Thread: One True Thing
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Old 02-17-2003, 02:18 AM   #4
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Anyway, I have one which may or may not qualify; in my mind it comes close. About 2 years after I got my pilot's lisence, I began expressing interest in getting my instrument (IFR) rating - perhaps the hardest course a civil pilot can take. I was, of course, nowhere near experienced enough to even consider taking it, but one of our IFR instructors, Thom, asked me to come along on a routine ferry flight of a C-206 from Kitchener to London. Yay! So, off we went, me flying, Thom sleeping (more or less) in the right-hand seat. Around Chatham, to the SE of London, the sky went away, as expected. 100% cloud cover over London. I expected Thom to take over, but he just asked 'You have the frequencies? Good; carry on."

I was sweating bullets - flying an approach blind is not only hard, it is terrifying to one who hasn't done it before. Well; Thom was there if I needed him, so off I went - caught the localizer, rolled onto the approach. Picked up the glide-slope and trimmed for descent. ("Err...Thom? I could REALLY use some help now..." "Nah - yuo're doing fine.")

Deep breathing exercises followed... I shut my brain off and let my hands do the work. The localizer and glideslope stayed nailed in the middle of the dial, the vertical airspeed needle almost never moved. I throttled back, flared, and felt the wheels hit right as the threshold of the runway flashed underneath - a perfect landing. At this point, Thom sat up, said, "Well done" and took over, taxiing the aircraft to the ramp. Afterwards, over a burger, Thom let me know all the mistakes I made. They were all procedural - he never said it out loud, but he was impressed as well.

One amazing piece of beginner's luck. How the heck I made a perfect landing, I'll never know, I never have since; but even though I was nervous, right from the start I never really had any doubts of the outcome - I never really was thinking about what was happening at all. Interesting.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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