Disclaimer: I deserve no sympathy. I am actually an idiot who cannot afford another expensive hobby, hence the problem!
Last week I met Paul. Paul is a pilot and owns an aeroplane called G-SKNT. G-SKNT is a Pitts Special S-2A.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to fly. For a very long time learning to fly remained a mere pipe dream, until I found the means to actually do something about it back in 2008. I undertook my training at RAF Halton, which was conveniently just across the road from where we were living, and in 2009 I passed the skills test to gain my PPL. During the time I was training I quit my job as an engineer and then moved to Wales (I actually passed my skills test two days before we handed the keys back for the house in Aston). Since then I have worked the occasional contract, but primarily relied on my ever-so-long-suffering husband to keep me in clothing, cake and chocolate (the bare essentials), hence I had to stop flying simply because there was no way to afford it.
My most recent contract in Devon has given me the chance to get back into aviation – something I’ve been longing to do for…well…ever since I last stepped out of the cockpit back in 2009.
So…where is the problem?
The problem originates with the deep rooted desire I have harboured ever since I first went to Halton and saw a tiny little stunner of an biplane in the hangar…I wanted to fly a Pitts Special.
I had no real thoughts of doing anything other than simply ‘having a go’ in one at some point, so when I got chatting to Paul, heading down to Shobdon to aquaint myself with G-SKNT seemed like an excellent idea – I was only going to have a look after all, with a view to one day maybe going for a spin.
Aerobatics. Seemingly an activity designed to provide a terrifying and expensive method of simulating the kind of hangover you wake up with the morning after having drunk two bottles of wine at your husband’s cousin’s bonfire party…So not something you’d particularly want to put yourself through really is it? A bit like winter climbing…and well, we all know how that goes… (in case you aren’t a regular reader – winter and ice climbing are my greatest obsessions.)
Last Tuesday I flew G-SKNT.
I will admit now that I was terrified when I climbed into the front seat of that aeroplane, I knew that Paul was going to put me through something terrifying and traumatic, and I had a good idea that I was going to find it as horrifying as the rollercoasters my niece dragged me onto at Thorpe Park a few years ago (I don’t like rollercoasters). Somehow though, I also knew the real reason I was so afraid: I knew wouldn’t be able to just walk away having ‘done it’…
I had no intention of even trying aerobatic flying, let alone deciding I wanted to learn to fly aerobatics. A superb instructor, and his beautiful little aeroplane G-SKNT have changed all that.
Damn you Paul.