I’m about to find out if my mother reads my blog
I’ve done it again. I need a measly three take-offs and landings within the last 90 days in order to take passengers. It’s a sensible rule: they don’t want people getting out of practice, then bundling the family into the plane and crash-landing due to incompetence. If you’ve flown within six months and think you can hack it, you can kill yourself. Just don’t mess with other people. Seems fair.
Thing is, my last flight in the past 90 days was our trip to the Alps: one take-off, one landing. Obviously, these tend to match.
We are meeting my mother in Rome in a week and flying her to Germany. She’s never been in the plane and is very excited.
Now I might not do the flying, based on weather or other factors. We tend to leave this stuff open … and that’s fine. But I need to be able to fly. I am certainly NOT telling my mother that I’m not flying because I’m not allowed to, because I let my license lapse. Ugh.
The Saratoga is in Málaga so I could just jump in and go flying. There’s only two issues:
1) I hate Málaga.
2) Málaga hates me.
That’s only half true. Málaga is totally overloaded and really does not have the time to deal with nervous pilots in light aircraft. It isn’t personal. But they tend to be abrupt and unfriendly. This makes me nervous and starts off a downward spiral where I get less and less competent and they get more and more stressed.
I’ve been avoiding Málaga all year.
It’s crunch-time though: I have to get up in the air. We came up with a clever plan: Cliff will fly the plane from Málaga to Axarquia, the small airfield north-east of Málaga. I will drive there and then get in the plane and do a few circuits, that way we can leave the plane there for maintenance and drive home at leisure.
I’ve not flown at Axarquia since I originally did my license in the Cessna. If I’m honest, I’m scared. The airfield is surrounded by hills and if I don’t watch myself I’ll fly straight into Málaga’s airspace. It is also a bit confusing because it has a displaced threshhold: the initial stretch of runway isn’t useable, you have to land a few hundred metres down. This is a safety issue — there are trees and power cables right at the start of the runway and they don’t want you descending into them.
But there’s nothing for it, I’m going to have to bite the bullet and see how I do. Someone warn Easyjet.