Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No time to think

So far, my favorite thing about learning to fly a helicopter is how hard my instructor is pushing me. Every day, I feel like a juggler who has just barely learned to add another ball into the mix, and my instructor throws me two more. But, um, I'm not even very good with these ba---well, ok...

Maybe it's because of my short window in Hawaii, maybe it's just Lee, maybe they always do this. But it's a good feeling to have someone ask you to do something you are pretty certain you can't do, and in the asking make it clear they have absolutely no doubt you can do it.

Lee tells me I will fly by myself ("solo") the weekend of August 2. That's such an outrageous claim, it's laughable. It's July 22, and I can't keep the thing under control for a full minute, and that's with him handling the radio, minding the gauges, watching for air traffic, and managing at least half of the flight controls. Not to mention taking off and landing, which by my estimation are both fairly important to any successful flight.

For me to solo August 2 goes beyond utter madness and into pure fantasy. I'm not kidding. It's like if somebody told you that you will earn a million bucks this year, or that your favorite celebrity will meet you in a coffee shop and fall in love with you.

The odd thing is, he says it with a completely straight face.

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