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  <your background>
1.Q Tell me about the first time you remember being thrilled.
1.A Once I had leaned to drive, age 12, and just being able to drive about the highland estate I was living on in Scotland.
2.Q What’s the slightest thing to have thrilled you?
2.A Getting a perfect 300 score at a shooting range.
3.Q What’s the most frightening yet thrilling thing you’ve done?

In flight emergency during a take off from Glasgow airport. Being able to understand the emergency, being fully aware of the possible bad outcomes of the emergency. But still able to separate myself from the fear, deal with the problem, carry out the emergency procedures, talk to the control tower, deal with the passenger that was on board, and carry out one of my better landings.

Once back on the ground and safely parked up, there was the thrill of having survived a possibly deadly event. But the fear was never a big issue, is was there, I just chose to ignore it and get on with the job. The biggest thrill was in finding out just how you would act in a real emergency. Practicing emergencies is on thing, but every one fears panicking, and it’s a thrill to find you had not panicked and been able to deal with it.

4.Q Tell me why you’re not completely sensible.
4.A I am not sure it’s in my nature to be anything but sensible. Everything is planned, and there is always a fall back plan as well. Think actually annoys me. Would love to be spontaneous and silly, but it’s not me.
5.Q What’s the most uninhibited thing you’ve ever done?
5.A cannot think of anything I have ever done… strange?
6.Q What have you considered doing for pleasure but were too concerned about the risks?
6.A I cannot think of anything that I have wanted to do for pleasure, but was stopped from doing by the risks involved.


  <your thrill>
7.Q Describe the event in one sentence (there’s time to expand later)
7.A Going solo for the first time in a light aircraft.
8.Q Tell me a bit about yourself around this time.
8.A I was in my early 30’s, working for IBM. The work was well paid and I had enough disposable income to do basically anything I wanted. I had always liked aircraft and flying, but had never thought about doing anything about it.
9.Q List the sequence of events leading up to your thrill. Try to remember how you felt at each stage. The smallest detail could be important (this is your chance to expand).
9.A 1. 3rd day on the course. Had spent the previous day doing circuits at an airfield in France. Practicing landings, and take off emergencies.
2 . Monday morning, back to Jersey and was expecting another day of touch and go’s, emergency procedures etc.
3 . In the morning I did 4 full circuits, two with engine failure on take off.
4. Instructor told me that the next landing was for a full stop, meaning that we would pull off the run way rather than just reapply power and take off again.
5. Once landed I taxied to wards the club house, expecting to break for a coffee. The instructor told me to stop on the taxi way (not normal procedure).
6. He un did his harness, got out, and shouted in to the plane. “One circuit, nothing fancy, don’t screw it up”. That’s the point I realised I was about to go solo.
7. I taxied to the holding point, did the engine power checks, and called the tower for clearance. I was then held for 15 mins with commercial traffic landed.
8. Eventually the tower asked if I STILL wanted clearance. I took off did a circuit, landed. Taxied to the club and parked. Was congratulated by the instructor and had some lunch.
10.Q What were your thoughts and feelings at the precise moment of thrill?
10.A Once you were off the ground and in to the circuit, the circuit at Jersey airport being large as the millionaires did not want little plane flying over their mansions, you had enough time to do the required actions, and still think about your circumstance. There are few times on your life where you realise you either get it right or die. There was no way to get help, no one to bail you out, just yourself, your skill and self confidence.
11.Q What did you do afterwards?
11.A Had lunch, orange juice and sandwich.
12.Q What were the risks?
12.A Death. Killing others on the ground. Screwing up the landing and damaging yourself and the plane. Screwing up the circuit and closing an international airport. Mid air collision with commercial traffic.
13.Q What did you imagine other people thought of you during and after the event?
13.A Flight instructors - A student with adequate skills to meet the requirements. Non flyers - Not sure that the act of going solo would mean that much to then. As non flyers tit seems to be the whole concept of leaning to fly that is seen as elitist and a by snobbish
14.Q How often do you think about the event, and why?
14.A Don’t think of it often, am some times asked about it and it comes up when explaining what is needed to be done to gain a PPL.(private pilots licence)
15.Q Some people probably don’t understand how such a thing can thrill you; explain it to them.
15.A I have explained it to people by asking them how many times do they actually take their life in to there hands. How many time have they been in a situation where an error on their part can lead to their death. It’s not like driving a car, where is there are problems you can pull over and stop. People seem to understand it better when compared to solo free fall parachuting, or scuba diving. The thrill is having to do it right, having to have planned it, checked it and havening to not screw up. Even the most boring flight out from Glasgow to Isla for morning coffee is a thrill. The thrill being that it all worked exactly as planned.
16.Q What three changes could have made the experience better, and why?
16.A Truthfully, and I believe this of most pilots. Going solo is a special moment in your life. No matter what you go solo in, or where you go solo, I do not believe that there is anything that could have made that experience better for the individual. Once you go solo you enter a club of other flyers, there are those that have gone solo, and the rest of humanity. No matter what you then do in your flying career, commercial, military or private you are a member of a small and close knit community.
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what do you find thrilling?