10 years...

I've just realized that on 5 June 2014, I've officially been flying for 10 years.

Some brief recollections over the past 10 years and 230+ hours.  This comes straight from my memory and I have not gone back and read old posts, but I am glad there is a record of my flying which gives so much more detail than a few words written in my logbook.

  1. Chief Instructor Roger and I strapping on EJZ and going up for Lesson 1 of my starter pack, Effects of Controls.
  2. Roger sending me on my first solo.  It seems strange in hindsight but I knew I was ready, and it wasn't a shock when he said he was getting out.
  3. My circuit rejoin solo lesson.  Finally taking a plane away from the airport and back again all by myself.  That was the first time I felt like a real pilot instead of a prisoner chained to the circuit pattern.
  4. Being anxious about wing drop stalls, Instructor Paul cured me in short order.
  5. Having a near miss during a Forced Landing lesson.  I was concentrating on the lesson and never saw them until Instructor Greg suddenly took control and turned us sharply away.
  6. Flying at the National Championships.
  7. My first solo cross country.  Perfect weather, but I still got slightly lost trying to find Taumaranui.
  8. PPL checkride, some of my best flying came out that day, except I didn't lower full flap for my precision approach.  Doh!
  9. Taking the Lovely Susan up as my first non pilot passenger as per our agreement.
  10. Getting rated in and flying the Arrow.  I can't fly it any more as its no longer on the clubs books, but I do miss flying a complex retractable.
  11. Having a partial engine failure and dealing with it.
  12. All the weird and whacky flights I've been on with fellow partners in crime Chris, Aaron and Evan.
  13. A most interesting year spent as the Club Captain of Waikato Aero Club.
  14. Flying a helicopter.
  15. My BFRs.  Enjoyed every minute of them.

I'm not sure if you'd come to me 10 years ago and said this is what I would achieve that I would have believed you.  Flying is, and probably always has been, a part of who I am.  I am glad I have been able to share it with you all for the past decade, and I hope I can continue for another one at least.


Wow 10 years!!! Congratulations
I can relate to so many of the points you’ve listed
1. I don’t know how much of the actual flying I remember but I remember the feeling of elation as I landed. I was never going to give this up.
2. Oh I didn’t think I was ready, but apparently I was. This was my first inkling that I should maybe trust my instructor’s judgement.
3. Yep. I was so excited about this lesson. I was raring to be cut loose from the circuit solo. I loved every moment of it.
4. Still am. My aim is to do them without screaming. I’m working on it.
5. Had one of them too. And videoed it. My look out is a lot better now. I learned a valuable lesson.
6. Your competition flying sounds like such fun. I’m jealous!
7. Yay I got lost too! Twice!
8. Fingers crossed that I can say the same
9. Still not sure who is going to be my first. Probably RTH as a big thank you for all the support.
10. I’ve been a passenger in a friend’s Mooney. That is one sweeeeet plane but retractable gear scares me.
11. That made for good reading. Thanks for sharing that.

I would just like to add as well that I really appreciate all you’ve given back to the aviation community. Especially for me in the last couple of years. The honesty with which you blog has really helped me in that I can see that the ups and downs I’ve experienced are completely usual and shall pass has been instrumental in my keeping on doing this.

Here’s to another 10 years in the skies.
Flyinkiwi said…
Thank you for your kind words, LFE, I really appreciate them. As for competition flying, if you can get yourself to NZ by the first weekend in September you can compete in our comps if you like! They are all dual and the instructor does all the radio work so all you need to do is turn up and fly! :-)
PropellerHead said…
Hi Euan

I can relate to most, if not all the points in this post. My 10 year anniversary is fairly soon - 14 Jan 2015 to be exact:
1. My first flight (with instructor Paul) was also in good ol' "EJZ "(trial flight)
2. It was Roger who also sent me first solo, also in EJZ. I was surprisingly non-nervous, too. Guess I was ready!
3. The one that got me feeling "real" was doing the standard overhead join lesson both dual (am) and solo (pm) on the same day at Te Kowhai.
4. Was anxious about those until my second BFR with Roger in "WAM"
5. Have had one or two close encounters but the one that really sticks in my mind was at last year's Club Comps when, on the first short final on Gents' Circuits the tower instructed me to make an immediate climbing turn to the right (had it sorted before the instructor could get her hands on the controls) - apparently the plane behind (not one of ours) had got far too close for the tower's comfort. That one didn't get marked - surprise, surprise!
6. Can't compete with that but flying Hamilton to Queenstown for 2012 Warbirds was amazing.
7. Can identify with the "getting lost" bit - airfields in valleys are pretty challenging.
8. My PPL checkride wasn't that great, but I passed!!
9. White Island - two amazing cross-countries.
10. Doing my first BFR in the Arrow and completing the type rating 3 days later! Wish it was still available.

Well, that's my "10" of the top of my head, as it were. And....
Double or nothing? You're on!!
Flyinkiwi said…
Barry, yes I think I need to go out to White Island, didn't quite get there last time. I'll start planning that trip.
PropellerHead said…
Euan: Re: White Island - best to plan to go early in the day as the crosswind off the sea at Whakatane can get up a bit by the afternoon. First time I went it was a bit of a bumpy crosswind landing there.
Flyinkiwi said…
Oh I know all about the crosswind at Whakatane, believe me.