Whilst Air Law dictates that a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) holder, whether fixed-wing or rotary, must take-off and land three times every three months in order to remain ‘current’, most Aerodromes (and Pilots) believe that a three-month gap is too long and so Aircraft Owners that offer Self-Fly Hire (SFH) agreements insist on a take-off and landing every month for insurance purposes.
Having last flown on 22nd Aug 2014 with my friend Nikki, I was due a ‘currency’ flight around 20th Sept just as G-WIZR (the Robinson R22 resident at Peterborough Conington Aerodrome for which I have a Type-Rating to fly) was due for its 2,000-hour overhaul and so I fell ‘out of currency’ – until yesterday!
Yesterday I flew a single circuit at Conington with my Chief Flying Instructor (CFI), Mick Horrell in his new R22 G-DHGS (pictured). Whilst the machine is just starting it’s 2nd reincarnation having been rebuilt at 2,000 hours and again recently at 4,000 hours, it still looks, feels and performs as new and still has the ‘paper’ covers in the foot-wells!
…privileged, relieved, excited, you name it, simply chuffed to be flying again.
Surely one of the most destructive and corrosive phrases ever coined by industry is “labour-saving”?
Not only does it imply that human physical exertion is something that should be avoided, “I’ll take the car”, “…the elevator”, “the escalator”, but sadly some individuals have, over time, adopted a mindset that they’re actually above exerting themselves, that they’ve perhaps achieved such an elevated status in life that physical exertion is somehow below them?
Whilst the car, the elevator and the escalator are all amazing inventions, they are now being used through want as opposed to through need. Somewhat paradoxically, as human athletic performance gets ‘evolved-out’ over time due to laziness, these devices will eventually need to be used rather than being used through choice.
What could be better than just walking?
Walking on sand near the ocean or walking on grass near trees.
Away from concrete, car fumes, crowds & noise.
Away from complication.
Surrounded by the sights, the sounds and the smells of nature.
Surrounded by simplicity.
Ideally, wearing flip-flops or maybe wearing Golf Shoes.
What could be better than just walking?
During the peak of summer 2011, while riding too fast trying to keep up with my wonderful dog, Bloo…
… I crashed my bicycle shattering my right Clavicle, fracturing my Scapular and cracking three ribs…
As my breathing recovered from the winding caused at impact, I started to think about what to do next?
Too proud & embarrassed to call for help, I got back on to my bike and started the desperate journey back toward The Badger (Jeep).
Along the way, Bloo ran off chasing Rabbits on the Golf Course and I couldn’t even shout after him, let alone chase after him.
Instead, I pressed on toward the Car Park and using the ‘working’ arm, hoisted the Bike into the Jeep and drove home…
Thankfully, later that night, as I was recuperating in A&E, we received a phone call confirming that Bloo was fine – he’d wandered into the Pub associated with the Golf Course sometime after last-orders and, rather than shoeing him away, a kind member of staff had embraced him, read the Tag on his collar and phoned us. Phew!
This week, I was privileged to return that kindness after a beautiful Greyhound ran into a busy road hitting the side of an oncoming car.
With the poor creature shocked and hurt, shaking and crying out loud, onlookers simply didn’t know what do, including the unfortunate driver of the passing car who was clearly not to blame.
Something inside me ‘kicked-in’ and I simply knew what needed doing. I was in a suitable car; carrying a first-aid kit and a spare dog-lead. Armed with these and a huge love for dogs, I lifted the shaking Animal into the back and whizzed her to the Vet.
Molly, the magnificent five year-old Brindle Greyhound was not only Tattooed in both ears, but she was also Micro-chipped and therefore returned to her owners within a couple of hours, thankfully with a clean bill of health.
Having left my details with the Vet after the incident, I was delighted to finally speak with Molly’s owners who, like us three years’ earlier, were so unbelievably relieved & pleased to get that phone-call about their missing loved-one.
I have three brothers-in-law all three are in their forties. One of them is married (at the time of writing!) and the other two are engaged. The eldest, who is fast approaching his 50th Birthday, has chosen today, Friday 13th (considered as an unlucky day in Western superstition…) to take his prospective bride up the aisle.
Q. At the biblical 11th hour, will he be choosing the Red Pill, or the Blue Pill..?