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Achieving My Lifetime Ambition!

From the first inspiration, to my own Private Pilot's Licence - by Aeryn

Almost three weeks have passed since Laurance told me that I’d passed my Skills Test. I still can’t quite believe that I have managed to successfully negotiate the course to obtain my Private Pilot’s Licence, I’ve not been able to stop grinning about it to myself yet. 

Learning to fly and get my name on a PPL has been a dream of mine since I was very small. I vividly remember making and flying a little KeilKraft balsa-wood glider with my dad back in the 1980s. Technically, Dad probably did most of the actual building. I was probably more responsible for a racy felt tip pen colour-scheme. I imagine the glider only managed two or three decent flights – the rubber bands holding the wings on used to slip, leading to some slightly unstable approaches (vertical) and landings.  Flying that little model sparked a lifelong interest in aviation that has burned in me ever since.  

At first, the process of actually learning to fly seemed to me quite daunting. The amount of material to get through and the degree of multi-tasking needed to actually pilot an aeroplane looks like a lot to have to master. Bit by bit and despite my shoestring budget, the mystery of it all slowly unravelled. With practice and guidance from the wise instructors I’ve flown with, it has turned out to be a really enjoyable progression through the different stages.

Training with Redhill Aviation has been a brilliant experience. From my first tentative trial flight with Dan in the PA28 (never has anyone held on to a control yoke as tight as I did that day), through some interesting bumpy winter circuits with Mark in G-BOYL, to my first solo in 2016 and my QXC flight last summer, all the instructors have been super-patient and knowledgeable. 

White knuckle two handed gentle left turn on my trial flight

Redhill Aerodrome is also a great place to learn to fly. The proximity to Gatwick and having a proper Air Traffic Control service means that as a student pilot, you’re used to operating with such things and get reasonably comfortable quite quickly. 

Redhill Aerodrome

If you have any interest in becoming a pilot, give it a go. It will change your life and provide some awesome memories. 

Now that I have my PPL, (or "licence to learn" as instructor Mark reminded me), I can’t wait to start logging hours and visiting some of the fabulous airfields we have in the UK and Europe. Next phase will be more ground school and start working towards my ATPL..!

First solo day

Happy landings everyone,

Aeryn.