|"You've got to write this up". My husband says.
"I wouldn't know where to start" I reply.
To myself I'm thinking: "these PPC guys wouldn't be interested
I understand how those PPC guys got all of their experience: flying our PPC is just too darn much fun! How can anyone pass it up? How could anyone turn down the opportunity to leave earths' surface, in control of an open cockpit craft, with the wind in your face and the world laid out before you? My husband is persuasive: " If you write about your flight, maybe more couples will share the same fun that we have". Maybe more will get out there and suffer from the "Help, I've done my first solo, and I can't stop smiling" ailment (which usually lasts until the next solo)
Okay, okay I surrender. I will try to keep it short. This is the
I have been a student in the back seat for about two years. I
have taken many beautiful and interesting photos. I have listened,
I took my first solo under a different BFI, in a different PPC and
This Saturday. Warm day, winds calm. We head for the field. After uncovering, gassing up and pre-flight safety checks, we fly. Great flight, we land. He turns to me and says: "you ready?"
In the period of three seconds, my mind races: Oh my God, our PPC. Oh my God, NO RADIO. Okay, I'll take off; take a short couple of passes and land. Just a short, little pop-up. It'll give me the chance to practice landing.
So I answer: "I'm ready"
Along with the minutia of prepping for any flight, we discuss a
His last instructions, just before the "clear prop" warning are:
Now the engine is purring, I am giving it some throttle, I am moving forward, and I am watching the chute. Seconds later, I am still moving forward, I'm still checking lines and chute, but I'm also still not getting the chute to pop up. I am going along this way for what seems to be an eternity. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. If you want to see the cells inflate, you can only be so timid with the throttle, and who's in control of this PPC anyway?
I add throttle, up comes the chute; I'm in the air! Lots of throttle
I check that everything looks right. At 350 Feet, as I make my first
turn, suddenly I don't care that I have no radio. I know who's in
That same familiar terrain, right now, looks so different. Strangely,
I sigh. I could go on flying "for days" but sadly, I will need to
I climb; it is OK to take another go around. I circle; lose altitude
My husband is driving the car down the field to meet me. I get
So I have to say, to any spouse, partner, or friend of a "PPC Geek", if you get the opportunity to listen, question, and learn from someone that is willing to share the knowledge: Go for it. There is a phrase in a Pink Floyd song: "there's no sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss". It is true.