Learning to Fly!

IMG_3920I 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.

IMG_3921It 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.

IMG_3907Now 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.

IMG_3960Thanks to John for taking this photo…you can see the fear in my face πŸ˜‰ 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.

IMG_4163This 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.

IMG_3914I 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.

IMG_3962The plane has dual controls…phew! So at least when you are learning the instructor can take over at any time if needed.

IMG_3967This was the first view I saw when we took to the sky. It wasn’t the best weather for it but I’m happy enough with the shots I got. I’m using the Canon 1100D that Canon-Ireland have lent me.

IMG_4007We headed over to Lissadell House on our way to the mighty Benbulben. Sligo looks so different from the air.

IMG_4036I think I said wow about fifty times!! It was so wonderful for me to see Sligo like this, a very special day.

IMG_4072There was a little dusting of snow on the top of the mountains. Sean said it’s the first snow he’s seen this Winter.

IMG_4120Above is Drumcliffe Church and the Round Tower, W. B. Yeats is buried here.


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 πŸ™‚

IMG_4145Above is Sligo town, I can make out a few of the building such as the Glasshouse Hotel and Government buildings.

IMG_4065Above is Benwiskin Mountain.Β  I’d really better leave the blog post at this or I’ll be here all night.Β  I just want to say a huge thanks to Sligo Aero Club for making a dream come true for me.Β  I’d highly recommend a flying lesson to anyone, its great fun and the scenery is just amazing.

20 thoughts on “Learning to Fly!

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  1. Wow Val, considering your trepidation of flying previously I think you deserve a medal! xx But there is nothing like it is there? I’ve been up in the clouds in a small plane a number of times with my lovely bro-in-law, and that feeling of awe is as strong every time. Thanks for sharing the photos – it helps us non locals understand the Sligo geography all the more. πŸ™‚

  2. WOW! Fair play to you Val!! I’m not fond of flying either, so you having overcome that by not just sitting in the (very small) plane as a passenger, but actually learning to fly it is extremely impressive! I don’t think I’d ever have the courage to do that. Again…WOW!

  3. realy enjoyed those great pictures Val. Sligo is changing all the time.your pics will be of great value in times to come. well done with the flying and all at Sligo airport

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