By lex, on May 2nd, 2009
Just the one flight today, and our passenger was a remarkable woman – a veteran sky diver – of some 50-odd summers enjoying the birthday present her husband gave her. Her adversary was a 17-year old man who told me that he had never flown before, but that he nevertheless knew how to fly. Having read about it in books and such. Video games, and so on. Flight simulators.
You can probably guess where this is going to go.
I had a bit of a challenge getting her to max perform the airplane in the familiarization phase. Hesitant on roll rates. Reluctant to crank on the (really, very modest) g-forces required to turn the machine. As opposed to merely rolling it.
She somehow managed to arrive at his six o’clock in firing position on the first hack. Himself having contrived to put his machine in deep buffet on the first turn. On the second fight I coached a little less, while easing a couple hundred RPM off the engine. Because everyone deserves at least one win.
On the third go, I left the engine up, spoke only a very little. “Ease g here. Now pull. Harder.” That sort of thing. And once again our adversary got greedy and put himself into wingrock and buffet. It was only a matter of time, and she quickly had the sight picture of lead and lag pursuit. Even if she didn’t quite roll the plane as fast as I might have liked, nor pulled as hard as she could have done.
There is something to be said for finessse.