Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Up up and away and I'm here.

I managed to get home safe and sound and the brain has finally relaxed from a very busy month on a steep learning curve.
The flight home via Bahrain was pretty uneventful which is all you can ask for and then it was lovely to see my smiling wife waiting for me at the train station when I had got back through the fine Devon countryside.
A cooler temperature, a happy wife, a happy dog and an even happier pilot all was well in the world and time for a long walk in the woods.
Yesterday (Monday) I had to head up to Stansted airport to meet my new aircraft and meet up once again with my new flying colleague who will be my new boss on the Global Express XRS which is a private operation.
Due to the nature of Private aviation I won't really be able to write who is on the aircraft, where we are or where we are going.
The object of yesterday was for me to have a familiarisation flight on the real thing and learn about the quirks and systems of our particular model of Global Express.
The bonus of it was I was able to take my wife Naomi along too to see what I would now be flying and meet the new team.
It was nice for me as well to meet up with the new work team, the aircraft Captain, Andy, who took me through a walk around the exterior of the aircraft and I was then able to start up the engines. The idea being to go for a short flight in the local area around London Stansted, get into the cruise and then bring it in for my first landing in the new plane.
Not so surprisingly the cockpit was exactly as the simulator had been, the only difference really was the outside looked very real now.
We taxied out for runway 22 at Stansted sandwiched in between two Ryan Air jets. I have to admit at this point this felt pretty exhilarating .
We were cleared for take off Runway 22, I had control of the plane and it was time to engage the throttles push them in the direction of the firewall and feel those 2 Rolls Royce jet engines fire up and we were being pushed down the runway and time for the standard call outs.

"Check Thrust"
"Thrust Set"
"Airspeed Alive"
"80 Knots"
"Check"
"V1"
"Rotate"
And we were off the ground
"Positive Rate"
"Gear Up"
"400 ft"
"Engage Autopilot and flight level change"

In a matter of seconds we were at 4000 feet levelling of on the Instrument departure from Stansted.
What went by in a blur over half an hour, I was being vectored for the ILS approach 22 for stansted.
We popped out of the clouds at 2500 feet and the boss told me I could hand fly as much as I wanted.
Game on, autopilot out and I was looking at the runway off in the distance, the hands slightly sweating.
A cursory glance over to the boss and he had a smile on his face, he could see I was enjoying getting to know my new steed.
Before I knew it she was calling out to me 100, 50, 30 as the runway got ever nearer.
I gently eased back on the controls to flare at 30 feet and there was the comforting feeling of rubber on runway and I was in. I was chuffed to bits with a nice landing.
Cheekliy with smile, Andy turned to me to say " I'm sure that was more by luck than judgement" with a wink.
I'm going to enjoy flying with Andy.

A quick taxi back to the Hangar and it was checklists and shut down.
Andy got out of his seat to sort out opening the door and I sat and took a moment to my self.
My legs were a little like jelly and I was smiling the smile of a man who's won the lottery.
"I'm here" I said out loud.

The thoughts of the stresses and strains of the last month of training were deposited firmly and deeply in the back of my brain.
Its time to enjoy the flying and enjoy the flying I really will.





Up and away again..... heading North, a long day and then home.....

At Starbucks in Beirut, thinking about where I'd like us to go away holiday this year The phone rings..... "Can we leave to...