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It all started when...

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  • It all started when...

    Many of us had been bitten by the bug / got the bug / got addicted to / enamored with / enthusiastic of aviation long ago, and we can probably point to a few specific moments from way back when that totally did us in. For me, one of those moments came in the early summer of nineteen ninety... something... at a short (two weeks?) aviation camp. It was mostly classroom activities and field trips, but thanks to that program, I have the memory of my first time going flying in a general aviation aircraft.

    The grass strip we took off from... which looked very short because it was higher at the center.
    The orange runway threshold cones.
    The view out of the front right seat, down, at the landing gear, with lots of back-yard pools beyond it.
    The feeling that I could just do that every day and be happy.

    Take the time, a second to soar; for soon after, beckons a second more.

  • #2
    It was back in the 80s. I began software consultancy work for a large flight simulation company in the south of England. Within two weeks I got myself a ride in the pilot seat of a full size Boeing 727 simulator that was about to be delivered to a well-known airline. Full cockpit, full controls, full sound, full motion and full wraparound visuals. I was hooked.

    Staff at the simulation company had a club that organized occasional events requiring participation in hazardous sports. They invited me to their next event which was flying gliders. I got hooked on that but my partner did too. And since my partner was the type that hated competition, I left them to it and turned toward power flying.

    Learning to fly powered aircraft in England in the 80s was hellishly expensive. I decided I couldn't afford it. But I realized that in 10 years time I still wouldn't be able to afford it. So I decided to not be able to afford it now rather than not afford it then, and I immediately enrolled at a flying school at EGLK.

    It turned out affordable after all. My consultancy company paid for it, successfully persuading the tax people that it was justifiable technical training necessary to keep a steady flow of simulation software contracts coming in. I was still billed, but I managed to save on all the taxes I'd have had to pay if it had come out of my own pocket. In the end, I paid little more than half what I would have paid otherwise.

    Later I got my own aircraft, a Cessna 150E based at EGHP. But that's going way beyond "It all started when..."


    • #3
      for me it was "Test Pilot Donald"
      Well how cool could it get. Dale jumps at the controls and takes off. It couldn't really work like that, could it?

      Turns out that yes it can. So when I finally started having some disposable income I could spend on a hobby, that video came to mind. I went down to the local hobby shop, we still had one then, and picked one out. Turns out that plane was so easy to fly and such that its still flyable fact, it is the only one I have that is flyable right now. Well the hobby store guy helped me pick, and sold me fuel, and a nice starter kit for all my extras: tools, batteries, plugs, etc. Almost $600 later, I was a pilot. Well, ok. It wasn't quite that easy. First you have to put the plane together. Every mom at one time or another has told their kids "do not put your hand in the fan!" Well ok so I didn't listen. I started the engine, removed the heater, and started to tweek the mix. Everything went fine the first little while. Then for some reason I tried to reach around the propeller to tweek some more instead of going from behind like you're suppoed to. Yup, you guessed it... OUCH! There is something about the souond of a propeller hitting an object that just attracts everyone's attention. The other pilots looked over, but since I wasn't spurting blood and rolling on the ground they looked, but that was it. It wasn't all that I duck taped some paper towel to the cut and reset the fuel settings to give it another go. Should I give up for the day? Probably would be a good idea to get to a hospital for the cut. Trip one was over without a flight, and I spent the next 3 hours waiting for the doc to look at the cut, and then say, "eh it's not so bad. I think we'll skip the stitches.." Good thing I didn't cut something off or I'd have bled to death waiting. The other good news was that the sun was still high enough to get out and try flying again!

      This is the cool bit of the story, and why we have an awesomely similar thing in this community: The hobby store guys were out when I parked at the field. They asked if I'd been flying yet and I said no, I'm still working on tunning the motor. Within 5 minutes they had tuned the mixture, and taught me what to do and listen for so that I could do it myself next time. I attached the wing, and they announced my first rookie flight. One of the older guys, I say older since he had less hair and greyer than mine, stopped me and asked if I'd ever flown before. "Well, no," says I. "Hang on then," says he, and he goes to his truck to grab another controller.

      He hooks it up to his usual controller and tests it out. He calls me over, hands me one of the boxes, and then starts his own plane. After taking off and getting up to 3 mistake altitude he says to me, "ok its yours." Imagine that! A complete stranger who I didn't know just turned over control of his plane to me! I've never let anyone but me fly my plane to this day. Maybe because it's my first, and probably someday the roles will be reversed. I was up for it though. A few circles around the field had him asking had I really never flown before. "Well, on the sim," I confessed. "Bring it in then," he says. Oh my! Now not only is he trusting me not to crash while flying, he wants me to land! One try I had it down safe though. "Now get yours up," he says. Filled with a new confidence in myself...yeah I know, poetic...I got my plane started, out on the runway, and off into the sky. WOO, WHAT A JOY! Again nothing fancy, a few trips around the field then a safe landing. Lot's of "Well dones!" and so on to end the first flight.

      It really is the coolest hobby (RC and simming) I've ever done!


      • #4
        It was all the way back in 2009 when my uncle gave me his old FS2002 (which I still have installed) and it amazed me fast forward two years and I bought FSX after that came around a little icon a5 in a game you all know. Then fast forward to 1 year ago and I met you guys. Now I a taking ground school in school for credits and just recently took my first flight from the left seat.

        [COLOR="#006400"][B][I]Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself![/I][/B][/COLOR]
        [COLOR="#FF0000"][B]✈️Youtube:[/B][/COLOR] [URL=""][/URL]


        • #5
          Originally posted by Storm View Post
          and I immediately enrolled at a flying school at EGLK.
          Known in the industry as Lorraine Kelly.
          Still makes me chuckle, probably because I'm a big kid. ��
          If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


          • #6
            Most of us as youngsters had dreams of being chased by evil monsters. For me it was wolves. I've read that almost as many have dreams of soaring around. For me that was it. That feeling of soaring. Combine that with a desire to know what's over the next hill and there you have it.


            • #7
              Originally posted by ATC_ROO View Post
              Known in the industry as Lorraine Kelly.
              Still makes me chuckle, probably because I'm a big kid. ��
              Lorraine Kelly International, please!


              • #8
                I am new to flight sims.. ive owned FSX boxed ed since it came out but I never had any idea what I was doing and always stick and rudder flew.. but a few months ago I picked up FSX:SE and a good friend Delcou got me using the Auto Pilot...

                I first fell in love with planes as a small child, My grandfather was a factory worker who couldn't read, but he was in love with planes, he used to build all kinds of remote controlled planes and we would take them out to the airport and he would let the pilots fly them.....


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