Proof That Robyn Was Once A Student
While you struggle to control the airplane and yourself, your instructor probably
assures you that everyone has these problems, and that you will eventually
learn, but sometimes that can be hard to believe. While I was learning
to fly, I sent detailed e-mail messages to a friend, all about me learning
to fly. I am posting these messages here so that you can laugh at me,
and realize that even someone that scared, sick, confused and incompetent
can become a safe, licenced pilot.
These probably aren't interesting enough to be worth reading through, but
after skimming a couple you should be reassured.
I didn't save all my outgoing mail, so there's a lot missing here: no first
solo, no flight test. I'll add those if I find them.
My Romulan Flight Instructor
Before I learned to fly I played an interactive (now defunct) online game
called TrekMUSE. On the game I pretended to be a Klingon scoutship
pilot; I "flew" my ship and talked to the other players by typing at my computer
keyboard. The online Klingon Empire wasn't always the most exciting corner
of the galaxy, so I spent a lot of time just chatting to other players as
people, instead of playing the game.
One day I received a message that another player,
a senior commander in the Romulan Empire, had broken his leg very severely
and was feeling useless and sorry for himself. He was in great need of cheering
up. The disabled Romulan was a pilot, so I had him tell me about flying.
To my surprise, the way he described airplane flying had nothing to do with
video games. I was impressed by the breadth and depth of information involved
in piloting an airplane, and insisted that he teach me all about it.
Over the next several months he taught me aerodynamics, navigation, and aircraft
procedures, all through online chat.
After he had recovered, I went to his city and he took me for a real flight
in a Cessna 152. I was sick out the window of the airplane, but enjoyed
it enough that I insisted we go up again the next day. I was hooked.
The very next weekend I went to my local airport and started flying lessons.
The links at right are letters and online chats with the Romulan, whom
I'm going to call Rex, detailing my progress.
The letters have been edited for profanity, to change the names of some identifiable
people, and to remove parts that have nothing to do with flying. I have
not edited out my own mistakes and misunderstandings, so do not believe everything
that student pilot Robyn says.
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This page written 4 August 2003 by Robyn Stewart. Last revised
6 August 2003.
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