Thursday, February 23, 2006

Flying Blind

Hey hey hey, kiddos. S.C. here, back from his wonderful day trip to Memphis (I'm trying to type sarcastically). Actually it wasn't bad, just short. 1 hour down (corporate jets RULE!), 3 hours on the ground, 1 hour back.

Witty posts and horoscopes will resume today.

After we got back yesterday, I had a flight lessons scheduled with my instructor. I didn't think we were going to be able to use a real plane, seeing as there were low clouds and all, and had resigned myself to another hour in the simulator. Lo and behold, the clouds lifted just enough for us to go out and practice some flying under the hood.

When I say, "under the hood," what I mean is I put on this nifty little contraption (kind of looks like that thing you put on dogs to keep them from scratching their face) that limits my view so that I can only see the instrument panel, and none of the outside world. This simulates instrument flying, where clouds obscure the horizon, so you must fly solely by reference to instruments.

Let me tell you, after 130 hours of flying planes by looking out the windows, putting on something that shuts out my view of the outside world went against every fibre of my being. The feeling is weird. You body still senses motion (which grows more incorrect as time passes, since your brain uses both your eyes and your inner ear for balance), so you know you're speeding along a thousand feet above the ground at 110mph, but you can't see it. Additionally, the first time flying under the hood, you're trying to get a feel for the plane, and what it really takes to keep it straight and level, or in a standard rate turn, or whatever. So, you're all over the sky.

I tell you what, the flight instructors who teach instrument flying must have balls of steel and stomachs of iron...
posted by S.C. @ 8:27 AM |


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