and welcome to February! I am very sorry that you did
not see any updates for the month of January. There
were very many technical issues with the website the
last few weeks. But do no dispair! Everything seems
to be fixed now. Many congratulations are due to those
who have earned a rating or license since the New Year.
As well, a big congrats to Andrew Campbell who became
(finally) a Class One Flight Instructor. If you are
interested in furthering your flying education and becomming
a Flight Instructor, speak to him directly. Furthermore,
we are in the process of creating an e-mailing list
to keep everyone informed about current and upcomming
events. If you'd like to sign up, send your name and
email address to Piotr
the New Year... (not that a lot has happend or anything!)
One Flight Instructor Rating
TO YOUR INSTRUCTORS!
[They could save your life]
I earned my Commercial Pilot's Licence in March 2001.
One of the prerequisites for that licence is a 300nm
cross-country trip, so I took the Grob to Orillia, Sault
Ste. Marie, North Bay and back to Ottawa one fine autumn
evening. Weather for the final leg (North Bay to Ottawa)
was overcast at 8000 with good visibility and a moderate
tail-wind. I filed a VFR plan direct to Killaloe VOR
then direct to Ottawa VOR at 5500', and took off at
1:25am. It's pretty dark over Algonquin Park on an overcast
There are no lights to give you any reference to the
horizon, so it's nothing but a big, black hole off the
nose of the aircraft. I committed the cardinal sin of
moving my head too quickly, and vertigo and spatial
disorientation set in. My body was absolutely convinced
that the aircraft was yawing strongly to the left. I
was in danger of losing control of this fabulous airplane!
I began to panic!! Even though I was alone on this flight,
I began to hear the sweet voice of my flight instructor
whispering into the back of my mind: "Trust your instruments.
They never lie!" So, head down I went.
Attitude indicator and turn co-ordinator were showing
straight and level flight. Heading indicator, airspeed
and altitude were all correct and constant. The anxiety
dissipated immediately. I set up my instrument scan
and focused on keeping them that way, occasionally glancing
at the CDI/VOR to ensure that I was still on course.
Every once in while, I would risk further vertigo and
peek outside to search for the horizon and any other
aircraft. After about forty minutes, the lights of Pembroke,
Cobden and Renfrew twinkled into view on the horizon,
and I breathed a great sigh of relief. Thank you Kristina,
wherever you are. Your gentle insistence that I master
instrument flight has saved this pilot's life.