I came back from work one day in February and saw that I had a parcel from Amazon delivered by my mom. It was a book called Obstacle Illusions by Stephen Hopson. Stephen was born deaf and went on to achieve success in many different aspects in his life, never once making excuses for himself due to his condition. In his book, he also described how he worked towards obtaining a pilot license and how he managed to become the world’s first deaf instrument-rated pilot.
After reading his book, I thought that the perfect gift for both the Boyfriend and I would be to go on a flying lesson. As a couple, we don’t really have much time for each other, but when we do, we try to make the best of it and try something new especially when the weather’s getting warm.
The nearest flying school was in Bristol, so the Boyfriend and I woke up bright and early to take the train from London to Bristol.
We were introduced to our flying instructor, Angela, who briefed us on safety and gave us a short introduction before we headed out to the plane.
I had to crop The Boyfriend out of this photo explaining the plane without the propellors in front.
I wouldn’t have trusted myself to fly a plane alone.
Off we head to the runway! It is incredible feeling compared to when you are in a big commercial jet and you feel a more intense force from the propellor and from each turn and movement that the aircraft makes.
Taking off was easy, and the navigation was alright too… The Boyfriend handled himself well I think and he had a good sense of how to control an airplane (I think it’s part of being a German – they’re just born to be good at technical stuff). When Angela made our first turn though, I thought our plane was going upside down and I could feel the rush of blood to my head! The small aircraft exaggerates every feeling by 5x and I thought I was going to get sick.
“Are you alright back there?” she asked.
Yes, I’m fine. I don’t get motion sickness – not even after going on a rollercoaster with five loops after drinking 1 litre of beer – and I’m glad I didn’t embarrass myself for this flight.
We flew over some farms and also went to the coastal area – it was beautiful and oddly peaceful and calm above air.
Then, out of nowhere, The Boyfriend asked how we could make the plane glide.
Well, I had no idea what that meant until Angela reduced the speed of the engine to almost zero.
I thought the both of them had gone mad and I thought this is it, I’ve pushed it too far this time around with trying to experience new things in life.
But we found a perfect angle where the plane just glided based on momentum, slowly losing altitude. She revved the engine again and we gained speed again.
Just when I thought enough craziness happened, Angela asked The Boyfriend if he would like to see what happens if the plane stalled.
“No!” I screamed.
“Yes!” he said, ever the cheery one. That’s it. I knew that my cause of death would be him.
Angela then pushed the plane up and the red warning sign came flickering on.
“You see? This plane will start to lose it’s will to live shortly…”
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my godddd
“What happens if it stalls?” I asked, trying to sound brave.
“Then I’ll find a good gliding angle and speed and search for one of the open fields below, say ‘Mayday, Mayday’ and land,” she said calmly.
We spent about an hour in the air and it was soon time for us to land and get back to earth. Landing looked a lot difficult than taking off.
The cost of the flying lesson? A whopping 189 quid.
But for the experience and as it was a gift for The Boyfriend, it was worth it. 🙂