I write this at Christmas time sitting at home before a roaring fire and my `good will to all men and women’ gene quietly vibrating. Hence this message from a seasoned old aviator to those setting out on the rocky road to their flying utopia.

Anything is possible given good health and a fair wind if one puts ones mind to it. If an old duffer like me can make it so can most aspiring bright young folk today. Don’t listen to the sages who counsel that you can’t do it because of this reason or that. Just stick to your guns with determination and persistence. Take no note of the siren voices that pronounce “it’s different now!”, Maybe some things are but human endeavour isn’t. There is nearly always a way!

Unusually, much of my early flying was self taught. Like many of our young members I started out learning to glide, became a gliding instructor, obtained a PPL, did loads of aerotowing then took the `Power Intructors Rating’. Up to that point I had about two or three hours dual in gliders and about four or five in the noisy things.

That instructors course brought me down to earth, so-to-speak. To start with I discovered that it had been remise of me to spin my Tiger Moth from 1200ft. I.ve got through more than my fair share of lives during my time both in aviation and sailing. I am not encouraging anyone to follow in my footsteps but just to say that one’s potential is often greater than realised when one is young.

I have demonstrated many times that those who counsel “it can’t be done” are mostly wrong. So go forth young friends, believe in yourselves and make the most of 2018.

Ramblings of Contents