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So, there I was, stood in my garden one day in late October 2007 surveying the recent fall of apples when I heard the chug, chug, chug of a plane overhead. Looking up I saw it was a small, single engine biplane. I figured it looked easy to fly so thought - why don’t I have a go?

At which point my imagination took hold with thoughts of flying friends to France, Spain - the world 😀

As it was only a small, single engine biplane the sky wasn’t exactly the limit, this time round. Then again, mighty oaks from little acorns grow and why should I be any different? Nothing ventured and all.

So, my idea being - I would buy a small, four-seater plane as part ownership and we would all go ‘fly mad’ and have lots of fun…in theory. But as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. Read on, dear people…

The first step in my bid to fly was to enrol for some flying lessons and Wickenby Airfield near Wragby, Lincolnshire, was the best option. First hurdle - the price which was on the high side. I’m talking back in 2007 when it was £100 for an hour’s lesson. (It has since doubled). The plan was for you to have twenty lessons after which the instructor would assess whether you had, to put it bluntly, any chance whatsoever of becoming a qualified pilot. Well, sad to say, I never made the magic twenty. But more of that later.

It was a warm, sunny day in late July when I took my first lesson. The instructor, a tall, middle aged man called Ron, took me through the basic flight controls and manoeuvres – going higher, lower, faster, slower and so on. As I was learning to taxi before take off, suddenly, we were airborne. I was able to take the controls and fly over the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside. At one point, with Ron guideding me, we flew over my cottage in Greetham which was amazing.

I was so involved in the project that I bought a flying manual called ‘Learn to Fly and Become a Pilot’ as it seemed to fit the bill exactly. I was allowed to take the controls several times. Surely, I was well on my way to becoming a pilot?

Sadly however after about a dozen lessons, Ron told me I just wasn’t going to make the grade. He said I lacked sufficient co-ordination skills which basically meant the ability to do several different things at the same time – checking speed and altitude, manoeuvring aircraft into required position, using correct controls and so on. This was a real blow and thoroughly deflated my dreams of flying the oceans of the world.

Our local AWOC meeting. Laugh out loud by the looks of it.

At least I was told the 'no hope' news early on which saved me some money. I was so proud of myself that I’d 'had a go'.

For what do they say? ‘You’re never too old to try something new.’


You are never too old to try something new.

Justmeandlilley's new mantra. Make it yours, dear readers, make it yours. AWOC is just a word. Don't let it stop you doing stuff is what Kath is saying.

She's right, isn't she? Being AWOC has stopped me doing things in the past. Because I am very aware of my soloness amongst a crowd of families or couples. But for Kath that is an irrelevance. And so it is - an irrelevance.

Let's all be Kath and just do it.

KT - thank you.


Kath T - I know you have other ambitious adventures to write about. Come on lass - kickstart your starship soul. We’re waiting

Kath and I enjoying afternoon coffee one lazy afternoon.


Kath's travelling cat Marmite staring at the local opposition who got brave (or got lost) and attempted illegal entry.

1 comment

1 Yorum

Kate Gwynne
Kate Gwynne
17 May 2022

I love this story! xx

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