Thursday, 28 February 2013
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
*Only joking, honest!
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Monday, 25 February 2013
Sunday, 24 February 2013
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Friday, 22 February 2013
Thursday, 21 February 2013
I’ve mentioned before that I stalk a lot of internet sites to gain some insight into the world of flying. I probably spend a reasonable amount of time on the web, some of it productive, some of it time wasting (I accomplish great deal at work but I’m easily distracted!)
As well as the numerous blogs I stalk, there used to be two different forums (fora?) that I relied on for info. Now I’ve always known that these boards had very different and distinct personalities, with one being a tad more confrontational than the other. I accepted this as “one of those things” and dealt with it. I have a reasonably good bullsh#t filter, so it didn’t bother me too much. I put it down to what happens when you get a lot of egos in one place.
Things, however, have reached a kind of breaking point for me and I think I’ve reached the end of my relationship with a particular board. Not that they’ll even notice. I was more of a lurker than a poster. So what happened that has busted through my inbuilt filters and led to this decision?
To explain this I’d like to contrast two threads that are running, one of on each of the boards. On board number one we have a “learn from my mistakes” thread, where people are basically confessing the dangerous and downright stupid things that they’ve ever done while in a plane. Right from the outset it was made clear that the sole aim of this thread was to stop other people doing the same. It’s a great thread, lots of very experienced people posting really doozys of screw ups and not a single person has degenerated into name calling, claiming that people shouldn’t be flying or being in anyway judgemental. I have a lot of respect for many of the posters on that thread. A few of them helped me out with my pre-solo jitters and got me over my “I-can’t-land-the-damn-plane hump”*
Board number two currently has a thread about “why most pilots suck at landing”. It may have been a tad tongue in cheek to start with, it may have started with some valid points but now it has basically degenerated into “90% of pilots actually have no aptitude for flying and therefore shouldn’t be.”
Obviously this is going to make me angry, I mean this board has always had this slightly “holier than you” attitude and I have no doubt into which category they would place me. I took a lot of hours to solo and am probably going to join the 100+ hour to PPL club**. No doubt the particular guardians of this board would be horrified that I’m allowed to fly. More on that later.
The irony of the situation is that these are the self-same people that bemoan the demise of general aviation in this country, that airports are shutting, that people are being discouraged from flying for whatever reason. Well guys*** I hate to break it to you but YOU are a large part of the problem. Your elitist attitude actively discourages people from a) posting on your board for fear of being shot down in flames (I fall into this category) and maybe thus learning and improving their skills b) realising that flying is an activity they can take part in because you encourage this “only the best of the best need apply” attitude and finally c) actually helping each other. Within about 5 posts on the “flight training” board you can guarantee that it’ll degenerate into two or more posters belittling each other’s flying knowledge and skills. Even more worryingly many of these people claim to be flight instructors! Well guys the feelings swing both ways. You might think that I shouldn’t be flying. I KNOW that with attitudes like that there’s no way YOU should be teaching. You may have amazing flying skills but if you want to bemoan the demise of general aviation then I would suggest that you look no further than the mirror. You deliberately create a hostile environment in the very places that you should be welcoming low hours pilots. You are feeding your egos at the price of the very thing you claim to love. Not cool. It is kind of a shame really because I suspect that there is a vast amount of knowledge on that board. Stuff that could be really useful to people in my position, but it is impenetrable behind a wall of egos and attitude. I’ve gotten to the point where I simply can’t be bothered to sort beyond the general dick-waving to the decent advice beyond.
Fortunately my innate stubbornness plays to my advantage here. There is no way I’m going to quit after getting this far. I’ve lived most of my life convinced that this kind of stuff is waaaaay beyond my abilities. Turns out I was wrong; all I actually needed was the opportunity, confidence and the right teacher. Canada provided me with the first. A combo of life, RTH and Bob have worked on the last two.
I’m not going to give up because at the end of the day I’m a strong person. I’m angry though because not everyone is a stubborn as me. I know all too well how easy it is to become discouraged, everyone reaches points where they wonder if they are doing the right thing. I’d hate to see people give up because of some d#ckheads on an anonymous internet site.
*Obviously Bob played the biggest role here but third party advice also helped
** The thought of this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Every hour I’m up there I learn something new and add a bit more experience to my file. By the time I have my license I’ll probably be safer than your average newly fledged PPL because I will literally have twice as much experience as them.
*** I’m sorry but all the idiot posters on this site are male. Women are a lot more subtle in their bitchiness!
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
I videoed todays flight as usual, for some reason the sound pick up wasn’t as good as it normally is. Could have been for a number of reasons, but no big deal. Actually it’s quite funny to hear the soundtrack. It was a bumpy flight, a lot of mechanical turbulence stirred up by the strong North wind. It is no secret that I don’t like the bumpy stuff too much, consequently all you can hear is seemingly random shouts, whoa’s, profanity and manic laughs all emanating from me.
Listening to it without the context of the plane’s motion and my struggles to get it to do what I wanted, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’d lost my mind…. Oh wait… maybe I did!
Monday, 18 February 2013
|Foggles and Hood|
If you think that they look like someone has taken a pair of lab glasses and attacked them with whiteout** then you’re not far off the mark. Wearing them is OK I guess, not too uncomfy although I am wondering just what else I’m going to be expected to fit on my head! It currently sports sunglasses, headset, headcam and now the goggles of doom. I really don’t think there’s room for anything else.
Sunday, 17 February 2013
In a totally perverse way, despite the fact that this is truly the thing I find most difficult and daunting, I'm having an absolute blast doing it. I'm back to the early days of my flying where every little thing i managed was a huge achievement. Every tiny thing accomplished left me feeling like I could take on the world.
Now,not only can I take on the world, I've a hope in hell of being able to find it on a map!
Saturday, 16 February 2013
Us bloggers are very brave people. I seriously mean this. We admit to every single screw up and post it for the entire world to see. * Every bouncy landing, every mis-navigation, every wrong button press. Not only admitted to ourselves but indelibly dedicated to the internet for us all to see. Instead of being able to pretend it didn’t happen the entire world will know that I once tried to lean the mixture a little too enthusiastically in cruise and heard the heart wrenching sound of the engine going “chug-c h u g– c h u g”.
This is Ok though because I know I’m not the only one. There are myriad of bloggers out there who’ve done exactly the same thing, or worse. There are professional pilots who’ve nearly killed themselves in ways far more spectacular than I could ever dream of. In a strange way this reassures me. I’d like to extend a genuine and heartfelt thank you to every single pilot or pilot to be who has taken the time to admit to those little snafus. It is reassuring beyond belief to know that I’m not the only one who has nearly strangled themselves on their headset wire or inexplicably decide to stomp hard on the wrong rudder pedal.
You see the one thing in life I’ve never managed to do, is to cover up my mistakes particularly well. Instead I prefer shout about them from the rooftops it would seem. It’s an attitude I hold at work as well. Make a mistake; I have no problem with that. Admit it to me and I’ll help you fix it, hell I’ll even sit down with you and figure out why it happened so we don’t repeat it. Lie to me though and I will watch you BURN
This blog keeps me honest as well. I know who reads it and I can't lie about how I'm doing, not that I've ever felt the need to.
I salute all us brave people out there. Keep on Bloggin'
* Ok In my case the entire world consists of family in the UK, one lone guy in New Zealand and a strange following in the former Soviet Union (apparently I’m big in Russian porn, don’t ask L)
Friday, 15 February 2013
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
*** Pilots with a large ego , surely not !!!