Date: 19/09/2012

Time: 18:05 - 18:35 (17:05 - 17:35 GMT) and 18:40 - 19:25 (17:40 - 18:25 GMT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDVI

Brook and Dom

This evening, I'm taking our two apprentices up for a quick flight. Brook has been interested in coming for quite a while but is extremely nervous about the idea. He has so far managed to find reasons not to come. When Dom expressed an interest, I decided the best idea was to take them both for a quick evening flight and they can bolster each others confidence. The nights are drawing in now and we are running out of year for evening flights, but the weather seems ideal for tonight, so here we go!

We leave work at 5pm and head to the airfield. Fortunately, the plane is still outside the clubhouse, so I check it over and fuel it. I plan to take Brook up first to give him less time to blouse-out. I install him in the passenger seat and start warming the engine. Once we reach the magic 50 degrees C oil temperature we are off to line-up on runway 26. We take off and during climb-out the weather proves to be ideal with reasonable visibility and nice calm air. We head to the north past Overton and I demonstrate how the joystick controls work. I invite him to have a go - he takes the stick for a couple of seconds, but is very uncomfortable with the idea and relinquishes control to me. We go and have a look at Highclere Castle and then head up towards Newbury. Then we head back to Popham for a gentle landing back on 26. Once safely back on the ground, I ask him how long did he think it had taken - he suggests 10 minutes, when really it has been half an hour - couldn't have been that bad then!

We then swap over and put Dominic in and soon we're back in the air. We head north in the same sort of route - Dom is a lot more confident and soon has the control. He asks if he should put the nose down a bit - yes I say. In a while, the plane pitches slowly up again and he asks the same question. This means that already he is able to detect the attitude of the plane and just needs the confidence to deal with it. Soon I just have to mention things like "left wing dropping a bit" and then I just tell him to head towards a landmark such as a smoke plume - impressive! Obviously I'm keeping a close watch but it is quite relaxed. Again we go past Highclere and up to Greenham Common, before heading back and I also demonstrate some medium banked turns - great fun. After landing, we go for another quick circuit too.

It interesting how everyone seems to react differently. Dom managed to control the plane quite well. Brooks achievement was getting in the damn thing at all. Is a brave man the one who has no fear, or the one who overcomes them? Probably both.

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