I think two depressives in a helicopter may prove fatal?

This morning started off in bed. No problem there. Nothing happened, I watched the end of the F1 qualifier. It was time to jump in the car and head up to Staverton. It was a beautiful day, no wind. I met with Stuart, nice chap, hadn’t met him before. Very professional instructor, captains shirt, tie, nicely turned out. We had a chat, went though a few things and then we went out. I haven’t really flown properly since my birthday back in April. So I fucked up part of the checklist trying to rush it and ballsed the order of the friction and engine RPM. No one died. All set to go. The radio calls today actually were pretty much on the money, shame nothing else really was. Taxied to hell-north, apparently far too quickly, although it was about half the speed James used to do. So walked across the airport at a very sedate pace. I then belted into a transition and up over the golf course, apparently again far too quickly. The first circuit I almost missed the airport completely, let alone the heli marker. I did about another four circuits in the hour, they did get better, but overall I was going to quickly, I wasn’t doing the correct landing / takeoff checks, I was taught a completely different way to get into the hover than James did, it was all a little overwhelming. I’ll just put it down to the moment to being very rusty. The hour was over and to be honest I’m quite glad it was. Now I don’t have much choice, while James is away I have to stick with this guy. I’m sure he’s very good, it’s just that he’s a bit ‘different’. I don’t think this is a bad thing actually, I’m sure there things James does badly and this guy does badly, but I now have the advantage I can take the experience of two instructors and use that to my advantage.

Now. Here’s the big dilemma. My previous instructor James. I texted him when I came back from North America and said lets go for it in a couple of weeks. He sent me a text back, saying, yes, let me know when. I then had all that phone trouble so tried to phone him a couple of times, finally got through to him. He was in a clinic in California and his wife was ill. Now I had no idea what was going on. I assumed he was on holiday and his wife had a dodgy prawn or something. But today I found out that his wife passed away last week. I have no more details, but I’m assuming he was over there for some kind of treatment that didn’t pan out. So James is now off work for the foreseeable future. At some point he will be back, no doubt. But the thing that runs through my mind, if we are at 3,000ft have an engine failure and I’m making a real pigs ear of the recovery, is he going to save us from death, or say, ‘Ah, fuck it’? My moods go through as many peaks and troughs as a 2Ghz sine wave in a year (If you don’t get my obscure references you will have to Google them). I just don’t know if I could trust the mental state of someone in that position. It’s a tough one.

Anyway, came back. Went to Jamie’s dad’s for a BBQ. It was fine actually. We had quite a good laugh with some photo mixing Jamie was doing on his iPad. Food was a bit lacking, I only had one burger and a sausage. Granddad was great as normal.

So a bit of a mixed day overall. Flying again next Sunday, lets see if I can at least get circuits under control again.

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