Monday, 18 January 2010

Escaping the classroom ...

Our interpreter is a trainee pilot and invited me to come and see him do his thing at lunchtime. It turned into a real treat, his instructor, an accomplished stunt pilot, invited me to take a short flight with him. The aircraft is a Brazilian design, with an enormous wing span and a cramped cockpit. Getting in for someone of my size was certainly "interesting" but once in and strapped securely, it was quite a pleasure, though I had to keep my feet and my hands away from the controls.
The plane is extremely nimble and I confess to being quite dizzy after pulling 3 or 4 G in some of the manoeuvres the pilot put it through. The best bit though was he allowed me to take control and fly it first, straight and level until I got the feel for it (Many, many, many years ago I started to learn to fly gliders) and then let me turn the plane and line it up again on the airfield. I spotted some interesting ancient ruins too from the air and was then treated to an aerobatic look at them, which I confess had my stomach in full rebellion - but I managed to not disgrace myself and kept everything in successfully.

Aerobatics may not be my "thing" but what a thrill and what a treat.

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