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Back in the Saddle Again

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16 months.

16 months since my last time at the controls of an airplane.

16 excruciating months of waiting, wishing, hoping, dreaming.

16 months of reading, studying, watching, tweeting, sharing, and discussing anything and everything aviation.

16 months, and it all came down to Thursday.

And everything was different.

Different flight school, different instructor, and different airplane. VERY different airplane.

I had decided I was switching to the Cessna 172 from the Cessna 152, for a variety of reasons. But when I showed up for the flight, my new instructor pointed at a Piper Archer, and I have to admit, I froze.

The preflight was a bit of a blur, as the insecurities compounded in my mind. I hadn’t flown in over a year and now I was supposed to just hop into this Piper and take off? It’s an entirely different kind of flying, altogether… isn’t that right, Striker?

I jumped in the plane with the instructor, and boy, was I nervous…

I just had to remind myself, it wasn’t my first time…

I HAVE been in a cockpit before…

I know how to fly a plane, we aren’t going to end up in the hospital…

But a good CFI doesn’t give you time to be nervous. You don’t need to sit there and stew in your own insecurities. A good CFI (and I’ve got a good one) knows this and throws enough at you to challenge you but not overwhelm you. They put you to WORK, immediately. And that’s what mine did. He got the engine started for me and told me to call for taxi. And boom, just like that, we were off.

The flight went really well. It was basically an evaluation flight. I have met all my requirements for the license, the new CFI just wanted to see how much work I needed before the big test. He said he’s not worried about my air work, so we will tighten up my skills a bit there and then really start working on landings in this new (to me) airplane, all while brushing up on my theory and regulations knowledge.

So, just like that, I’m back in.