TAKE-OFF AGAINST COVID
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It’s one of those days in which you just feel like sit down and write, pretending you can live those moments again and, maybe, you could jump back and play your cards in a better way.
Since the latter is not likely to happen at all, I’ll just be happy writing what I lived in the last couple of months.
To be clear, this article was already almost ready to be published, I’ve only been waiting for the “First Solo ceremony” that should have been a couple of weeks ago.
But all the things that you know about Spain happened, and all my feelings have been changing consequently.
I decided to start from scratch this post for the second time, because honestly (emotionally speaking) this is my lowest point, and it’s the right time to see all the good feelings I’ve enjoyed in this period from a different point of view.
And in the meanwhile I’m writing, Spotify is deciding to make me feel even worse playing “Andalusia“.
I’m not sure at what point I stopped writing my reports from Jerez, but I’m quite sure it was before my mock exams.
Well, I’ve passed them with a good result, and I had the chance to celebrate with a great karting ride before immersing myself in the EASA exams mood.
In those days I slept just for the time necessary to be prepared for 15-16 hours of question banks.
I remember that the last time I checked my reports I already finished two question banks in three different subjects.
You can imagine the amount of work necessary just to stick everything in my head and be ready to answer even before reading the questions.
I had one of my room’s walls completely covered with notes, conversions and formulas.
Then the EASA week came and, my God, it was so damn long.
Six exams in four days, and exam after exam, I started feeling more and more confident about the result.
This was true until the night before the last exam, General Navigation.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved GNAV and the way my instructor thought us this arguably difficult subject.
I guess I was just anxious.
That night has been the longest ever in my life until now.
I felt like shit in the morning, but that night was useful because I had the chance to see on how many people I could count on for the future.
And, trust me, I was right on each one of them. Well, you can’t have doubts about your parents (hopefully), but there were three more.
AustroControl decided to have technical issues, and that has lead to a large delay in the release of our results.
I waited until the next Monday to know some, very important, numbers.
Luckily FTE’s policy provides a week off between the end of the first phase of theory and the beginning of the flight phase, so I got home on the first Friday of February, when the Covid-19 outbreak was just about to start.
Each person I met in that weekend made me feel at ease, and I have to thank them, because the anxiety could have just been too much to resist.
I had the chance to have a walk in Rome on the Saturday, if I remember well, and that’s when I started to be worried about the situation I’m facing now: the city was completely empty.
Honestly I didn’t pay much attention about it because the next Monday I got my results, and they were just wonderful!
The only thing I’ve been thinking about by that time was my career, still far from the start, but I had been given the possibility to fly around the Spanish skies for, at least, a couple of months.
The flights I’ve done (twenty) were just awesome!
I’m (or I was?) lucky to have a great instructor and great flying partner as well, that made those days unforgettable.
But there’s one day more special than the others: First solo day!
I remember every second of that special day, from the mixed feelings I got once woken up, to the M-celebration standing up on the right wing of my beloved Piper PA28-161.
In these cases the emotions you feel are so individual that I can’t completely describe them.
I remember that I toke off and, while looking out before turning crosswind I suddenly realized that I was alone in my aircraft.
A guy told me:”It’s as easy as dating a girl for 12 times. But each time you have to take her father with you until he says “it’s ok, you can enjoy yourselves” and then you can take her out for the best date you’ll ever have”.
Overall I’d say it’s the best way you can describe your first solo, but in the instant you realize you’re alone in the sky, I shit you not, you will say:”If I do something wrong I die“.
Just a few seconds later you’re back on the ground ready to celebrate your first solo flight, because it will really last just the time to breathe in and out.
It took me a day to realize what I did, and that it was the best day of my career so far, and for sure in the top 3 of my best days overall.
It’s still a long way to the ATPL, but I’d really love to jump in a plane to day and lift off the dark clouds.