I was warned, by my aerobatic flight instructor Mike Love, that once I started learning aerobatics I would be addicted. I am. I had my third aerobatic lesson today, and added the barrel roll to my fledgling aerobatic arsenal of aileron rolls and loops. I pretty much have aileron rolls down to a science, and they are the most fun for me to perform. I still get a bit sick each time I go out for a lesson, but it is getting less and less each time.

The last two lessons I took Dramamine, which may have helped just a little bit. But from my SCUBA diving experience I know that TripTone works well for me, as I also get sea sick quite easily. I could not find it locally, but Walgreens ordered me two boxes today, so I will have them for my lesson next week.

Nobody in my family wants to know when I am flying aerobatics, so I tell them after I am done. I am looking forward to being able to practice solo in the near future, but will have to purchase my own parachute. Legally, a parachute is not required when doing aerobatics solo, but I sure like the peace of mind it provides, even if a somewhat false sense of security. The rental units are “seat” type parachutes, which means there is about 2″ of padding on your butt. This is just enough that my long legs cannot comfortably fit under the instrument panel, making the use of the brakes on the ground quite difficult. Mike handles this for my comfort, but I am looking for a used emergency parachute that is of the backpack variety, without the part that goes under your butt. Mike won’t be there to handle the brakes for me when I am solo!

I am also discovering a newly re-found love of the Cessna 152. It is small and uncomfortable for someone my size (6’5″), but it sure is fun! I usually fly 172’s, which are fun and easy, but the 152 is a wonderful little airplane. Especially the Aerobat, pictured above. It has minimal instruments and no gyro’s, very different from the planes I normally fly, which are decked out for full IFR flight. Getting in and out of the 152 is a challenge, especially with the parachute, but it sure is a blast to fly. I had almost forgotten how great these little airplanes are!

So when I win that lottery, I will of course still purchase a twin-engine Beech Baron, but I will also pick up a Cessna 152 Aerobat. These ugly old birds just put a smile on your face so fast I just won’t be able to resist having one in my hanger.