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there's no crying on final approach

third lesson and I'm still scared shitless of this whole airplane thing. that's really what I forgot to ask my instructor at the end, when he asked if I had any questions, "Am I normal? Is everyone else more relaxed?" I mean sometimes he gives me permission to be nervous, like on the radios, my voice was awfully shaky when I made initial contact with departure and he said everybody gets nervous so it's cool. But when I think of radios, it doesn't scare me that much. And when I got done talking, I don't have residual shakiness. Flying is just terrifying though.

I thought the air was a little bumpy tonight. It's been warm and stormy and even though the clouds were at 6,000 feet and the radar was clear, everything just felt weird. and there was sort of this rough landing going on that really scared me, because we were just drifting off and everything in my brain wanted to be somewhere else, or at least throw my hands up and let the instructor totally take over. but I'm supposed to be flying the airplane. he mentioned the glideslope, which I'd forgotten to look at, I'll think about that next time.

I get the feeling I'm supposed to really have takeoff memorized now. It's not that hard, there's not that much to do. Full power, watch airspeed, there's a speed to pull up and a speed to raise flaps. Maybe just now typing this is the first time I've thought of it in three steps, and that's why it's been confusing. Maybe I should spend more time writing down steps. so far, learning to fly has been like learning anything, but like the teacher is drawing figures on the sides of semi-trucks flying down the highway past me at 80mph. And I don't think it's my instructor... the syllabus has this stuff on it, it's designed by very smart people. By lesson three I should have takeoffs down. But then again, I felt lost and confused all through grad school, but pulled it off with a great GPA. I am smarter than the average person. If the average person can be a pilot, I should be able to figure this out.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
I've been working on or around aircraft since '83, they are a lot more fun to work & ride on, flying them is a chore, why do you think the pilots get so pissed when the autopilot is malfunctioning...lol All they want to do is take off and land, they want everything else to be automated so they can just sit back and babysit.

I've gotten behind the stick a couple of times with friends, I'd rather not be in that seat...lol

May. 15th, 2009 06:12 am (UTC)
what type are you flying?
May. 15th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
a cessna 172.
May. 15th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
I didn't have driving away in a car memorized by the third lesson, never mind adding a third dimension of things that might go wrong! And if the average person can be a pilot I am quite worried.
May. 15th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
you know, I almost wish I'd kept a blog while learning to drive, so I'd understand what that felt like! I remember getting pissed off about the instructor, who was a total jerk, but that's about it. Maybe I was too young to take any personal responsibility for inadequacy back then.
May. 16th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC)
I'm going to guess, from driving a car, playing a few flight simulator games, and reading richard bach (best known for jonathan livingston seagull) that flying is something you learn to do the basics of, but to get good and comfortable, it's more of a talent or a zen thing.

I recommend his books - he flew an old cesna, wrote about it in several of his stories, and referenced it in damn near every story he didn't directly talk about it in. ;) He's a bit too new-agey for me to go along with his philosophy, but he's a good writer. And Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a (hippy) classic.

May. 16th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC)
that's funny. I grew up with Jonathan Livingston Seagull. My parents deny their hippydom but there's all this evidence... strong distaste for disco, interesting wardrobe findings, the Whole Earth Catalog, you name it. I'll have to check out some of his other books.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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