Lesson 8

“Turning, climbs and descents, configuration changes, airspeed changes, and then a touch and go … and the majority of time you’re doing everything else, the other four or five things you need to do to pilot an airplane, all in about a five-minute span … there’s a reason we don’t do touch and goes on the first lesson.”

This was Tom’s consolation for how poorly I handled landings this time around. I was down on myself when we returned to Fischer Aviation after the lesson.

“I’ll be honest with you, I think we were making more progress with the approaches last time. We weren’t too far off–we weren’t diving or anything–but you were tight. 45-degree turns are kind of fun. Just not in the pattern.”

He was right. I couldn’t even turn right during this lesson.

However, I did have a spectacular takeoff. Mr. Elegante! I gave whoops into the headset.

And then I promptly forgot that we were doing touch-and-goes. Everything went downhill.

At one point, Tom said, “Let me have the airplane.” He demonstrated. Boy, did he land it fine! No problems! A real greaser! His command at the controls instantly medicates the A.D.D. right out of the airplane.

I have no natural feel for it. But I will say this: I’ll be chasing that awesome takeoff for a long time.

Today’s lesson: relearning that I learn at my own pace.