This Saturday was quite special. If any of you remember (and there is absolutely no reason why you should) I bought for JJ, last December, a trial flight lesson for our first year anniversary. Last Saturday, it was the time to actually take advantage of the voucher and go together for his lesson.
Of course, I was preparing myself (and him) for the worse case scenario. I knew that the voucher said 1 hour flight lesson, but there was absolutely no guarantee how long would be the actual flight time. Also, I didn’t know if there would be other trainees with JJ and for how long he would be able to use the controls and actually fly the plane. Finally, living in the UK taught me to worry about the weather. In case of a foggy, rainy, clouded morning, there would be absolutely no pleasure in a bumpy, blind flight.
Thankfully, I was proven very wrong…
We woke up Saturday morning quite early. We had booked the lesson early in the morning since the trainer suggested that the air currents and visibility are better then. The airdrome close to Gatwick airport would be an hour’s drive anyway so we had to have an early start. The weather looked really promising. There was absolutely no cloud in the sky and the temperature was about 10 degrees. It looked like spring arrived! It was an absolute delight.
We arrived earlier than expected and we were greeted by the flight instructor called John. He seemed very nice, polite (and cute). There was a small confusion with the booking because they had problems with their booking system. At some point we thought that there would be a four seat Cessna available that would allow me in the passenger’s seat as well but alas at the end it was just JJ and John in a two seated Cessna 152.
Our plane, the Cessna 152 that JJ flew
Anyway, after 15 minutes for refueling the plane, John showing to ‘JJ’ how the flaps work (on the ground) and me taking the necessary pictures, they were getting ready to board! We were both amazed that ‘JJ’ sat on the actual pilot’s seat!
John checking the controls before takeoff
When the plane’s doors closed I went to the aerodrome’s café to wait for the end of the lesson. I had a nice view of the helicopter training school, I had already a magazine with me and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee under the warming sun. There were quite a few families coming to watch the small planes and helicopters and enjoy the warm weather outside. An hour approximately later I saw them land and park the plane in the designated place.
My view from the coffee shop
‘JJ’ was ecstatic! He loved the whole experience so much and I felt so happy and proud of him. Apart from the actual take-off and landing he was in charge of the plane. John was only pointing out where to go and which meter readings to check. They flew over Tunbridge Wells and they managed to see the Millennium Dome and Canary Wharf of London.
The day was still young and the weather beautiful and since we had the car, we decided to drive to Brighton. Of course I made fun of JJ on how he would now have to drive a simple, stupid, not flying car again. Brighton was packed with people having the same idea as we did. It was very nice to see the sea and enjoy the sun though.
Brighton lovely weather
The Brighton Pier