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Finally had chance to put into practice what I learnt on the course way back in January. Funny feeling really, wanted and expected to feel nervous but was actually more curious about what was going on. It was a challenge I would previously have been really concerned about as I was travelling to Ireland and knew the airport had been closed the previous day due to snow (thought about your list of question I was challenged with in the course!)
Flew Heathrow to Belfast on an Airbus A320 and shut my eyes to ‘feel’ what was happening on the plane. Spool engines up, take off power, take-off and then the power down, even felt the change in angle of the plane and understood what was happening to my sensations. Even on the descent (the bit I hated) was able to think about the sensations and that the plane was not falling, anticipated the flaps and undercarriage followed by a smooth landing, even had time to feel the different angles we adopted on the descent.
Flew back Dublin to Heathrow, Airbus A321. Plane was delayed and prior to the course would have the thought the worse and started to worry. Was a little more apprehensive than in the morning (perhaps was tired after a busy day?) but boarded without any problem. The flight was at night so not much to see outside. Listened to the noises of the engines and felt the movements of the plane as we took off, cruised and began the descent. We seemed to line up with the runway a long way out as we were in a ‘slow’ level flight for a long time. Good chance to look out the window and see Windsor castle.
I never thought I would be able to relax half as much as I did and know it was down to you resetting my perspective on flying and having some very good facts to call on when trying to understand what was going on. I am actually looking forward to flying again to make sure this was not a one off.
Thanks to Keith