As long as I have known Vince, he has wanted to learn to fly and for his 48th birthday present this year, I thought it would be the perfect time & gift. Especially as around the same time last year he’d experienced a heart attack. We booked him a trial flying lesson in a 4 seater light aircraft. Enabling him to take to the skies.
The trial flying lesson was booked through Flights4All.com which were helpful but after the flight I was given some information which I’m not very happy with, because it could have meant disappointment for Vince on the day. Through no fault of his own. Although the communication with the company was good, they booked the lesson I requested and Andrewsfield Aviation, (where the flight took place) in Great Dunmow, Essex were easy to deal with and accommodating.
The airfield was relatively easy to find and the directions given simple: if coming from Southend leave on the A127, connect with the A130 then join the A12 going towards Chelmsford. Leave at the Chelmsford/Boreham Wood exit and then follow the signs for Braintree. Join the A120 heading towards Stansted, leave the A120 at the junction signed Felsted. At the roundabout follow signs for Stebbing. On arriving at the Palms restaurant/bar, keep on the main road for around a mile, taking the next right signposted airfield. Continue down, airfield is on right hand side. Easy to spot as there are planes!
John Forster was the name of the Instructor for Vince’s lesson. Both Chloe and I were able to go up with him, so it was a real treat for all. On entering the plane the Pilot went through the pre-flight checks with Vince and we all wore headphones so we could easily communicate. Finally it was time for take-off. Vince would get to take control once airborne. The runway was a narrow strip and very different than I thought it would be. We had watched a few planes take off and it had looked a bit windy.
Inside the cabin all we felt was the exhilaration of taking to the skies, no turbulence at all.
As John began to explain to Vince what was going on and what he was going to be able to do, I looked below and watched the Essex countryside spread out below us. I could even see the haze of pollution gathered above a town on my horizon. Yet in every other direction there was clear blue.
The first thing Vince learnt to do was raise and lower the nose of the aeroplane. I was a little bit nervous as I’ve watched too many movies where the planes going into a spin or loses control. Whilst I was getting control of my head, Vince was gaining control of the plane.
After picking this up very quickly, the next thing Vince learnt to do was bank-turning the plane left and right. Learning how using the pedals controls the rudder to counter, adverse Yaw. Which simply speaking, means how the wind affects the plane on turning.
Out of 30 minutes flying time, Vince was in control of the plane for around 20 minutes in total. Which we thought was really good value. The trial flying lesson cost £109 through Flights4All. The fact that Chloe and I were also able to go up without a surcharge was a real bonus. The Instructor made the flight for us all really enjoyable, giving great instruction to Vince throughout.
Vince can’t wait to take to the skies for his next lesson…