Fly Girl in Training: Knocking the rust off

On an extended downwind looking out at downtown Sacramento.

I looked at my logbook in horror. No, that can’t be right. Did I forget an entry or five?

Nope. Before Saturday afternoon, it had been seven weeks since my last flying lesson. And nearly three months since I flew my trusty Cessna 182 (we switched to the taildragger Rans S7-S for a few lessons). No wonder Mr. T, my father-in-law Ray-Dad, and flight instructor Stan had been giving me such a hard time.

After reconsidering my arsenal of excuses–weather, budget, and work–I decided to live up to my I-won’t-be-an-ideal-worker-any-more pledge and get back to having more fun. As I scheduled my flight lesson over speaker phone, T teased me that it would be like starting over. Starting over? Seriously?

With his words ringing in my ears, I headed to the airport on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. While pre-flighting the 182, I immediately dripped engine oil on my pants and spritzed myself with avgas. T wasn’t joking I thought.

So good to see greenery in the Sacramento Valley and knock some of the
rust off my flying skills.

Only after reading my checklist three times did I crank the engine and nervously taxi over to pick up Stan.

Turns out the nerves were unnecessary. Although I didn’t completely shake them until after the second landing (it’d been a long while, okay??), I couldn’t help but smile. And pump a fist in yay-me! excitement. And high-five Stan. It wasn’t starting from scratch. It was like riding a bike!

I got so comfortable, in fact, that Stan had me get solo current at our home airport. With six solo passes around the pattern–with friends watching and my hubby listening on the radio no less–I felt so damn happy of myself. And more importantly, eager to get back into flying and finish my ticket. I’ve still got quite a ways to go, but I can’t wait!


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