"your first flight in a light aircraft brings back memories of the first takeoff you experienced as a child. that big smile carves on your lips. it was so cool to feel the earth struggle to keep you on the ground then eventually let go. in 9 out of 10 scenarios, you yell out a loud 'whoo-hoo!', with your eyes peeled to the window. you watch the runway disappear beneath you. you see the green, the houses, the people. you see lifestyles in front of your own eyes. you see civilization. you see the world the way God sees it everyday. the bumpy conditions are more than welcomed, seeing as light aircraft are easily affected by wind conditions and the occasional gust."
i wrote that 1 year, 2 months, and 13 days ago after clearing my first solo. and i have never forgotten that feeling. not even with everything that had happened over the last 2 years.
"maha 04 tango, wind is calm, you are cleared to land runway 03".
"cleared to land runway 03, maha 04 tango".
i taxi back to dispersal via taxiway bravo, unsure of how to feel. after shutting down the aircraft, Capt Zul grabs the aircraft technical log, and leaves for the hangar. i don't move from my seat. i'm glued. i close my eyes and try to look in deep. real deep. i think about all the times i've had here. good. bad. stagnant. my friends and the stunts we pulled together. like that time we went around town stealing all the spiderman 3 promotional posters off the lamp posts at 5 in the morning. my instructors and the shit they put us through. like that time my instructor ordered me to get out of the aircraft and run alongside it all the way off the runway because i was taxiing it faster than the standard operating procedure. the scheduling and the delays that proceeded, stretching the course to 25 months from the original allocated 14 months. all those times we spent in our rooms, with the air conditioning cut off during the day, wandering aimlessly, waiting for 5pm when the schedule came out, praying once for the rest of the world and twice for ourselves, so that we may fly the next day. how do i want to feel? how do i want to walk away from this? when i look back, will i know that i made the right choice? i know the answer. i had been practicing it over the last one week. its going to be perfect.just to prove that i'm guilty as charged. there were 3. i gave one away to my young cousin.
200 hours. and they were all over. i earned every single one. i unbuckle my seat belt, collect my navigation log sheet, put it in my nav bag, grab the pitot cover, and step out of the aircraft, locking the canopy in place. after placing the cover on the pitot head, i reach for my nav bag. the following are its contents at all times :- aircraft flight manual, the CRP-5, the douglas protractor, a folder with spare log sheets and flight plans, pencil case, sony discman, sennheiser headphones, flight training report, map, log book, letdown charts, and 'a heartbreaking work of staggering genius'. i take the headphones out with the discman already set to track 10. i place them over my head, adjusting the length, and press play. the guitar comes in, and i smile like the terminator, only with a touch more realism. i wish there was someone i could hold on to and never let go. the moment is perfect. and the song never stops. it never stops.