Learning to fly…

1 year, 7 months ago

For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with airports, from checking in and going through security, to sitting in the waiting lounge, waiting to be boarded. I love that feeling of the plane getting a push back and the jets revving up to get the plane moving and that feeling of the brakes being applied when we’ve reached our holding point. Then there is the best part, taxiing onto the runway and then take off! That intense force pressing you into the seats, jets on full power and the speed rising to get the plane into the air. But maybe I spoke to early about the best part, that instance of take off, when the wheels lift off the floor and you become suspended in the air, gaining altitude rapidly, being liberated from gravity, quite literally reaching for the stars.

The reason I think I’m so obsessed is because it’s a true feeling of freedom, you don’t have to think about ANYTHING else…just so long as you know what gate to go to and what time your flight is, bliss. Not to mention you’re either going on holiday or going on an adventure and I live for adventure!

Speaking of adventure then, as the title suggests…I’ve started learning to fly. I started learning how to fly a fixed wing microlight (Eurostar EV-97 see below)…

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…in the summer last year. I had around 8 hours worth of lessons, all logged in my log book. But my partner took me to the airport jobs fair, I used to work as a Passenger Services Agent (PSA) for Menzies Aviation and loved it! But Monarch had a first officer there, who failed her class 1 medical and was on ground duties until next year. Me being me, I asked her if I was doing the right thing if I wanted to eventually fly the big planes…she said you tend to get noticed more if you get a Private Pilot’s License (PPL) instead of the one I started (National Private Pilot’s License (NPPL)). Later that day I phoned up Manchester City Aerodrome (Barton) and booked a lesson in for the following week.

A few weeks after the airport jobs fair and a few cancelled lessons later, due to waterlogging at Barton, I called Liverpool Flying School and booked a lesson with them too. I wasn’t invested in any school at that point, so I was able to try both places and ended up settling at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The reasons for my choice were the tarmac runway, busier traffic and ability to go on and get a Commercial Pilot’s License (CPL) at Ravenair. After my first lesson at Liverpool Flying School, I was surprised how much bigger the Piper Tomahawk (see below) felt compared to the Eurostar.

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After reading up on the plane, this is by design! It was originally made as a training aircraft so that students would feel more at home in a bigger plane. I had my lesson at Barton which is a grass airfield and that was in a Cessna 152 (see below), this felt very similar to what I was used to with the Eurostar, but I’m glad I went with the tarmac airfield.

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I’ll be posting more posts as I progress with my training.

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