Fear of Flying

Papa Victor sitting on the ramp in Vero
Papa Victor sitting on the ramp in Vero

I always smile when I fly. There’s something magical about just cruising along at a couple of thousand feet. Despite the fact that there’s some (limited) danger involved, the feel isdifficult to describe. It’s just peaceful but exhilarating at the same time.

Last night, I finally managed to slip away from work and go fly a plane. It’s a simple thing, really, because I have the best friends in the world, and so there’s always plenty of aircraft and experienced pilots around. The trick is, of course, time. Work is unending, and there’s always more of it to do. At some point, though, you realize this, and you do the best you can, but fit in a few little things for you.

Yesterday’s flight was interesting because Dan wanted me to help him copilot a Cessna 182 that had just had a new autopilot installed. While we worked the systems, I could keep an eye on traffic. So, we flew Victor Mike down to Vero, carried out a careful preflight, and whoosh… back up into the sky. What a girl! We did find a few little problems, but nothing major and so we got into the business of ferrying the aircraft back.

The flight back was delightful. It was near sunset, and the winds were manageable but tricky – 020 12G15. When I was flying a lot, that wouldn’t have bothered me in the slightest, but, after flying the RNAV 09L, I managed to land (horribly), over-controlling, but making a safe touchdown without too much of a thud. The rollout was fine, and I made the first exit from the runway, so I guess it wasn’t that bad.

I think tension is the trick; when I am tense, I over-control, and when you over-control, you definitely get more tense as the plane hopscotches around. Like always, I guess it’s just time, right? Every problem in life seems to come down to simply time; how we spend it, how we waste it, how we pass it. The more I fly, the better I’ll do. I love it. Peeking out the window, I want to go right now.