View RSS Feed


An update.

Rate this Entry
Two trips to Wanafly later and I was down in the dumps. I just didn't seem to be getting it. I decided to try another school in the UK as I'd burned all my holiday but not yet my ambition. That first hour in the C-42 at Old Sarum was awful. I just hadn't got it. Mark, my instructor was thoughtful. And quiet.
I'd booked for the next day and felt honour bound to attend. Mark looked a little brighter this time and took me into the briefing room to discuss attitudes which were rather different to those I thought were right. The lesson went a little better. "I can teach you to fly and I don't think you will need another twenty hours to go solo." Right, I thought. Better stick with it. The following weekend, stalls and slow flight until, at 5,000 feet: "I have control. Sorry Tom, I'm going to have to turn the engine off." An eight mile glide approach and safe landing followed. The radiator had split. If it is going to happen, best to be seated next to somebody who teaches this sort of thing for a living. Mayday in the logbook before solo! Early in January I returned from the Christmas hols and thoroughly depressed myself by flying like a drunken parrot albeit after a fortnight out of the cockpit. "You are closer to solo than you think" said my tormentor "That's the God's honest truth."
Next weekend we did some more circuits and he outlined where to land if the engine died in the circuit. A couple of safe arrivals later, he asked me to pull up to the tower. "There's nobody else up there, weather conditions are near perfect. How do you feel about doing one on your own?" Doughnuts all round for my workmates on Monday...
I've got abouut 7 1/2 hours solo now and I'm still trying to get the hang of advanced turns but I shall. I've managed to get this far; I'm not giving up now.

Submit "An update." to Digg Submit "An update." to Submit "An update." to StumbleUpon Submit "An update." to Google



  1. Mark8383's Avatar
    Cool that great news mate well done
  2. KarenL's Avatar
    Interesting blog-I remember some days thinking the instructor might as well be speaking Hungarian for all I understood ,But ...that blind stubborness to keep going AND 7 1/2 hours solo-you've definitely got it! Your instructor must see it otherwise he wouldnt let you go on your own-trying to get things perfect all of the time is part of the game,but its very frustrating,dont waste energy beating yourself up over it(we all do at times)!It's FUN...
  3. jjones's Avatar
    excellent keep at it!!
  4. SteveTurnbull's Avatar
    Well done!

    I started reading and thought "oh no, you're giving up" then all moved towards a happy ending!

    So you have enough hours for restricted and with the Nav's you'll have enough for the full license! Good luck and let us know when you have your GST under your belt!

  5. marilyn's Avatar
    Hey Tom
    Your emotions are extremely familiar territory - those who are now licensed remember them and sympathise, those who are full of enthusiasm and optimism with 2 hours in their log book will be ready for the doldrums when they arrive, and those who are stuck in them might just persevere after reading your blog! Many congrats on the solo hours, and good luck for what remains of your training.
  6. LorraineD's Avatar
    Hi Tom. Going well then which is good news! I know Mark well and regard him highly. Was there the day you both got back from the split radiator incident and am not at all surprised that Mark pulled that off safely. What a thing to happen to a student pilot though! Good luck with the GST and doubtless I will be seeing you around at Old Sarum.