Its been a tough week, full of excitement, anxiousness and disappointment. Six months of planning came down to four days of waiting to see if the adventure was going to become a reality.
Unfortunately, with lousy weather preventing half of the team from joining us, and then on the last day, engine issues with the support plane signalled the final death knell for the adventure.
The waiting, the uncertainty, is the hardest part of flying trips.
Flying isn’t just getting up in the air, flying around and having a bit of fun. It’s an experience full of mixed emotions.
It starts with the anticipation, a pinch of anxiety in the gut, like the nervousness before asking the girl or guy that you’re keen on out on a first date.
Driving down to the airfield, peering out the car’s windscreen searching for a sign that the weather might be clearing in the direction you need to fly. A hint of blue between the grey-white cotton balls provides some hope, telling your passenger “There’s some blue – it’s getting better!”, in an attempt to make your wish come true.
Preparing the plane, checking fuel, oil, and packing it just right to be ready for a quick getaway when the sky grants you permission to fly.
Waiting…… waiting……… waiting……
Straining your eyes towards the horizon, butterflies of excitement in your tummy as the sky looks clearer to the west… waiting… no its crap again. The little bit of hope drifts away….. waiting…..
Calling up weather stations in every direction in the hope of finding an escape route.
Waiting….. waiting…….. the hours tick by getting closer to the deadline to call it quits for the day. Will we get out?
The deadline ticks over. A feeling of disappointment drapes over your soul, the anxiety lifts, the decision has been made. It’s over for the day.
Heading home with a heavy heart, reviewing the flight plan in your head. Can it be revised to make up for the lost day?
Watching the weather on channel 2, wondering if you will get out tomorrow.
With each delay, the stress gets a little more as the buffer days are used up as we get closer to cancelling the flight, closer to ending the adventure.
But for those lucky flyers who manage to escape the clutches of the weather gods and make it over the wall, the exhilarating feeling of overcoming the challenge is the best reward.
Not every adventure or challenge attempted will come off. We can only plan for so much; the only thing we are really in control of is ourselves. The unknown, the uncertainty, the things we can’t control are what makes it an adventure.