After a rather stressful and challenging lesson the previous week, I was understandably a little apprehensive about climbing into the cockpit once more. The weather earlier in the day had been quite cold and rainy and my daughter was adamant that she had seen sleet on the car windscreen that morning. The breakfast show presenters on the radio announced that there had been snow at Okehampton, so I should not have been surprised when I saw that the hedgerows and fields around Dunkeswell were white with a light snowfall as I travelled to the aerodrome. However, such a pretty sight did little to quell my feelings of uneasiness. My scheduled lesson had already been cancelled the day before due to strong winds and despite the pale winter sun, a quick look at the horizon indicated a possible repeat.
As I entered the flight training building, my instructor was waiting for me, rather anxious to get started as there was a closing window of opportunity to get airborne and conduct my lesson before a further band of inclement weather closed in. If being unsettled about the imminent training wasn’t enough, my heart sank when I spotted G-BMXB sitting smugly on the end of runway 22 – my lemon coloured nemesis!
As it happens, my apprehension was unfounded and quickly dissipated as I found myself much more relaxed and able to concentrate than during the previous lesson, especially when I found out that last week’s engine overheating incident was down to something rather mundane. This week was all about climbing under full power, alongwith glide and powered descents. I felt I had better control of the aircraft and my instructor seemed pleased with my efforts, and with that, my confidence was greatly restored. I was very fortunate with the weather too, as it was only during our return descent to the aerodrome that the weather came in and small flakes of sleet and snow began to fall as we touched down. Within just a few minutes of returning to terra firma and the heavens had become a solid mass of steel grey and the torrents of rain began to fall.
Take Home Thought : – A faulty gauge can cause SO much anxiety.