About two years ago I started taking flying lessons….then I stopped after about 7 hours. Not sure why, I just could not get comfortable in the sky. But really I think it was because I had not accomplished what I had set out to do six years earlier to learn how to ride superbikes on racetracks. This past fall, I finally felt comfortable with my motorcycle goals (A-Group) and began to think about flying again.
This time, I felt totally different in the sky. I have been training in a low wing airplane and a new flight instructor, Jon Thornton and owner Chris Gularte who I really like at Specialized Helicopters in Watsonville, CA. After about 30 hours across 25 flights and 100+ landings I finally was ready to solo. And it was very scary/exciting. It also happened to be on a raining day, but calm, no other planes in the sky…no wonder. But it was a perfect day to go for it – and I am glad it is over-with.
One thing did stand out for me in that I was surprised that learning how to ride a race motorcycle on a grand prix track like Laguna Seca was 10X harder than learning how to fly and land a small airplane. My ZX10R motorcycle is actually faster on the track then my plane in the sky. 135mhp vs 110mph. But flying is also filled with regulations, communications and a soft touch on the yoke. Closer to sailing in the sky really.
But like the Wright brothers who started with two wheels as bicycle builders, you still have to ‘ride or fly’ the plane. So this concept carries over. Except with motorcycles its all adrenaline, aggression and some bravery. Flying is a soft touch, mostly how to ‘slow’ the plane down for landing, vs full-throttle on a bike whenever possible. A good deal.
130mph on Motorcycle