Last month my dad flew me and my sister over Newquay and Perranporth for an afternoon!
Yes, you heard right. Back in January, to celebrate his 50th, I bought my dad a flying lesson with FlyNQY, and we finally arranged a time to do it this September.
Having mastered land (driving various vehicles) and sea (with his Yachtmaster and various sailing and diving qualifications), I thought it was ‘high’ time for him to get some experience in the air too!
We arrived at the FlyNQY HQ just next to Newquay Airport, where they offer pilot training courses as well as one-off flight lessons/experience days, and filled in our safety forms. This was the point where it dawned on me that my sister and I would be flying as passengers while my dad was in control of the aircraft… slightly scary!
After that, we boarded the plane with our instructor for the day, and he talked us through all the important safety stuff. The Piper Warrior PA28 holds 4 people (pilot, co-pilot and two passengers), and – thankfully! – has dual controls so that while my dad was technically the main one fully in control of the plane, our instructor was able to help and step in where needed.
Taking off was pretty breezy, although a little nerve-wracking! I’ve never been in a non-commercial aircraft before and it felt so small… basically like we were in a flying car. Once in the air, climbing into the skies, it was awesome to look down at Newquay below and see it from a new perspective.
Of course, if you’ve ever flown out of Newquay airport on a commercial flight, you’ll probably be familiar with the view, so the fun part was when we carried down the coast to Perranporth and St. Agnes. Having lived in the St. Agnes area for my whole childhood, it was so cool to see all the places I know from this birds-eye view, even spotting my grandparents house as we went!
Our total time in the air was probably around 40 minutes, which was plenty for me because I’d stupidly forgotten to take travel sickness tablets before we left and I was feeling a tad queasy. Landing was definitely more stressful, but our instructor took over to complete the complicated bits, all while remaining calm and talking us through everything which was really interesting.
Safe on the ground, my dad was presented with a certificate to mark his first flying lesson before we headed off for some lunch (mainly to cure my butterflies…). I think he really enjoyed it and he said he’d do it again, so definitely a #win of a present!
You can find information about flying lessons on the FlyNQY website. I’m not sponsored to write this, just thought I’d share the experience :)