Diary of a new­bie

Pilot - - AIRMAIL - Nick Roberts, Ripon, North York­shire.

En­joy­ing your mag­a­zine and ap­pre­ci­ate it must be dif­fi­cult to pro­duce some­thing that is all things to all men. Pre­sum­ably many new sub­scribers are still do­ing their PPL and might ap­pre­ci­ate the in­put of a fel­low new­bie. I’m still in the early stages; just get­ting to do some reg­u­lar ‘touch and go’ cir­cuit work. My im­pres­sions so far — things I’ve learned, if you will — are as fol­lows: Fly­ers as a breed seem to be a lot more down to earth than some ‘pro­fes­sional’ groups I could men­tion. Big­gles style fly­ing jack­ets are big­ger than the air­craft you learn in, so not much use out­side tragic pos­ing in front of your kite (did I really call it that?). Ditto Ray Ban Avi­a­tors, which break the seal on your DC ’phones and make clouds look even more threat­en­ing. You will some­times head to a les­son con­vinced you’ve for­got­ten ev­ery­thing and that your in­struc­tor will con­sider you a com­plete im­be­cile. Af­ter an hour or so in the air how­ever, your con­fi­dence re­turns and you’re ready to take on Go­er­ing’s finest. Planes want to fly, not land, so giv­ing them a firm bounc­ing on the runway re­minds them you’re in charge. You will dis­pense with pounds and eu­ros, in­stead favour­ing the cur­rency of fly­ing lessons, e.g. “If I don’t buy that, and we don’t visit so and so, that’s equiv­a­lent to a les­son!” You will buy all of Mr Pratt’s ex­cel­lent text­books and ca­su­ally leave them around the house/car as bait for un­wary visi­tors. Once suc­cess­fully trapped, you can talk avi­a­tion at the poor saps. Your part­ner will have no in­ter­est in fly­ing and won’t recog­nise PPL qual­i­fi­ca­tions, the Civil Avi­a­tion Author­ity, NASA or any­one else in­volved in this shady pas­time. Please feel free to ex­tend this list!

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