I had such a fantastic day today! I had two New Years Resolutions this year. One was to milk a cow the other was to fly over Sligo and take photographs. I’m delighted to say thanks to the kindness of people and to good luck I’ve completed both. I entered a competition on Facebook for a flying lesson with Sligo Aero Club.…and I won!!! So today was the big day and I headed off to Sligo Airport where the Aero Club are based.
It was strange walking into the airport, at one time it was a hive of activity with Aer Arann flights heading to Dublin, sadly the flights ceased in July 2011, the check in desk remains along with the departure and arrival signs.
Now I have to admit I’m not the best flyer in the world, so to say I was nervous is an under-statement, in fact up until last year I had a serious phobia of flying but I’m a great believer in doing things out of my comfort zone. I also really wanted to take aerial photos over Sligo. The photo above is the plane I went up in…eek! It’s a Cessna C152 EI-BIB.
Thanks to John for taking this photo…you can see the fear in my face 😉 Sligo Aero Club has been training pilots for more than 35 years – firstly at a grass strip near Coolaney, Co. Sligo and since 1978 at the current Sligo Airport location in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. The club members I met were so friendly and welcoming, they were telling me all about the planes and there will be another blog post to tell you everything.
This is Sean the pilot, he was brilliant. It was quite a windy day but he was so good flying the plane and it didn’t feel too bumpy. The take off and landing were fine too and I was very worried about that because I thought the runway was very short, although I was told by the club members that compared to some airports they’ve landed in this is a really long runway.
I have to say the most challenging part for me was getting into the plane! Until John told me there is a step on the wing to climb up on! So in I went complete with my life jacket, although I was assured in all the years they’ve been flying no one has ever needed a life jacket, I was hoping I wouldn’t be the first. I had to wear head phones as it’s very noisy in the plane and also there was a mouthpiece so I could talk to Sean and so he could talk to me and also air traffic control.
I was doing well until we had to turn and ended up at the angle above!! We didn’t stay like that for long though 🙂
Above is Benwiskin Mountain. I’d really better leave the blog post at this or I’ll be here all night. I just want to say a huge thanks to Sligo Aero Club for making a dream come true for me. I’d highly recommend a flying lesson to anyone, its great fun and the scenery is just amazing.