Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Notes on Flying #2 - Powering Up..


Notwithstanding my earlier post about birthdays, and in fact rather reinforcing it, I had an amazing birthday. As if the mere fact that by the happiest of coincidences my flight training started on the very same day wasn't enough, I won a watch in an in-flight raffle of sorts, had two ATR flights which are things I look forward to, and once I got here, the academy folks threw me a surprise party. There is no way I can hope to beat this birthday in the years to come, so I guess it's all downhill from here. I was a bit unhappy that I wouldn't get to celebrate with friends on the exact day (even though we had a good pre birthday party before i left), but the surprise made up for it. There was a cake, and some of it was smeared on my face before the rest was dispatched. The fact that all the faculties in the academy came down made it even better, since we had a good ice breaker session where we got to know each other before classes started full swing.

The Boss, The School.

His voice was dripping with sarcasm as he mentioned the battle with the 'so called West Pakistan'. It was an indicator of his pride in having participated in the war that made the 'West' in West Pakistan redundant. It was a pleasant surprise that the classes started with a lecture on the poetic side of aviation. We were all given a copy of 'Jonathan Livingstone Seagull' wherein the Boss had inscribed,

"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things" - Antoine de Saint Exupery.

He went on to describe how the mind can become detached when flying, and how that is a time when amazing and beautiful thoughts strike you. This is the fourth time I have been gifted a copy of that book, and it's been a great read every single time. We started off with navigation, and that evening, with the navigation instructor (also e air force) in tow, lost our way back to the hostel. Of course, some of these updates are already on my facebook page, but bear with me anyway.

A friend asked me if I'm sitting at the back of the class. Somehow it seems easy to assume that, I'm told. Unfortunately, I'm a front bencher, and also the annoying geek of the class who goes "Me me me sir, I know the answer, pick me!". Well, almost. These are the most exciting classes I will probably ever attend, so I dont care, I'm gonna enjoy myself.

The highlight so far has been the uniform and the starter kit. We were given uniform shirts and tie, as well as a pilot bag with books, charts, CDs, manuals, noise cancelling headset, and an E6B flight computer. The bag falls into the insanely cool category. I have seen pilots carry those around, but never ever thought I would own one someday. Not even when I got into this course, because I'm headed to be a lowly PPL holder, while the bag is definitely airline pilot territory. Needless to say, we're inseparable.

The place, pilots.

Once the initial romantic picture of rainswept plains lifted, I got a better idea of the place. There is hardly anything around, and this is truly rural India. Not surprisingly, there is a rather feudal mindset amongst the upper class people I've met here, and I'm not entirely sure how comfortable I am with that.

Speaking of uncomfortable things, I have always known that pilots are a vain bunch, and that I myself have had the trait despite not being a pilot (yet), but the extent of that vanity among the kids who are here for their license course is sometimes a bit off-putting. Though, I do like the pilot sense of humour and it feels nice to be among people of that wavelength.

To be continued..


Anonymous said...

I would say, wait till someone gifts you a Cessna.

fulcrum said...

Haha that would be the day.. :)

crzygrl said...

my my.. :-) so it is true... the uniform can make anyyyy one look good! :-P i wonder if it works on the same principle as mirages! :-D

and I really do think there is some reason that the book is hounding you thus! something you have to unlock yet...

fulcrum said...

@divz, orupaadu angu oothalle.. :P
yep i gotta figure out what it is with me and that book, i'm fairly sure this won't be the last copy i'm gifted..

vaidehi said...

Delightful read :)

fulcrum said...

Vaidehi, thankye, more to come once laziness is beaten :)