Archive for December, 2010

First flight!

‘Twas a nice summer’s day in oh-7,

Ere not I enter a Cessna cockpit;

Knew that I would be taken to heaven,

Soared, we did, with butterflies in my tummy’s pit!

- Praveen Premchandran.

The twenty sixth of June, Two thousand and seven was a fine summer’s day in Steinbach, MB, Canada. I arrived all excited to get into the air for the first time ever behind the “wheel”… After the formalities were completed, I was introduced to my instructor, Chris Carter (who was my instructor all the way to my Commercial Pilot’s license) and very soon, the two of us (both 6-footers) were squeezed into one tiny little Cessna 152 and were chugging down the runway, speeding up for take off… The rest as they say is history!

I spent the next 45 or so minutes trying to take in everything that Chris was trying to teach me about being gentle on the controls, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I was torn between the excitement of being airborne in a small little airplane, learning to fly, loving the view outside and keeping myself from screaming out aloud like a maniac! What I actually managed to learn that day is kinda foggy. But I do remember that toward the end of the flight, as we were returning for landing, there was a little bit of turbulence (hot summer days cause air to rise, causing turbulence) and Chris was doing umpteen number of small little movements of the controls trying to ensure that I got a nice finish to go with my “Discovery flight”! Taken off the controls, that was the first moment of the entire flight that I think I actually paused to breathe and the burst of air that went inside me told me that I was hooked to flying, and that this was to be the first of thousands, nay billions more flights to come!

Me, with Chris Carter and my fav. airplane C-FIYL

Me, with Chris Carter and my fav. airplane C-FIYL

Tales of Praveen the Pilot!

It’s been a really long time since I put stuff up on this little old rambler of a blog of mine… And in case you want proof, just scroll down to the previous post, and you will probably notice the date tag on that almost 6 months ago. So, I believe I should get on the case, lest my blog becomes yet another piece of space junk on the inter-webs :P

If you are a pilot, you’d have realised by now… Pilots are among the proudest of the lot called humans. Even the most humble pilot generally has something to brag about and well, that’s how we are! Somewhere along the way when a wide-eyed kid* in a small little 2 or 4 seater aircraft starts churning out hour after hour of flight/air time burning 100LL by the gallon, there happens a modification of the DNA of said kid which makes this kid go from a down-to-earth human being to an awesome, can-do-it-all superhero who defies gravity every single time those landing gear leave terra firma! If you even want proof of what I mean, just visit any General Aviation airport in an aviation-savvy country (read: Canada or the US of A) and visit either the hangar or the pilot lounge and you’ll see a whole plethora of pilots sitting around and telling tales about their adventures… And the best part is, the story teller could be a 50-60 hour Private pilot (read: Amatuer pilot who just got his license to fly without being baby-sat by an instructor) while an airline pilot with thousands of hours could be listening and thinking, “Yeah! I’ve done that! :P ”. Among a bunch of pilots telling tales, there is no inferior or superior story.. It’s always amazing stories!

Now, I thought maybe some of my non-geeky (read: non-aviation) friends/family should know of these stories, and also maybe anyone else who likes to listen to a good ol’ Pilot adventure tale… So, from this day on, on a regular basis, I’m going to put down some of the Tales of how yours-truly became a Pilot, and a lot more since then! Hang tight… The first one is going to be up and running in less than 24 hours!

* Said wide-eyed kid can be anywhere between 14 years to 100 years of age… Youngest I’ve seen till date was 14 and oldest was in his late 60s!