I went flying with Flight Instructor Prabesh yesterday evening as part of our weekly flight together. Iâ€™m working on whatâ€™s called my Instrument Rating, meaning when all is said and done after this checkride Iâ€™ll be able to fly in the clouds and safely fly an airplane in instances where I canâ€™t see the ground or the horizon. Itâ€™s a special skill and when achieved Iâ€™ll be the first pilot in the family to have achieved this milestone.
Weâ€™ve been working on my instrument rating in a selection of Cessna 172 airplanes, which Iâ€™ve flown many times before, but not recently. I have to show the new flight school that Iâ€™m perfectly capable of handling a C172 in less than ideal conditions, so Prabesh and I went up and did a lot of basic maneuvers to make sure I could handle the airplane in an emergency. This involves pulling the engine and making emergency descents, doing steep turns (showing I can control the aircraft in such a situation), and stalls, showing I can get the airplane flying again after itâ€™s lost lift under the wings and stopped flying.
We had a lot of fun flying last night. Weâ€™ve been flying after dark working on my Instrument Rating, since I donâ€™t need to see anything when Iâ€™m theoretically flying in the clouds, so it was a nice change of pace to see things and admire the surroundings in the daylight.
I love flying airplanes. Itâ€™s a love I did something about rather late in life but it makes me very happy. And as of Tuesday, Iâ€™ve been an official private pilot for seven years.
Seven grand years.