"Take the controls," she said. She didn't blink, didn't smirk, and didn't waiver. I glanced at her quickly, then again as her words sunk in. Two thoughts flew through my mind:
- Was she joking?
- Was she serious?!
Our Cessna 172 engine drowned what once was an otherwise quiet airfield. After cranking the engine, the propeller came to life with such force it felt as if the entire aircraft would shake itself apart. The plane rattled uncomfortably on the runway, wanting desperately to fly.
My instructor chattered instructions through the headset for the next 45 minutes, all of which she left me in control of the airplane. From taxi to takeoff, flying to the landing approach, I was in full control (she didn't let me land, it was my first flight after all).
And through the sweat of this first-time, hands-on experience, I learned more practical information about flying than all the previous books I'd read on the subject combined