Passenger or the Pilot?
That is the question!
Last Friday the 27th of November I thought I’d be the pilot with my very experienced grade one pilot Norm out in Essendon fields, 30 or so minutes on the ground training and a 20 minute flight over Westgate bridge to Princess Pier and back. I can only compare the intensity and concentration to giving birth to my first daughter! The unknown, unexpected euphoria of it all. My instructor was great, he allowed me to taxi, radio call, take off, steer the plane and land, under his instructions and careful supervision of course. On Tuesday night I met some incredible inspiring woman from Women’s Pilots Association, Peta the president had sent me a wealth of info the week before and I didn’t waste any time looking into a TIF (Training Instructional Flight) These woman just blew me away!
My mind was on overload, clarifying as we went along, It might of been about half way during the flight where I had to clarify the most important thing of all, “Right now I’m the pilot right? you are my co pilot?” “That’s right!” no i wasn’t joking i don’t think i had any space left in my mind to joke. Norm also made a joke as we were landing, saying that he’s had trouble landing the last few flights, if i could help him out, I’m like sure! guess that joke went over my head, but hey, as he called out 150 feet, 10 feet, i pulled back the control, nose up, back wheels down first and then i went slightly to the left after landing, ooppppps! all good. I think this is what they call whole body listening! I taxed back to our starting point, rather calm, like it never happened, got in the car, mind still intense, missed my turn off, went home, laid down in the fatal position and went to sleep! Full on mind exhauster from something that didn’t even seem real.
Thinking what should i do with my girls today on Melbourne cup day, I thought I’d give Norm a call and ask for a little tour, he was great and said yes! This morning I took my girls to go checkout the planes, one out of 3 got in, one said “that’s so small, my bedroom is bigger than that!” The other did her usual cartwheels around the planes, not a lot phases her. So here is my dilemma do I want to be the pilot or the passenger, I have been travelling for 34 years and visited 34 countries and countless cities and a few more on my list, and the list just gets longer. I can be both I guess although there is only so much one can afford. Last year I went to Broome, was on a 6 seater and finally had the opportunity to do aerial photography, I absolutely loved it, the pilot was great, not a bump in the sky except for when I grabbed the control accidentally, he did say be careful not to touch the controls, oopsssss! As the passenger you get to enjoy the view and in my case photograph, as the pilot, i was so focused i didn’t get to look around much at all. So to do both I need a truck load of cash! Whether I travel with my girls or solo, I love everything that comes with it, mostly the people you meet along the way, culture, scenery and of course what my camera and I create together……..So whatever I choose to do, it really was and incredible experience and opportunity, I’m so very grateful. It’s not fear nor the money, it’s which do I love the most? and continue charity work, home and away.
It’s an amazing experience even if you only try once! Why not?!