My Flying


No, me neither! I have always disliked flying perhaps not so much as to describe it as a phobia but I certainly rarely found it a comfortable experience. When I tired of driving the length of England to see mum & dad I became a ‘frequent flyer’ between Newcastle and Stansted and then more lately between Carcassonne and Stansted.

I think my dislike of flying has a ‘control’ element in much the same way that I do not like riding pillion on a motorcycle but love my Suzuki Intruder (800cc, since you asked). Like many folk I have from time to time thought it would be good fun to ‘learn to fly’ but never had the time and probably could not justify the expense. So, after placing mum in residential care (dementia pages), selling the family home and making myself ‘homeless’ I decided I needed a ‘lift’ (aviation pun!) and signed up for a trial flight at Southend Flying Club.

I enjoyed the trial flight and began a course of lessons which after some twenty-five hours led to a solo flight in a Piper Warrior. Progress to that point was not always smooth and for a long time I struggled with landings. The problem was primarily one of ‘over-thinking’ the process and reading too many different ideas on aviation forums. Eventually thoroughly confused and frustrated I took two months out and forgot about flying. On returning I went solo after three more lessons and that in a Piper Cherokee because the Warrior was unavailable. Since that time I have gained my ‘night rating’ (qualified to fly solo at night) and made a solo daytime return trip to Lydd (Kent).

I am now taking another brief break while making my boat comfortable and fighting more battles with the NHS and Adult Care Services. I hope to return to the sky in September and work towards my PPL which requires a number of written exams and a skills test (in the air!) with an external examiner.