Ok so I wasn't personally learning to fly, but after a night at the Crackhouse Comedy Club in Kuala Lumpur I found myself as the passanger in a plane from the 1970's being flown by my crazy Australian friend Dom who had never flown before. Holy crap.
The instructor was 22 but looked twelve, the plane was 42 but looked one hunderd and forty-two, and we were learning to fly in Malaysia. Not exactly the country with the best flying record recently. Also, the lesson lasted five minutes.
"Push down on the steering wheel to go down, push up to go up".
That was it. Ok so it actually lasted five seconds.
As instructor dude fired up the plane it started about as smoothly as a rusty lawn mower.
"Don't worry, the plane didn't crash last time" he said, accompained by a sarcastic thumbs up.
Did I mention this was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life?
I don't understand the dynamics of planes but we got up to about 75 miles an hour and then took off in the air.
"Shouldn't this be impossible? Why don't all cars just take off flying?" I was saying anything to make conversation, trying not to concentrate on the fact that my friend who knew nothing about flying a plane was in control of my life.
Somehow Dom, myself, Dom's girlfriend Ola and the instructor made it into the air, around the Twin Towers and back to the airport without dying. We flew wildly close to the twin towers and also right over the King's Palace, both of which should have been illegal but clearly they don't put too much concern into security.