Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I am back!

Well, it’s now or never… I dived to 140 mph and then pulled on a stick to start the loop. And then pushed on a stick to stop the loop a few seconds later as tunnel vision made its presence known again. Plane hovered in zero G for a second, then started flying again. As the plane flew straight and level, I contemplated what to do next.

It was a few weeks after my blackout episode. I had a very successful dual session a week prior, doing loops, rolls, hammerheads and immelmans. Consequently, I knew there was nothing physically wrong with me. Whatever it was this time was entirely in my head. The blackout episode scared me quite a bit and that fear was preventing me from doing easy things I have done dozen of times before.

As I flew around I thought that the fear seemd to be associated with the upside down part of the loop since that was where the blackout happened. I then decided to try a hammerhead. I am sure that was probably the clumsiest hammerhead I have ever done, but it worked. Encouraged, I tried again, and then again and again – they all worked and I had no fear or tunnel vision.

Few hammerheads later, it was time for a loop again, except this time it went perfectly fine. I screamed “I am back” in relief as I was pulling out of the loop as I knew that I just overcame a huge barrier in my head. The relief and joy I was experiencing was immeasurable. The session got better and better afterwards.

I flew along the east-west roads, using hammerheads and 1.5 turn spins to change directions. I practiced more loops, rolls, some combinations of the above and inverted flight until my stomach nearly gave up and ordered straight and level flight with an open window. I was at about 3,500 ft and close to home field, so decided to call it a day and headed for the barn, i.e. airport.

Hobbs meter registered 1.0 hrs of flying time. One of the most meaningful hours of my short flying career. And i am already looking forward to the next session - will be practicing cuban 8's.

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