Plane Brilliant!

19 06 2011

by Leoni Gray

Saturday, 28th May 2011 was, in my opinion, a really anxious day yet one filled with excitement. CDT Reynolds and I started with an early morning. We had to be at the gates by 7:30am!

We travelled to Cosford RAF Station where we were going to fly the Grob Tutor T115 Military Trainer Aircraft. It took us roughly two hours to travel there.

When we arrived in Cosford, we were shown to our waiting room where they explained the dangers and things we needed to be aware about. I’d already flow before, so it was nothing new to me. After the presentation we immediately started sending groups of four out to start flying. CDT Reynolds and I were in the last group, so we got the opportunity to visit the RAF Museum that was next door. This was open to the public so we had to be on our best behaviour.

The Museum had four buildings all containing interesting yet different information, games, presentations and planes. The members of staff were lovely and friendly; they kindly explained things to us and gave us information. Afterwards, we went to the café and ordered some lunch. I ordered sausage and mash! I regretted it so much though; I felt anxious all day and with my belly full, so it only made it worse.

After that, we were called back to the waiting room to prepare to go flying; that’s when my excitement increased and my nerves kicked in even more.

We were told to take our hair out of our tight bun and take our hair nets out. We placed it into a loose and low ponytail, to keep it out of the way yet keep it comfortable. We then had to wear green overalls over our uniform, and put more comfortable footwear on. We then put a big helmet on, making it fitting and comfy for us. The helmet had a microphone on so we could communicate with the pilot. Then we had to wear a parachute. This was really heavy and all the layers were making me really warm!

We then had to sit and wait. The butterflies in my stomach swirled, making me worry and feel anxious. The previous groups’ aircrafts had landed. The security told me to follow them. I got to my feet. I was now even more afraid and apprehensive, yet still motivated with excitement.

I climbed into the aircraft, without any trouble and sat comfortable in my seat. My pilot was really nice and friendly, asking some questions out of interest and re-assuring me about the situation. He checked the safety precautions, while explaining what he was doing. He then taught me how to set off, I did as I was told and we ended up in the air! I was amazed! I was in the air! And I was the one who had controlled the aircraft to do that. When we were up in the air, we were peacefully and smoothly gliding through the air. We did a few rotations and turns, which were not bad. I was really relaxed through the process. The G-force wasn’t that bad either.

The pilot then asked me if I wanted to do acrobatics. My heart was racing, but before I could stop myself the word ‘yes’ came out of my mouth! He explained what acrobatics we could do. We started off going 90 degrees vertically upwards straight to the sky then fell to the side slowly and smoothly. The G-force did hurt my ears and began to get worse and worse the higher we got in the air, but it was ok; I could handle it.

The pilot asked if I wanted to do a backwards loop; I thought that the G-force wasn’t too bad the first time, and thought that I could handle these acrobatics. The pilot asked if I wanted to control this backwards loop. I answered yes because it seemed such a good opportunity. He explained and told me how to perform the manouevre. I slowly tilted my joystick towards me; it was really sensitive and followed out what ever direction I put into. Then we were upside down and I thought my head was going to explode! The G-force pressed violently towards my ear with the pain growing. We were finally the right way up; still the G-force was pounding in my ears.

We finished with a few turns and the pilot telling me where about we were heading to and travellin over. He re-explained the controls at the front of the aircraft, and then headed back to Cosford.

I landed the plane, with permission from the pilot. I said thank-you and went back in the waiting room. It had been such a successful, fun and exciting day, yet on the way home from I had a really bad migraine due to the G-force. When I got in I was so tired and felt ill, so I went straight to bed.

When I am older I want to join the RAF and be a pilot. I really hope that I get used to the G-force or it might affect what I’d like to do in the future, but we never know, I might change my mind.

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