Andre, as anyone who follows this site will know, has recently gained his recreational pilot license. He is now able to take a passenger. Having recently turned 40 (in December), Andre suggested beers and a flight as a gift. We did the beers in December, but I had to wait until Andre passed his exams to go for the flight. Well, Andre passed with ‘flying colours’ so to speak, coming top of his class (2013) at the St Catharines Flying Club. We headed out for an evening flight on Sunday. It was a couple of degrees below zero, but it felt a lot colder as Andre took me around the plane for some pre-flight checks. I must say, flying a plane has always seemed a lot of hassle to me. There are so many things to remember… important things. That’s why they have written check lists to follow. We checked for fuel levels, water in the fuel, air speed indicator, oil levels, moving surfaces etc and then climbed in. The cabin was preheated. Apparently engines don’t like cold starts, so they get them toasty warm before you set off. The upshot is the cabin was very much warmer than the outside. We spent another 10 minutes or so going through lots of pre-flight checks in the cabin. The array of dials, instruments and buttons looks overwhelming, but Andre knew his stuff and rattled off all the safety checks like a pro.
There was a moment during his safety briefing where I though Andre was suggesting we would bail out without parachutes in an emergency, but it turned out he was talking about an emergency on the ground.. pheww!