I had my usual Sunday flight lesson with Tim this morning (03/18/2012) and I arrived at 7.55 am on a cloudy day with the sun occasionally trying to peek through the clouds. The temperature was around 16 C (60 F). When I went in to the school building I didn’t find anyone at the front desk. So I completed my check-in form and placed it on the table waiting for the person to return to his / her post. Just then Aaron, one of the lines men at Thunderbird entered and picked up the phone that was ringing. He began speaking to Joe who was supposed to have been on duty but apparently didn’t know that he was working this morning. Another instructor arrived and we greeted one another. I’ve seen him around before but do not know his name. Aaron gave me the folder for the plane and said, “You might as well pre-flight until Tim arrives”. I said okay and went out to do the pre-flight inspection and by the time I returned ten minutes later, Tim was chatting with Aaron. We greeted one another and the fact that Tim wasn’t wearing any glasses was quite evident.
“It seems that every time I book a flight lesson for you with Jeremy it gets really windy”, said Tim laughingly. I laughed too and said, yes it was pretty bad yesterday and when Jeremy disembarked the plane and came in to the building he didn’t even greet me, but said “You’re not flying today Tiger”. Tim laughed and said, “Yeah he called me and said that it was pretty bad and that a couple of students cancelled half way through their flight lessons”, he continued, “Okay I’ll get my headphones and we’ll go”. I said okay and I went out and boarded the plane and Tim followed a minute or two later. We chatted about his Lasik surgery and his Police examination while we put the seat belts and headphones on and made preparations to fly. Tim said that he now had 20/15 vision which is apparently better than 20/20 vision which is what most people have normally. I asked him if there much pain involved and he said that no pain was involved during the surgery itself and the doctor told him to go home and rest the eyes by taking a nap. “I couldn’t take a nap because it was in the middle of the day and I couldn’t sleep”, said Tim, and continued, “They advise a nap because the eyes hurt a little as if you have some sand in your eyes”.
Just then Tim pushed the yoke back into the dashboard as it was getting in his way of putting the seat belt on, and the round ring that separates the yoke form the dashboard fell out thus making the yoke drop a little from its standard position. Tim tried to put the ring back but it wouldn’t go back in and found that it was in fact broken. He tried to see if we could still use the yoke and discovered that we could, but then said, “Yeah it’ll probably be alright but I don’t want to take a risk if something else gets tangled up inside when we’re up in the air; these planes work on a system of chains and pulleys. Let’s go and see if we can get another plane”. When we went in Joe, who had arrived by this time looked on the computer and said, there weren’t any planes available as they were all booked. There was one available and then Aaron interjected, “No it’s not, it has its 100 hour service. So it’s grounded”. Joe said there was yet another plane available but it was a light sports plane. Tim asked if I wanted to fly in that, and I said no. “I want to fly in the plane that I’m used to and if I’m not able to master my landings in that plane I don’t see the use of flying another one that I’m not used to at all”. He said okay and then looked at the schedule for the instructors and said, “Maybe you can fly with Tim later on”. Joe looked at the schedule on the computer and said, “Yeah anytime after 1.00 pm Jeremy will be free”. “But it’s going to get windier as the day progresses”, I said. “Ooooh that’s riiiiight!” said Tim a little crestfallen. And that was that. Another exciting day ended in the life of Tiger’s flying course!! I left my school saying to Tim that I will see him next week.
When I came home I introspected as to what was going on. Tim has been booking flight lessons with Jeremy because he’s not able to make it due to his Law Enforcement studies, and the weather steps in to end my weekend classes. This has happened for the past two weeks. For the past two weeks I’ve just had one flight lesson and that’s been with Jeremy. Then today I had a class with Tim, the weather although was going to get windier as the day progressed, was fine at 8.00 am when my lesson was to begin, but then there was a fault with the plane, so no lesson. I wait in great anticipation and eagerness for the whole week for my weekend flight lessons and something seems to happen to curtail them. So at about 4.11 pm I called Tim and left a message asking him what I needed to do to fly more frequently during the week. I informed him that I realized he wouldn’t be available due to his work during the week, but I wanted to obtain my Private Pilot’s Certificate as soon as possible and these delays weren’t really helping. I ended my message with a request to call me back. I’ve not heard back from him yet, but tomorrow I will go to school and see Mr. Alex Haak (who is the Chief Flight Instructor and Manager there) and speak to him about how I can fly more during the week and what I would need to do to maybe even change my instructor. I must say that if it does come to changing instructors then it is only because of the problem I’m having that I’ve mentioned above and it has nothing to do with Tims’ performance as an instructor. In fact he’s an excellent instructor and it’s unfortunate for me, that he’s only able to teach on the weekends.