Stephen Limkin
Student Pilot & Film Maker

On the Level

With one whole lesson under my belt and bragging to my friends that I took off in a plane I ponied up for my second lesson. The truth is far from the outward bravado. I was petrified.

Not being one who likes show rides, the feeling of obtaining separation from the ground scared the living daylights out of me (and it shows). This is a far cry from the me of my youth who liked fast motor bikes and living dangerously.

When I was 24, I contracted a brain virus and was extremely sick in hospital. I think at that point a real fear of dying entered my life. I began to live safely and started to become paranoid about flying which grew into a major stumbling block in my life.

Callum was so kind to me, I felt completely safe with him (he is an excellent pilot). He was calm and talked me through every stage of the lesson. Most of the concepts went over my head, and I was swimming in information, but I persisted and really enjoyed learning how to keep the aircraft straight and level.

It was an extremely bumpy day, but when you have your hands on the control column, you tend to think less about the turbulence and more about how to overcome it. By the time we came back down I had completely forgotten about the fear, and was lost in the enjoyment of being in the air.

Will I keep going? Absolutely. Will aviation become part of my future? I don’t know. Saying you want to become a pilot is the easy part. Doing it takes time and dedication and every time I think about flying by myself for the first time my stomach churns. I guess all I can say is “Watch this space.”