The engine shudders to a stop. The flight test is finally over.
I push my headset off my ears and remove my sunglasses from where I shoved them up my forehead, with a flourish.
I look over to LE. Calmly awaiting him to tell me what I already know. That was a good solid flight.
I express no surprise at the fact I’ve passed “I knew I’d done a good enough job,” I inform him coolly, gathering up my belongings as I speak.
Calm, poised, self-assured, I open the door and exit the plane.
Yeah I wish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What actually happened was this…
The engine shudders to a stop; I shove everything off my face, no longer able to tolerate it even touching me. Once I’ve finished bending down to retrieve my sunglasses, I risk a glance over in LE’s direction.
“This is where I shake your hand.” He informs me.
I blink at him.
Totally and utterly not comprehending the words coming out of his mouth
“You’ve passed” he clarifies
“Congratulations!” he offers me his hand.
I burst into tears and throw my arms around him. “You have NO idea what this means to me” I start to tell him. Now a hideous mess of snot and tears*.
Realising that he can still change his mind and he’s looking slightly nonplussed at the tearful female in front of him, I hastily pull myself together. Luckily he’s still smiling.
He tells me he’ll meet me inside and that it’ll take him about 15 minutes to do the paperwork. Then we’ll debrief. He tells me to take my time.
J from dispatch wanders over to help me put the plane away. I give him a quick thumbs up before he can mistake my tears for anything else other than sheer Joy.
Ever the sweetie, he tells me that he’ll grab my bag and stuff, no need to worry.
I walk back across the apron with my head held high; shaking the hand of everyone I meet on the way.
I am a pilot
I am unstoppable.
* I had tissues. I knew I'd need them one way or another