Auckland, United Kingdom
October 13, 2002
A group of us went together, and we got there and met Elisse, one of the pilots. She took me out to the plane - a two seater Cessner - and the lesson began. First of all, I helped with the in-depth pre-flight checks, including checking fuel, wings, etc., and then we climbed into the plane. More pre-flight checks followed, and Elisse was very thorough and explained to me exactly what we were doing and why the whole time. Then, we started the engine and the exciting part began!
I got to taxi down the runway, which was really good fun! Then, Elisse took over while we took off, but got me to put my hands and feet on the controls, so that I could feel what she was doing. Once we'd got to a reasonable height, Elisse explained about the controls, banking, etc., and then I took over the controls to carry on the ascending. The whole time (apart from concentrating madly) I kept thinking how weird it was knowing I was in control of the plane!
We flew around, and Elisse told me some information about the local area, as well as more flying facts. Then, she showed me what it was like to be in a plane with engine failure - by cutting the power! To my amazement, we glided for ages, which would have given us plenty of time to look for an empty field to land in if necessary. After flying around for a while longer, we headed back to the airfield, where we flew around patiently waiting for a space to land. Once on the ground, I took the controls again to taxi back to the base, then after a few post-flight checks, it was all over.
It was an amazing hour, one which I would happily do again, and it was definately $45 well spent!
From journal Four seasons in Auckland