Wednesday, May 14, 2003

we went flying yesterday, the airman and i.
and fly, he can.

it was my first time ever in a small airplane, and i had expected it to be scary, with nothing but that tiny little bit of metal between me, several thousand feet of air and the ground and all. alas, it wasn't - it was far less scary than flying in a 747 or any other bigger airplane for that matter.
and not only was it totally not scary, it was actually downright sexy and enjoyable.

yesterday was a day of shitty weather here in montreal - rain and grey skies and lowish clouds and lots of unpleasantness. the weather reports were unfavourable - jack's flight school only releases planes when clouds are above 1500 ft, and all morning, they were at 1000 ft. we made our way out to his airfield nonetheless, he started flight planning (calculating the plane's weight and balance) and we waited for some more weather reports - they stayed terrible. it looked like all we would be able to do would be touch and go's - continually landing, taking off and circling around and doing it all over again, which i thought would be exciting enough anyway.

so we got the plane ready, i got my passenger instructions (touch nothing, unless i tell you to!), and my very own set of headphones, and jack started talking to the tower.
which, i tell you, is a very good thing to listen to.
ground, good afternoon, this is cessna 172 sierra oscar foxtrot at the flight school, with the ATIS, for touch and go's.

jack's all competent when sitting in a plane, talking into his mike - serious, knowing, friendly and in charge. and well, if you listen to his radio, he's got quite a distinctive voice there, the man.
do me the sierra oscar foxtrot, darl.

just after first contact with ground, waiting to be let on the runway for the touch and go stuff, the latest weather reports came in. the clouds which had been reported at 1000 ft the previous hour, were now reported at 1700 ft. - which meant that after asking ground to ask the flight school, we could do our planned city tour, circles over downtown montreal.

it was absolutely fucking awesome.

it's so great to be right next to the pilot, especially the pilot being jack, hearing all communication between him and tower, seeing him actually fly the plane, looking extremely content when doing so. i tell you, there are few moments when jack looks happier then when he's got those headphones on, and the yoke (the steering wheel of the plane) in his hand.

it's very direct, the little plane and very comfy, too. usually, flying seems so strange, so unusual, a bit against human nature to me. up there, in the cessna with jack, it was perfectly right and normal and comfortable and safe, and i wanted more than the three circles over the city that we could do before the weather got too terrible (clouds dropping to 800 ft).

it was so fabulous an experience that all i could do was smile and be happy and admire the city from above and the pilot right next to me.
it needs to be repeated.

tonight though, in 4 hours, it will be a stupid big old 772 that i will fly with, to london, and without the airman on board.
these were good days, these six days in may (6dmâ„¢), and it will be strange to be back in my life on the other side of the atlantic, without flights and him and all the things he is and does.