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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Flying

A friend of mine from work, who is a flying instructor, offered to take me up for a short flight on Friday afternoon. How could I say no to that?

So, after inspecting the 4-seater Cessna, we took to the air. The take-off and accent were much smoother than I expected, even though the wind was pretty strong. We flew over London, and I managed to snap a few decent shots.

Fig. 1: Downtown London from about 5000 feet.

Fig. 2: The university campus.

Fig. 3: Our neighbourhood from above. Our house is in this shot :)

After flying over London, we went on to Centralia airport - did two circuits there, which included touching down on the runway and taking off right away. Then we flew over to Stratford and back to London. 

I was doing fine until he did this 365 degree turn during which I was staring at the ground (to see how the wind greatly alters the speed of the airplane). At that point, I lost my sense of inner balance and never quite recovered. I actually still feel a bit wonky, and it has been almost 24 hours! He didn't even really do anything too aggressive - some of the stuff they are trained to do just made me feel ill thinking about it!

The coolest part for me was just seeing and hearing how the whole operation works. Listening in on the radio while he talked to the air- and ground-controllers was really interesting (though I didn't understand most of it). He did a great job of explaining how everything worked, including all the gauges, and I even got to fly for a minute or two!

I'm also fascinated to learn "other sides" of people I feel I know well in one context (in this case, work). It was really fun to see how much he clearly loves to fly, and how good he is at it.

It was a pretty cool experience!