I flew an airplane today!

My darling husband had got me, for my 35th birthday, a gift certificate for an “Introductory Flight” via BeAPilot.com. That was back in June.

Since then, of course, we’ve moved, we’ve re-established our business, and generally kept very busy. Long story short, I dilly-dallied along.

There was a catch to all this time I allowed to pass, though.

The certificate was set to expire December 31st. With the holidays fast approaching, I finally decided it was time to take advantage of that certifcate.

I was surprised to find there are not one, not two, but THREE flight schools in this relatively little city! Eventually, I chose Georgia Flight Academy, for no other reason than because they have this absolutely goregous little Diamond Katana… isn’t she a beauty?

I’ll admit, I was hoping I’d get to fly her, but on the other hand it would have made looking down at the city a bit more difficult. Instead, I got me a good ole fashion Cessna 172.

My appointment was set for 1300 hrs. Take-off was probably at about 1315 or so. My instructor, John, did the take off and piloted for a while, giving me basic instruction on what does what. We flew out west over the city, first heading over the UGA Stadium (that was a trip, imagining thousands of people watching a game and looking up… hehehe!), then more or less following the main highway that runs through the city. Somewhere between the stadium and the apartment, John let me take over. Weeee!

It turned out to be both easy (what’s so difficult about left, right, up and down, right?) and hard: the plane is a little old, and I kept trying to make the yoke hold straight, but perhaps it was the wind: straight meant a slight turn to the right, thank you! *G*

Then, over the radio, we were told there was traffic in our flight path between our 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock. We looked and looked, but it was hazy enough to make that difficult. John took over and headed about WSW to take us out of the other pilot’s range. Just as he did, we finally spotted him, just a little above where we had been.

By then it was time to go back, so we turned around and headed for the airport. I didn’t know even a small landing strip could look so BIG from the air! I mean it was unmistakable! (Which is a good thing, of course: makes getting there easier!)

He let me bring her down part of the way, he fiddled with the throttle to give me a hand, and finally he took over the actual landing.

It made for an exciting hour. You know what? I think I want to do that again.

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