It was 9.30am January 13th 2005 the best buzz day of my life I thought as I landed on Warnervale (NSW) airstrip. Runway 20 lives in my veins forever.
My mind and body was super charged with gratification of an accomplished feat that I had conquered and I literally felt my soul was going to rise out of my body and I had to tug it back into its socket.
In the beginning I saw training planes at Warnervale CTAF comprising of four Cessna 150’s with 100 engine horsepower taking two passegers up into the troposphere once the ground speed reached 60knots or 110 klm (64 miles per hour). With just a litte pull back on the control there was no tyre vibration from the undercarriage anymore, the nose was pitched towards a mountain peak in the distance the reality of flying like an eagle changes everything you knew as a mortal animal walking upon the earth. If I had not satisfied each instructor (there was four of them) that I could steer the plane straight on the runway after 49hours training then this flying thing was not for me.
The instructor was chief in the Warnervale Flight training school a man in his 60s with more flying experience in his eyebrow than I had in the last 6 months of weekend, gut churning , sweaty encounters trying to prove to myself that I can handle this flying planes, I am going to be flying for the rest of my life.
At approximately 300ft Chief casually mentions for me to look behind at the runway I had just ascended from and man was I off line. “See what happens when you relax pressure on the right rudder pedal the bloody thing will go sideways.” Anyway more right rudder , full throttle, maintain heading and keep the ball centred in the balance co-ordinator instrument “oh and dont forget to look where your going for christ sake.”
Climbing , climbing the Altimeter starting to read 450ft , 500ft commence turn to left following the circuit, holy hell ! what was that ? was that feathers whisking around the prop?
“Did you know you just flew between two eagles?” “No captain didnt see them”. “Well you just did.”
I felt like a dork and proceeded to sound technical with “Whats the worst thing that could happen if I HAD hit one of them?” “Would the prop have cut the eagle to pieces?” Chief says “probably not, more like it would have smashed through the window screen , very hurt, very angry and scratch your face off” AND you would still have to land the plane.”