Tomorrow is officially my last flying lesson, well I hope it is at least. It has been a while since I have flown due to commitments at work and at home, and a slipped disc (yes, ouch bloody ouch) so I have booked in with Charlotte for one last time to brush up on my skills and… get ready for my practical skills test.
I am, not to mince words, bricking it. I have not felt this nervous since I went for my driving test in (ahem cough splutter) 1997. Its madness though, I never get nervous. I can stand up in front of tens of thousands of people and deliver a speech perfectly. I can talk to camera, or host a radio show to millions but when I think about my flying skills… I am absolutely terrified of the examiner. I know I have done enough. I know I am competent and CAN actually fly a plane, I know what happens when you push this lever and why and I know what happens when you spin that do-dah and the effects of doing so, but having someone judge my skills, someone I have never met, someone I have never flown with before… well, its a daunting and bottom clenching thought.
I never thought I would actually reach this stage though, I never imagined I, me, this bloke writing this, would be capable of flying an aircraft. I never thought that one day I could potentially be the subject of the most common pilot joke: “20 people are at a BBQ which one is the pilot? Doesn’t matter, they will eventually tell you themselves”
It has been an incredible journey and one that is about to enter its final chapter…
That’s it then, I have had what I hope to be my final lesson towards gaining my PPL and Charlotte has “nominated” me for test… It’s not something that just happens automaticaly, under the rules, or tradition (you know, I’m not sure why actually) you have to be nominated, not put forward. Next time I fly will be the Practical Skills Test.