As much as I was dreaming of flying before my first flight, when I eventually started my training I wasn’t sure if I am going to make it. Yeah, when the air was smooth, the going was good, but when the mid-morning, early spring, turbulence materialized courtesy of freshly ploughed fields, I would quickly resemble one of those green, extra terrestrial, creatures from sci-fi movies. There is a particular Cherokee 140 that has my DNA imbedded in its panel; it only happened once though.
It happened after some extensive aerial work with my instructor Greg on board. On the final approach I just couldn’t hold it. I asked Greg to take over for me, and well, you can make your own conclusion on what happened next. All I have to say is that Greg was a perfect gentleman, even though he didn’t fared much better than the Cherokee. I was so embarrassed that I asked him to let me out on the taxi way. I then walked down to the nearby river, and I didn’t stop until I was chest deep in the water. It was the middle of summer. I am not sure anymore, but there may have been the urge in me to continue the walk to spare myself from having to face Greg.
My sympathy must also go to the poor controllers. Being in Canada for only a short time, and since I couldn’t say a word of English before my arrival here, it must have been a challenge for them to communicate with me. I’m sure of that, since half the time I had no idea what they were asking me to do. I mostly relied on my memory of going through the flight procedures close to the airport. I learned that while flying with my instructor, and somehow I faked it through. There is the slight possibility that the controllers cleared all the traffic from the vicinity of the airport when I was flying solo.
Life was simpler then. The control zones were round, and communications with the controllers were less complicated. Those were the good-all-days. I do like the flight following available to us these days, however. It just may be that my English got better over time, so it is easy for me to actually understand what’s going on.