I always wanted to become a pilot but I couldn’t achieve my dream because of physical limitations. It was a big disappointment in my life. Something that I couldn’t even overcome. But I still had this desire deep within me to someday be able to fly a plane.
When I was on my New Zealand trip, I was just browsing thru a brochure about the things to do in Wanaka. Wanaka is in South Island, close to Queenstown.
Its here that I saw this advertisement by “Learn to Fly NZ”. They had flight training courses. I called them up and asked if I could take just one or 2 lessons. Each lesson was for 20 min. They said they had just one slot available early morning and I could take that single 20 min lesson if I reached before 750 am.
My happiness knew no bounds. I kept an alarm for 6 am and reached the place exactly at 750 am the next day.
One look at my height and they said, Oh, you will need a booster seat. Lets see if your legs reach the paddle.
My heart skipped a beat. I was just wishing that somehow my legs should reach the controls.
They made me fill up a couple of forms and sign some documents. They didn’t ask me to pay yet because they wanted to check first if I can at least reach all the controls. So they introduced me to my instructor pilot and he took me to the plane. It was a small 3 seater Cherokee PA28, and to my luck and immense relief, I sat on the booster seat and my hands and legs reached all the controls. I cant tell you how happy I was.
The pilot gave me a few instructions on the controls and how to operate the plane. He then told me that he will have most of the controls since it was my first flying lesson. However, I could do the take off, the turns and half landing. He will then take over. I was completely okay with it.
In the air:
And so we started. The take off was the best part. That feeling of having the controls of the plane in my hands and actually taking off and getting the plane mid air, was simply amazing. My dream come true. I was finally a pilot, even if it was for just 20 min. But I was actually flying a plane. I was beaming with joy and satisfaction. I couldn’t be bothered to look at the view, but my instructor just pointed out the beautiful Wanaka Lake and the nearby hills and they surely seemed amazing. but nothing compared to the fantabulous experience of having the flight controls in your hand and steering the plane wherever you want to. The landing was a bit tricky and I am glad the instructor took control of it.
By the end of it, I was overwhelmed.
After the landing, when they gave me the certificate of my first lesson, I had tears in my eyes. Tears of joy, of having achieved something that I thought was impossible.
So my message to all is, impossible is nothing. You never know what possibilities can open up for you to achieve your long lost dream.
So never let your dreams die. Keep them alive. Who knows, someday, somewhere, you might get an opportunity to fulfill them, just like I did.
How to reach Wanaka: Self drive from Queenstown or Christchurch, or take a bus.
This place: Learn to fly NZ (www.learntoflyNZ.com)
Cost: 120 dollars for a 20 min lesson.