For my friend Lianna
, a quick flying story - she posted a great note about her fist small craft flight.
In my fathers house, you could forget about getting a learners permit for the car, let alone an actual drivers license until you were 18. Unless, of course, your the youngest of three and had an older bro and sis to wear dadio down. So, I got my learner-p when I was 16, and by 17 could drive the car for reasons other than errands for m&d.
Us young'ens driving a car was big problem for dad.
Now flying a plane? Well that's another story all together.
In my units (parents) life, they went through a phase that required many many flights on business so they bought a plane instead of lots of tickets. My da got his pilots license and his instrument license becoming ... a pilot. My ma earned her pilots license and became (way cool word coming up!) an aviatrix. This was when I was 13 & 14. There was no fixed rule about when you start taking flying lessons - I don't think there are rules now either! But when I was 15 I had a few small engine lessons under my belt and was on my way to a solo license.
We owned a Cessna 185. This was a good idea for somebody with some credit to invest because my dad just leased 'time' on the plane to a small group of people that basically wanted to have access to about 10% of the plane each... for this they paid much more than it cost to own the plane (interest on the loan to buy the plane was less than the take from renting time behind the flight stick).
Flying was totally brilliant! I think those experiences loaded up all the neurons in my head that get off on computer games that use flight sticks... 'course those games include triggers and launchers all over the flight stick - unlike my dad's Cessna. As long as I could come up with the 45$ for the lesson I could count on dad lend'en me keys to his plane (but not the mustang!).
Anyways, we would fly to a place called the 'northwest practice area' and do all sorts of maneuvers...
I very clearly recall one lesson in particular...
"today we're going to do a little work with something called pitch and yaw"
Essentially this means we going to mess around as see how bad it can screw you up, what it feels like and how to correct for it when shit happens. Can you picture in your mind an airplane making a long slow banked turn? Now imagine doing the same turn except you only use the tail-fin (forgot the proper name) to turn. Now your turning with out 'banking' the airplane.
Folks, let me tell you this is the most effective way possible to make your stomach turn onto it's side and try to execute your pancreas.
So, there we are - pancreas under siege from all sides - flying at perhaps 8000 feet. The plane is basically twitching in the air, wings level. The nose of the plane moves to the left but all your insides continue to move forward, or what appeared to be forward before you started turning...
Now, who knows what an air pocket is?
This is something that prol'y has a better technical explanation than I can give it, but suffice it to say that there are great giant chucks of the sky that for brief moments in time are under immensely less pressure than a place in the sky, say,... right beside it. Airplanes stay up in the air as a direct result of the air pressure - or, better yet, Airplanes do not fall out of the sky like so many rocks because of the physics of air pressure and wings.
All that being said, fly a totally 'yaw'ing airplane into an air pocket at 8000 feet above sea level and about 4 seconds later fly out at 4000 feet above sea level and you will forever find awesome roller coasters weenie.
I kind'a stopped the lessons then... mostly 'cause money was an issue (I was 15)...
I think that I'd sooner go for glider lessons now.. can you imagine flying a glider? w o w .