For those not in the know, ‘Avalon’ is the Australian International Airshow held at Avalon Airport just outside Melbourne. Most pilot locals fall into one of four categories when it comes to this airshow – 1. they fall into paroxysms of joyous excitement at the very thought of the show, 2. they think it’s kinda cool and decide they may as well go, 3. they go because it’s a good networking opportunity and they’re in the biz, 4. they’re a bit over it and wish the organisers would change things more from show to show.
I thought I’d be somewhere in category 2. Yet this week I found myself dithering between whether I should go or whether I should ditch it because it was expensive ($100+ on ticket and petrol before I even got in the gate) and I really couldn’t be bothered driving all the way to Geelong (over an hour each way).
This week, between my dithering, I’ve also been reading a book by Antony Woodward called ‘Propellerhead’ (highly recommended – bought it here) and I came to a passage which seemed to sum up my feelings and made me realise just why my level of interest about the airshow wasn’t enough to outweight the cost/effort of getting there.
“I bought books about planes, but though they always seemed interesting in the shop, once I got home I seldom opened them again. Looking at pictures of planes, I soon realised, didn’t have much to do with flying…Full of hope, I went to several air shows and although they too were initially exciting, I always came away bored and slightly disappointed (with the mandatory stiff neck and a headache). They appeared to be about many things – noise, speed, power, danger, the chance of explosions – but, oddly, not really about flying or what it felt like to fly. I realised that it was doing it, not watching it, that I liked.”
The reason I love flying is for the flying itself. It’s the feeling of the aircraft under my hands, knowing I’m in control. The feeling when the wheels leave the ground and you become airborne, the fun challenge of getting everything to come together at once for landing, the thrill on a nav when all the landmarks appear right where they are on the map and you know you’ve nailed your planning. Looking at planes and watching other people fly just isn’t the same.
So I saved my $100+ to spend on flight time and learnt a little about myself 🙂