In November 2009, a self-proclaimed Archaeology Lifer found herself employed as a Flight Attendant. She's not sure how it happened. No one really is. Here's what happened next...
C-F-18. Hanging out in CYOW. Just sitting there like it’s no big deal.
7So once upon a time I told the Dispatcher at the flying club to call or text me if a B747 ever landed in YOW. He just said that an Air China B747 landed…. I’m seriously considering the 45 minute drive right now.
I’m checking to see if they are being diverted from YYZ (usually the only reason B747s show up around here). If they are, I’m taking the camera and going.
I’m that cool.
I’m having a day of doubt. I’m Captain Crankypants of the Negativity Ship, and we’re all going down.
Ok, no not really, just me.
Landing is brutal. I want to be good at it NOW. Balls to “safe” landings, I can do that, we’ve covered it, I’m safe. I want the nice landings and I want them now (imagine me stomping my foot like a petulant child at this point, if it helps). It’s just so hard. I get the theory. My Instructor has the patience of a saint, but he keeps repeating the basic idea, and all I can think is ‘Yeah, I get it, but could you crawl into my brain, take over my hands, and let me FEEL how it is supposed to go?’ Because I understand. Promise. But I can’t put it into practice.
I nearly asked to give up halfway through my lesson today. I didn’t - I literally had to bite my tongue. But I was ashamed of myself for getting so frustrated that I wanted to stop for the day. That’s not me. I’m stronger than that. How could I want to give up on something so easily?
I’ve been all frazzled for a couple of days now, and I’m not sure why. I need to chill out though, for real.
Otherwise, my favourite part of the lesson came while I was lining up on runway 25 ahead of Jazz or someone. I heard them talking to the Tower, and the Tower responded.
‘You are number two, just behind a C-150. He’s lining up to land on runway 25. Just slow down and give him about 30kts to clear.’
Oh man! Did I switch gender again and forget?! Oh wait. Nope, still a girl. Still got boobs. Still don’t even sound remotely like a man on the radio. Come on buddy!
I’m taking my cranky butt to bed now. Wish me good dreams, and a JULY FLYING SCHEDULE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
I just remembered that I never wrote about Monday’s flying lesson, and boy was it a doozy! The most fun I’ve had in a plane to date!
This will be brief-ish though. I have a headache.
I went into the lesson expecting a briefing with My Instructor, but instead we headed straight to the plane and went flying! No complaints from me. I had previously told My Instructor that I wanted to do a spin for myself, so when we got out to the practice area, he looked at me and said ‘Well, take it away then…’ I glared at him, swatted him on the arm, and told him that he needed to do it once to show me, since it had been a couple of weeks since The SuperInstructor and I had done them.
'Oh, man. I haven't done a spin in like a year…' he said.
I’ve missed his sense of humour, I really have. It’s dry and a little sarcastic, and always deadpan.
Well, he showed me a spin again, and asked if I was ready or I needed to be shown again. I opted for him to show me again, which he did. Then I was ready to do it, and I totally froze.
'Are you ready?' he asked.
'Uuuuuh,' I said.
'You don't have to do it, you know.'
'I know! But I want to!!!'
There were deep breaths, and a little bit of blind panic, but I went for it anyway! It wasn’t perfect, but it was OK. I’m kind of at the point where I am astonishing myself with my guts. I can’t believe I’d ever have the balls to do something like that, but here I am, doing mad maneuvers in an airplane!
Following that, we (finally!) finished up my lesson on spiral dives, and then headed to the circuit. The Circuit is nuts! It was pretty busy, so there were all kinds of instructions coming at me. Eventually I was first in line to land - although the Tower told us not to actually land for a touch and go, just to do a low fly-over, as they had about seven other (considerably larger and faster) airplanes coming in behind me. It was pretty cool though, as we were given that clearance for runway 32, which is one of the main Ottawa airport runways, and not our normal club strip! Lining myself up for a (pretend) landing on an international runway was pretty badass, I thought. Until I realised that there were probably hundreds of people in the terminal doing exactly what I do in the airport - watching planes land! I got hit with stage-fright! It didn’t matter though - my instructor had to take control in the end, and we broke it off into a climb above the terminal, and finally rejoined the circuit for runway 22, where I did another crap landing in a hardcore crosswind, but at least out of sight of the terminal building. Sigh. I’ll get it right one day, I suppose.
All in all it was a great lesson. We spent about as much time laughing and enjoying ourselves as we did being serious. I’ve booked My Instructor again for Tuesday, and based on how that goes, I’m probably going to end up saying screw the SuperInstructor, I’m sticking with Mine.
On a final note - one of the most memorable moments so far:
After finishing demonstrating a spin for me My Instructor let go of the controls. I was re-adjusting my headset which had started to fall off during the spin, and it took me a moment to notice he wasn’t in control anymore.
'Dude,' I said. 'Who is flying the plane?!'
'Aren't you?' he replied.
'Oh. You gonna?'
He’s such a pain in the ass. I missed him!!!!