is when you realise flying, even in its simplest form, takes a lot of skill and practice. I intended taking a few photo’s while in the air; well maybe next time.
Generally the flight was as goods as I remembered even if I did get unnerved a few times by the lumps and bumps that the air currents dished out. Afterwards Mick and I spent some time discussing what it takes to get a license and what the flying school could offer and how it operated. Before I left I also had the chance to have a chat with Steve who was part way through his training; this was a great opportunity to get another view of the school; training and a few points that I was still a little unsure about.
My first proper lesson is booked for Sunday 20th July.