I have a few clients that absolutely hate flying to the point of having to be sedated with drugs or gin before they get on a plane. I have no understanding of this as I find the whole experience exhilarating, especially take-off. My interest in being up in the air has led me to a few microlighting and glider experiences, but my ultimate aim was to start to take light aircraft flying lessons, so I bought myself my first flying lesson with Norwich Airport-based Premier Flight Training in August.
On the day, I checked in and was welcomed by the Premier Flight Training team. I chatted with the staff and a few of the instructors while I waited for my instructor Clive Tate. When Clive arrived I went off to the briefing area for a full briefing on what to expect, an instruction on the control system and a choice of routes we can take within the 60 minutes flight time I had booked. My choice was to travel in the direction of my house towards the city centre, across Norwich City football ground and then out towards the coast.
After getting my field access pass and a headset we made our way to the airfield where the four-seater Piper plane was parked. Clive gave me instruction on how to get into the plane accessed from the wing and to get myself strapped in to the pilot’s seat. I was a little apprehensive of being in the pilot seat as I wasn’t sure what I might be asked to do. Surely full control and take-off wasn’t the plan? Safe in the knowledge that Clive in the co-pilots seat would be taking total control he then went on to go through a rigorous flight take-off check procedure (a must on all flights for any pilot) and then spoke with the control centre to inform them of our imminent take-off. Clive taxied towards the run way, waited for control to give the okay and we were off.. Yay! Mobile phones at the ready (in flight mode) I was able to capture the whole take-off experience on camera.
We managed to locate my house and then headed off towards the coast on a beautifully clear day. The airport control tower was always in contact, repeating the same information on a regular basis, most of which I had no idea what was being said.
Before getting to Great Yarmouth to start the coastline flight Clive handed the controls to me. As I had been given the opportunity to trial flight microlights and gliders prior I knew the steering would be hyper sensitive as was the case with this aircraft’s control. Keeping my eye on the horizon by the line of the dashboard of the aircraft and within the required speed and altitude we travelled along the coast. The feeling of being in control of a plane and able to absorb the beauty of coast and countryside from a birds-eye view was breath-taking. The journey ended at Sheringham whereby Clive took back control of the aircraft and we headed back to Norwich Airport to land and taxi the plane back to its allotted parking space.
We returned to HQ where I collected my first flight certificate which counts towards my 40 hours flying time required for my Private Pilots Licence.
I’m keen to continue, but learning to fly is not a cheap hobby. Lessons range from £220 per hour (I paid £200), although flight hour packages can be bought at a reduced price.
If you’re a bit of a flying junky like me or just fancy doing something a little different there are flight schools that will take passengers to various locations while trainee pilots accrue flying hours. It helps with the operating costs. Wingly https://www.wingly.io/en a company that offers this facility has airfield locations throughout the UK. You can take advantage of day trips and overnighters. Or, just for the experience trial flight lessons are a fantastic gift as part of a birthday or Christmas treat.
Blog title “The man who flies an airplane must believe in the unseen.” A quote by Author, Richard Bach.