Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Student Joy

I flew with my student and friend Dennis the other day.  He has about six hours now and is having the usual trouble relaxing in the cockpit.  There were a few low level bumps, which bothered him, but even though the air smoothed out when we reached altitude I could see that he was still a little anxious.

We did steep turns (his first), and they were good, then we had the planned engine failure.  "What are you going to do?", I asked.  "I forget!", he said, but recovered and set up a good glide and picked a good field.

Then it was time for rectangular courses.   I was feeling a little discouraged since there was little or no wind.  I toyed with the idea of forgetting the whole thing and going home.  But I figured that there would be some training value in the maneuver, so I reluctantly pointed out a farm that took up a whole section, and Dennis started flying a rectangle around it.  I was busy pointing out landmarks and turnpoints and the like, and he was busy looking outside the airplane.  That's when it struck me: his hand was relaxed on the yoke, and we were flying straight and level effortlessly.  Eureka!  He can fly.

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