White Whales and Windmills

I admit it:  I am a sucker for a Quest.  Something about seeing a seemingly impossible goal coalesce into reality from the vapours of hard work and determination and plain stubbornness.

I have recently finished reading the great Moby Dick.  I am currently reading Don Quixote.  I read The Lord of the Rings every year whether I need to or not.  So its not surprising this is the filter I see the world through sometimes.

Speaking of uphill battles and hard to reach goals, I recently attempted to take my Flight Test for my Pilot’s Certificate, the training chronicles of which have been painstakingly gathered and summarised in this very Blog.

I can not catch a break… Taking no chances, I got there an hour early, and even went to the aviation supply shop to replace all my expired maps and charts just to get my head in the game. I then went out and did a very thorough Preflight Inspection and Brett jumped in to officially start me off.  I performed damn-near perfect radio calls and taxi procedures, a text-book short field takeoff – and……..


….. it starts raining.

So Brett hops on the radio and contacts the tower requesting a full-stop.  The tower operator asks us to confirm that “ops are normal”.  Brett replies that they are, but we need to come in early due to the rain and the fact that the propeller is wooden.

It was pretty light, and we had been hoping it might pass by, but in the end its better to be on the ground wishing you were flying than to be flying and wishing you were on the ground.  Precious bl**dy wooden prop…

With my brain in “test mode” this was certainly unexpected, and I think i adjusted pretty well.  My cage was just a little bit rattled but I managed to mold myself to the circumstance and get down and dry.  I did get a partial pass on the ground handling, short field takeoff, and crosswind flapless landings, with the rest To Be Continued…

It stayed pretty light for a little while so I hung around just in case it miraculously cleared up.  Brett walked me over to another hangar and showed me in and around a nice twin-engine Beechcraft Duchess.  Now that thing looks like it goes like shit from a shovel!

Within half an hour, it was clear that it was not going to clear up.  I also had booked the following day, Sunday, which would have been my first Nav lesson (presuming I passed my test) so we just decided we would hope for better weather and do it then.  I am not too fussed about getting the Nav lessons done too quickly, I just want to get the certificate milestone (or is that millstone?) reached.

As it happens, it rained pretty much non-stop on Sunday as well – Brett sent me a message in the morning to let me know that all lessons were off for the day.  So I set about the business of enjoying the day with other plans, Rebecca and I joined up with my sister and her husband and my nephew to meet some new friends.

And you know that all eyes were on me when at about 2:00 the clouds cleared like the Red Sea for Moses and the sun poked its little head up over the balcony.  Honestly… I get that the universe does not want me to get this done without a fight, but does it have to taunt me with it??

Am I Ahab, forever hunting but never to dominate the White Whale?  Am I tilting at Windmills?

However, I think it will be a good thing, as I have a bit of a preview as to what the test is like (including the practice one a couple of weeks ago) so nerves should not be a factor when the stars and planets finally line up.  I am scheduled for Saturday the 15th at 1130.

Was hoping for this post to be The One where I get to report that the Ring has finally made it to Mt. Doom, but poor old Frodo has just a bit more to go…