I feel a little as if I'm going to meet a posse of men dressed in long coats at the OK Corral !
I'm at the airport at 8:20 am, and manage to snap a few pictures of the 'flying lawnmower' at first landing, then starting again and going overhead with another student.
At 8:45, Jefferey meets me at a wire-mesh gate of the grounds of KOA (Kona international airport), just 20 meters away from the ''aircraft'. The idea of leisurely sitting back and taking pictures during the flight dies right away. Nothing is allowed in my pockets or hands that could hit the propeller behind me. Then for 5 minutes he starts explaining to me how to steer on the ground and in the air, how to gain and loose altitude, etc etc. I start wondering why I need to know all this and get a slightly queasy feeling in my stomach. Then we hope into the aircraft, he starts the engine, and tells me to use the foot pedals to taxi along the yellow line to runway
|not my pic|
|Manta Ray (not my pic)|
|Not my pic|
|Cumulus cloud (not my pic)|
That cumulus cloud is a sign that the land below it is heating up quite a bit and is sending hot turbulent air upwards. And I'm flying through that turbulent air on a lawnmower !
Finally he takes over the controls for a quick landing, which was SCARY (You don't sit in a metal tube with windows high above the ground; You RAPIDLY approach the ground in a LAWN CHAIR !)
A bit more taxiing (My job again) and we're back to the hangar. When I get out of the aircraft, both arms and legs are WOBBLY !
Then it's time to take off my loaned gear: swim-vest, sweatshirt, and aviator glasses ;-) Jefferey and a student are looking after refueling and checking bits and pieces, while I am still speechless. That was NICE !