I started Tuesday doing a presentation to a group of year 8 boys at a school I'd never been to before. That's just work so I don't count that as new. Afterwards I made my way down to Moorabbin Airport to have a bit of fun...
I'd never been to Moorabbin Airport, in a light aircraft nor a cockpit for that matter but these things pale into insignificance as "new things" when I say "today is the first time I've ever flown a plane!" Yep, you read that correctly, I flew an aeroplane today.
There are quite a few companies that offer "trial flights" to anyone willing to pay. You get in with a flight instructor who takes off and lands (the dangerous stuff) and gives you a "crash" course on how to use the controls, then you can pretty much do what you wish within your allotted time. I chose to do some "S's" in the sky over Port Phillip Bay. Pushing the left rudder pedal down with you feet makes you bank to the left and the same goes for the right. Nudging the control column left or right with my arm did a similar job. To be absolutely honest, flying a plane felt easier and safer than driving a car. At one point I overcorrected and we veered in the opposite direction, but instead of crashing into oncoming traffic, like you would on a road, I just readjusted and kept going. I watched an L-Plater having her first driving lesson in the carpark before I flew and she was having way more hassles than me.
After I had mastered (worked out how to use) the controls, with a little twinkle in his eye, my instructor asked me if I liked rollercoasters. He didn't have to explain what he was up to, I absolutely consented. He pulled four lots of 3Gs and one Zero Gs over Frankston and our time was up. Fortunately that's all that was up, my lunch wasn't. I gently steered us towards home before my instructor took over, landed and we taxied back to the terminal ending one of the most exciting 30 minutes of my life.
I was a little concerned about doing this. Not because I thought I might crash but because I thought "Health and Safety" would make me miss out. The people running the show never once questioned whether I'd be able to do it. They had an attitude of "jump in and we'll see how we go". An attitude that a lot of people could do with. The only time they questioned my ability was when they wanted me to fill in the liability indemnity and next of kin forms. For some reason they were a lot more relaxed after that.
The sky is no longer the limit for me... So if someone would like to pay for my pilot's licence, I would be much appreciative :)
There is a video of the whole thing but I haven't worked out how to edit 360 degree videos yet. It'll be uploaded when I do.
Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings.