I didn’t really know what to expect. When needing to spend some vouchers, this seemed to be the most fun option and I recently realised I had two weeks left before it expired. Thus, I arrived at the Goodwood Flying School, somewhat late, after underestimating the time to get there, being stuck behind a tractor, and finding their aerodrome somewhat difficult to navigate!
With those challenges behind me, I filled in one simple form and was taken straight out to the aircraft. My instructor, Graham, talked me through the various controls and screens, did all the checks, and after about 20 minutes we were off. A simple grass runway is all thats needed for these small planes to get airborne so we were soon over Chichester cathedral.
As soon as we had reached height of about 1900m with speed of around 90mph, and he had demonstrated a couple of partial turns, I was allowed to take the controls. I was surprised at their sensitivity and how little there was to actually do. You could quite easily have no-one touching the controls and the plane would continue flying relatively smoothly (providing good weather conditions) for quite some time. I was guilty of twitching them a bit too often, wanting to feel how the plane reacted rather than needing to move.
Soon we were over Portsmouth harbour, then I turned us left, pointing east along the south coast. I deliberately bent us right over Selsey, where I had been for Sir Patrick’s picnic a month earlier, before we then banked left and Graham took control again, to take us back in for landing.
A great experience, thoroughly recommended!