Saturday, July 24, 2004

Me, pilot !

Wow ! Today is my birthday and my wife had a surprise for me. Olga warned me in advance not to plan anything for this Saturday morning. We got up and she quickly fed Sam (1y 3m) while two other children (Lisa [12y] and Alex[19y]) took care of themselves. We packed into the car and she said to drive in Herzeliya direction. It turned out we were heading Herzeliya airfield, where she arranged for the Cessna 152 for me to fly (well, with the professional pilot actually). I was questioned by a security guy (just like in the Ben Gurion airport - "How long do you live in the country ?", "Who packed you bags ?" [what bags ???], etc. Nice fellow, anyway.) and then there was a quick introductory overview of the plane and flight. In a nutshell, it came down to simple "Do not fight with me over the stick!" instruction. Then we were ready to fly.
Pilot took me to the plane - it was Cessna 152 II. I flew it a couple of times in flight simulator, but it was my first time to hold a real stick of the real plane. I inserted myself (literally) into the left seat while Lisa was shooting me. I ignited the engine and instructor started to taxi to the runway. In couple of minutes we were airborne. That simple. Cessna 152 is quite a light plane so she quickly gained speed and altitude. When we climbed to 600 feet instructor said - "Plane is yours, try to keep the direction and level" and let me fly. I took the stick and the plane immediately started to fall aside to the left. Another 20 seconds and I was ok with it. I flew it straight forward and kept altitude. Another couple of minutes and instructor said that he thinks I am doing fine and it is time to climb to 2000 feet and to do something interesting. So I pulled up and we climbed to 1800, where instructor talked to the tower and then said we should stay there. He intended to show me a couple of aerobatics figures, but as soon as he said "Here comes free fall" I said I do not think that is such a good idea and he handed over the stick back to me. I started to play (!?) with it. Left turns, right turns, up and down - it was very nice and I thought: "Well, it is not so bad after all. I feel fine an flying Cessna is quite easy." T'was a big mistake. It retaliated back almost instantly by having me feel sick. I hated myself at this moment. I asked instructor how much time do we have yet and he said around 7 minutes. I decided to hold on for this time, no matter what. Instructor, probably, noticed I am not feeling well. He took over the stick (I didn't fight over it!) and headed to the runway. I observed landing as a passenger (as it was planned) and it felt like landing the plane is much more complex that taking off. At least from my point of view. Anyway we touched runway and taxied to the stop. Lisa, again, filmed me crawling out of the plane. I felt a little bit dizzy, but it soon went away.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Solaris AHCI driver now accepts PayPal donation

Solaris AHCI driver project now accepts donation via PayPal. Frankly speaking I am not expecting money to start flowing in, but if I wouldn't opted for it I wouldn't be paid for sure.