One thing about diving into flying without any preconceived ideas, is that I really had no idea what to expect when I started this adventure. I didn’t choose to talk to anyone about what the experience would be like or what I should expect. On one hand that has been great because I just sort of rolled with the flow of things, but on the other hand, I didn’t expect it to be as difficult and time consuming as I have come to realize it is.
Flying for me came very easy and just seemed to make sense. My understanding of engines and instruments wasn’t difficult either because of my electronics background. However, this landing piece is about to kick my butt. I don’t have any issues with my flying or getting the approach set up properly but the last few feet just before landing, I just can’t seem to get consistent on my round-out. You would think that after doing over a hundred landings the last couple of months that I would have this down. Well, not completely, at least 2 of the landings every lesson recently, I’ve ballooned just before touch down and had to give it more power and push it further down the runway to get it on the ground. No problem, but it’s frustrating and not just a little frustrating. A lot frustrating! I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I had already soloed but knowing that I have to get past this so that I can solo is really starting to weigh on my confidence.
I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall over the past couple of weeks in training. It’s that point you get to and you just can’t seem to get it and you push and push and the wall just doesn’t move. I can feel my fist pounding on it out of utter frustration. I’m not a quitter and I remind myself that I’m not. I can do this. It’s never an awful landing but it’s got to be more consistent than it is right now. I know that practice makes perfect but I’m beginning to feel like no amount of practice is going to get me past this wall.
It’s not that there’s anything really terrible that I’m doing wrong but just trying to see the landing correctly every time is holding me up. I realized last night that I was moving my focal point down the runway but then when I went to round-out, I was moving my focus back up to the nose and thus inducing the balloon affect. After identifying the problem, I didn’t have the issue again on the subsequent landings. Maybe I’ve got it now; tonight will be the crucial moment when I pull my self back up by the bootstraps, take a deep breath and find out if I’ve got this landing thing figure out or not.
I want to share the good, the bad and the ugly moments of my learning to fly experience with you, because I think it’s important to realize that flying isn’t always easy. It takes time, patience and of course, money. Mostly, I think it’s good to understand that it takes work and that even after you start learning, you aren’t really ever finished learning when it comes to flying. I hear that from every pilot I talk to along the way.
I now have a few pilot friends to share my excitement and frustrations with along this journey. They really help me get a little perspective and support. Without them, I’m not sure how I would be doing at this point. Learning to fly is best done with a little teamwork and encouragement along the way.
“It’s going to be hard but hard is not impossible.” author unknown.