Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Monday, 29 April 2013
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Saturday, 27 April 2013
Understand that on the way out we tend to follow the shoreline of the lake, on the way back you follow the highway, it helps to separate the traffic.
Also understand that Toronto is a tall city, obviously the CN tower is massive (although not the tallest structure in the world anymore, thank you Dubai!) but a lot of the financial towers are sizeable as well (50+ storeys).
Usually when you come in for 08 over the city, ATC clear you for a left downwind. The flight school don’t like solo students doing this, to be fair it can be a bit dicey over the downtown when you are trying to lose altitude to join the circuit. Circuit height is 1250 ft , the CN Tower is 1815 ft for example. There’s also the sightseeing traffic on the City tour to avoid as well. If ATC give us a left downwind instruction we are not meant to accept it, we need to request a right downwind, pretty much in the same way that we are not allowed to waive wake turbulence separation requirements either.
Friday, 26 April 2013
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Monday, 22 April 2013
Sunday, 21 April 2013
..since I got in that plane! One year since that fateful day I took my first “intro flight”. One year since a certain someone may have planted the little seed in my mind that flying a plane was actually something I could do.
Ha, If I’d known then what I know now, I don’t think I would have been quite so eager. Actually I’m not sure if eager is the right word. I’ve blogged ad infinitum about how terrified I was, so I won’t bore you with that. Maybe quietly determined would be a better way to describe it (or foolishly stubborn, your pick!)
Seriously though, this stuff is hard, even having seen RTH get through his PPL I still had no idea of just exactly how hard it was going to be. The worse thing is I simply don’t have the words to tell other, non piloty people just how tricky it is. Sometimes I swear I hear people thinking “what so you just take off, fly it around a rectangle and land again? How hard can that be?”
Well let me tell you, bloody hard and you have no idea just how fricken hard until you’ve tried it, really. And those of you who`ve had a little bit of a bash behind the control column because you got a “Groupon deal or something” and the pilot “totally let you fly the plane and everything.” Yeah, you really didn’t. You probably had a really good instructor who let you take some control and certainly let you think that you were doing all the flying. But you weren’t, honestly. Even after several hours of lessons, I still wasn’t fully in control of that plane*, a gentle steadying hand on the control column, a light touch of the foot on the rudder pedal; all done without you even realising it. Gradually easing off over time until you are doing it all without you even knowing. All the mark of a good instructor.
It is interesting for me to see how my relationship with Bob has changed too. At the start he was the gentle person , coaxing me into the cockpit. Reassuring me that I could do this, gradually building up my confidence one tiny step at a time. Managing my workload for me, easing off the pressure. Making it all alright.
Now he's the son of a <bleep> who chucks whatever dastardly stuff he can think of at me. Constantly challenging me, never ever letting me get too comfortable, too complacent in the cockpit! Hmm he may well have unleashed the slightly competitive side in me. Well played, yet again!
But still it is hard and sometimes it gets worse before it gets better, sometimes I have to remember just how much I’ve achieved, before I get bogged down in just how much I still have to overcome. The sheer amount of theory I have to know is simply insane and I’m barely scratching the surface here. I knew it was going to be hard, I still had no idea though just how hard.
And yet even with all the above I’m loving every moment of it! It’s been a while since I was truly challenged by anything mentally or physically. Flying is doing both in spades that’s for sure.
Flying has changed me in so many ways, challenged my belief of what I can and can't do. Changed my perception of risk and helped me overcome many of my inner demons. I've made new friends, gained new skills and have a completely new outlook on life. I've reached dizzying heights and hit challenges that left me considering quitting. I've faced adversity and come out the other side a better person.
Here's to another year in the skies!
* I think the jury is still out on whether I actually am now !
Saturday, 20 April 2013
Friday, 19 April 2013
Saturday, 13 April 2013
Friday, 12 April 2013
Am off on vacation to lovely Las Vegas for a few days. Have no idea if I’ll get round to posting on my blog or not, still have a few posts waiting to go up. I’m not going to turn the blog into a diary of my vacation but weather permitting I'll have something awesome to talk about when I get back.
Insanity may have temporarily taken hold of me; I've booked myself an hours gliding tuition at an airport just south of the strip.
See you next week!
Thursday, 11 April 2013
To be fair this was exacerbated by the problem that JPM doesn’t have front pockets, so I was already short on storage space. I’m having a really hard time with this cockpit management stuff; it is having a detrimental effect on my flying as well. I get distracted by the fact that things aren’t where they are meant to be, I spend too much time and energy p!ssing around with pencils, pens, charts and other paraphernalia that I stress about the flying aspect.
Last flight I tied myself in knots with it and much to Bob’s disgust, tucked it into the side of the dash and hoped for the best. That doesn’t work in case you were wondering! In the debrief, Bob scolded me for “giving up on my chart.” I suspect if he could have reached, he’d have smacked me round the head with it “you never, ever give up on the chart WMAP!”
I know he’s right but I suspect the chart has given up on me!
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Sometimes the hanger gets very crowded, you have to pick your route through the planes very carefully, least you bash your head on an errant wing tip!
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Monday, 8 April 2013
Sunday, 7 April 2013
Saturday, 6 April 2013
Friday, 5 April 2013
Thursday, 4 April 2013
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Notice that I said “mentally”, when it comes to physical organisation not so good to be perfectly honest. My desk at work looks like a paper factory spewed up over it, much to the disgust of those who work with me, I can still instantly find anything on it. I think I use a chronological filing system. The older the piece of paper, the further down the heap it’ll be.
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Monday, 1 April 2013
At an uncontrolled airport like Lindsay, everyone broadcasts on the common frequency. You make position reports; you negotiate for spacing and even the runway, a little bit like the practice area but with higher stakes. So you talk amongst yourselves and it is a lot more casual. It’s not uncommon to hear things like “Hey Mike, is that you out there, how’s it going?”
I know that people who learn at uncontrolled airports find places like City intimidating, for me it is the opposite. Even though I wasn’t flying the concept of such a free-for-all gave me a high degree of anxiety, in my mind it all had the potential to go horribly wrong. What I didn’t realise though is that the very casual nature of the set up works to your advantage. If you don’t know what the hell you are doing, you say so and ask what’s best to do.
A couple of examples from our flight, we landed, we backtracked but it was obvious that there were two planes lined up on the taxiway with no way past for us. So RTH asked “Hey guys, where can I pull in to let you take off?” People were only too happy to oblige with a suggestion that there was a small intersection that he could pull into. Same when we were wanting to prep for takeoff, there was no obvious run up area, so RTH wandered over and asked a group of people the best place to use.
Aviation people are a friendly bunch in general, all too happy to oblige if asked. An important lesson for me when I end up at these places on my own.