My first training flight …
My first flight at Centennial with my instructor finally happened in early May after over a month of cancellations. Weather cancellations were eventually going to be the bane of my existence for some time, to the point where I thought I must have some kind of bad luck!
It was the evening of Friday, May 7. We met at 6pm. First, I learned how to taxi and found how sensitive the rudder pedal is to taxi the aircraft on the ground. I was confused with all the different checklists and procedures – we did one before we left the school, and another 3 or 4 – I was completely lost.
Eventually, she lined us up on the runway, told me to hold the control column with one hand and the throttle in the other. I was very nervous. She asked me to push the throttle all the way in – which I did extremely slowly because I was so nervous. Eventually she threw it into full power and we waited. Not very long though: she asked me to pull up on the control column – and I did, slowly and cautiously again, which caused her to pull us up a bit more and finally get us off the ground. Then she told me to hold it there as I climbed out for the first time off of runway 12, over downtown Edmonton. The skyscrapers and apartment buildings were below us, and the North Saskatchewan river was snaking out in front of the nose of the aircraft. I could see the University of Alberta where I was currently attending graduate school.
In order to relax me my instructor asked me where I lived to see if we could fly over my house so I could see it from the air. We flew west a little ways as I gripped the control column with a death grip. She let me do a few turns and demonstrated how the rudder and aileron inputs work in flight, and then we made our descent then rejoined the circuit and made our approach back to CYXD.
After the flight, I was very wired and excited, and after I recovered from the anxiety, I knew flying was for me. I loved the challenge. It was going to be a big commitment though – not just financially, but the will to commit to learn and progress over time. It was going to be a lot of work. Working through fears. This feeling of euphoria from the first time I flew was to become a regular feeling I experienced after each flight – and was very addictive!
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