3. I can fly a plane!


Wow wow and wow. I don’t really know what to say, this is the most incredible experience ever. It is really full on but absolutely brilliant. I have had no capacity for anything else, so I have been a bit unsociable but I just crash as soon as I get back to the hotel. I woke up a few times, which is normal for me but I slept for 12 hours last night. My flying buddy Damian text me about 8pm to see if I wanted to go out for something to eat and I had to say no as I was already in my pyjamas and could hardly move – though apparently, he had already had a couple of hours sleep.

With FSDP you are always paired with someone to do the flight training with, Damian and I are both quite goal orientated and both really want to make the most of this amazing opportunity – so we work well together. In fact, we have just about finished phase 1 of the training, which Fiona (our chief instructor) says is amazing to have done that already. We have been absolutely blessed with brilliant weather so of 5 days, we have had 4 flying days and both have been up 5 times, so had one day of 2 flights.

The first flight is just incredible, I am flying with Fiona and all of a sudden, she gave me control and before I knew what was happening we were full throttle down the runway and taking off. That feeling once you have climbed above the inversion and levelled out is just incredible, there is nothing quite like it and it is actually incredibly relaxing. I keep comparing things to being on the bike and in some respects flying a plane is quite similar to riding a motorbike. I am much more with it in the mornings and fortunately, Damian is better after a lie-in, so Fiona and I go up flying first thing – I think we usually get the best of the weather as well. On Saturday, we did some navigation and I flew us to Old Wardour Castle, which is actually where my husband and I got married, so that was lovely and very special. On Saturday we had the great war display team at Old Sarum, they were on their way to the Bournemouth air display. They were incredible to see, the planes are beautiful.

It is interesting that everyone has said that I am starting to look back like my old self again. I now have a couple of days off, where I need to pop to hospital just to get some stitches out, before I came here on Friday I had minor surgery on my neck, then moved to a new house over the weekend and then came here on the Tuesday. It is so nice to have some time without hospital appointments – I know in the 2 weeks break I will be catching up with that but I am enjoying it while it lasts.

I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying this and what a positive effect this is having on my life. I haven’t even had the time to think that I am away from my support network. Today I went out and got my wheelchair from the car on my own, we are going to go out later and I want to save all my energy for flying. It may seem like a very little thing but I have never used my wheelchair on my own, only ever when my friend or husband have been with me. So, for me that was a big step.

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