Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Martin who won co-pilot experience tells us about his day with Buzz..

Early morning rain and drizzle greeted us at Blackbushe, but undeterred we lit the turbines and the adventure to meet the most famous of Moonwalkers began. 

Northolt emerged out of the gloom and we slid down the ILS for a slight tailwind landing. Buzz looked pretty chilled relaxing with a coffee and sausage roll in the Royal lounge, surrounded  by the squadron.  Quick q&a session and next stop the world record sim challenge organised by Aerobility at Blackbushe.

A hive of activity greeted us and pretty soon the sim session came around to fly with Buzz on the leg from bintakulu to Miri. Briefing complete, time to get down to business in the pa28.

Buzz took the controls and we got airborne on R35 with a right turn to follow the coast in a NE direction, climbing to 2500.  It didn't take long for him to master it, picking  up the magenta GPS track and the altitude was rock steady at 2.5 - what else would you expect? No chance of Buzz putting it into a cruise, he wanted speed, and  the rpm sat at 2500 all the way, 110 knots was not going to cut it. He loved it and the more he flew the more I could see his total involvement. I had to pinch myself to believe my son and I were really  being piloted by a rocket hero.  We got talking a bit about space, the need to make that technological breakthrough and put people on Mars. 2035 he reckons is about right, on the basis there was 66 years from the Wright Brothers to walking on the moon and he works on a similar gap for a mars manned mission. Either Barack or Mitt needs to find some deep pockets, the Apollo missions were taking 3% of the national budget!  The more we talked the more I realise how big this guy really thinks, beyond the boundaries. A true explorer, adventurer and scientist always wanting to break new ground.

The 50 minute sector went by in a flash, Miri appeared on the nose and we started the descent picking up the papis for a 02 straight in landing. No hassle with the landing and with a big smile and a glint in his eye we shook hands.  What a day, a true legend, my son and I will never forget it. 

We signed the logs and no doubt this will  be another record under his belt. Overall impression, he inspires you to think differently, it might sound cheesy but the world is not enough and how could it ever be after walking on the moon.  

Time to start saving for the Virgin Galactic! 

. Martin Verity - 8 October 2012 .

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