Well I finally broke down in my patient waiting for our aeroplane to return from annual. With a day off work in the offing I phoned Derek from the Cambrian club with a plaintive, “Have you got a Tomahawk I can fly? I’m climbing the walls!”
Happily the very neat, newly leased G-BOMO was available, as was an instructor, since I was well out of club currency.
The morning arrived drizzly but clearing, and all I really wanted was to do some circuits to convince myself I hadn’t forgotten how to fly at all. Every time I have a gap of a few weeks I start wondering this, and though it’s never happened yet, I see having an instructor along as useful insurance. It’s also a chance to brush up on things like emergency procedures. I will willingly practice these on my own, but it’s hard to judge whether or not I’m getting them right or just reinforcing my own bad habits!
So circuits it was, and I made sure we planned some flapless and glide ones in there too.
I started up and spluttered out the call sign — abbreviated, G-BOMO is, “Golf Mike Oscar”, which is too close in syllables to TOMS’s “Golf Mike Sierra” for me to wrap my tongue around entirely successfully!
I was flying with one Dave Turner today, who I’d not flown with before, but who was very positive and encouraging. We talked as we flew — the wisdom of naming kids after sci-fi films, the scenery of the Gower, the PHD-worthy topic (in Dave’s words) of when and where to take the carb heat off again — the usual chit chat! 😉
In no time at all I was relaxed and just happy to be up in the air. First circuit was actually better than the second, where I turned too early, missed the centreline, then got too low and slow. Meh. I suppose I should look on it as practice in sorting out stuff-ups! The actual touchdown was alright.
We finished up with a flapless approach, which I thought passable, and a glide approach which went more or less swimmingly and left me feeling pretty content with the world at large!
I can now face the wait to get our own aeroplane back with a bit more equanimity, happy in the knowledge that I do indeed remember what to do with my hands and feet to make it go…