Sky's the limit for Lyn
SINGLE mum with three kids, works as a casual teacher and has a fear of heights. It does not read like the resume of a trainee pilot.
Yet that is what Grafton woman Lyn Best took on in May last year and soon she will go up solo.
“Stuart (Grafton Aero Club trainer Stuart Campbell) said with two or three more lessons I’ll be ready to go up alone,” Lyn said.
But there won’t be any sleepless nights waiting for the big day.
“We’ll be doing a lesson and I’ll finish a circuit and he’ll just get out and say I’m going alone,” she said.
A year ago Lyn was a very unlikely candidate for flight school.
At a difficult time in her life, she had come to realise she needed something to get her going again. Out of the blue the idea came up to try flying.
“I’ve always wanted to do things that people didn’t think I could do,” she said.
“And I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. I’ve always liked doing boy things, like riding motorbikes.”
As for the fear of heights, Lyn found the Jabiru training aircraft sealed her off from the outside world, allaying her fears.
“The first day I went over to the aerodrome (at South Grafton) they were flying gyrocopters,” Lyn said.
“They asked me if I would like to come up in one but there was no way.
“There’s no cabin and you can look straight down out of them. There’s no way I could do that.”
Lyn is the only female trainee at the club and one of a select few women who have taken to the skies at the club.
“As far as I know there have been two other women to have trained at the club. I think one finished her training and another did a few training flights but didn’t finish,” she said.
Flying is the best thing Lyn has ever done.
“Because it’s really addictive, I try to go flying as much as I can,” she said.
“With three kids I have to work as much as I can to pay for it.
“On average I get to go about once a fortnight.”
The other daunting factor was the sheer weight of knowledge required to become a pilot.
“When I saw how thick the folder was of all the things you had to know, I started to think there was no way I could do it,” she said.
“But after two or three lessons, I started to get on top of it and by that time I was absolutely hooked.”