My First Flight

21 Mar

By Irene Peter, TFFT scholarship student

My name is Irene Peter. I am a Form 3 student at Usa River Academy and one of the scholars of The Foundation for Tomorrow. My best subjects are Physics, Chemistry, English, Geography and Mathematics. My ambition is to become an international pilot.

It was around 6:15am of 6th March, 2012 when Hedwiga came at school to pick me up. It was raining. She took me to the TFFT Office where we met Meghann who took me to Arusha Airport. There we met George Mavroudis who had just arrived. Meghann took some pictures of me at the airport. When George went to check on the plane I took my time looking at some stores selling cultural products around the place.

Thereafter, Meghann came and told me to check in.  I was surprised when during check in I was asked to remove everything made of metal that I was wearing and kept them in a place where I could get them after checking in. When I pass through the door the alarm sounded so I had to go back and remove my watch then it was ok.

After checking in, Meghann took some pictures of me as I was on the way to the plane. She also took pictures of me with George. Then George introduced me to the pilot. His name is Jack.

After introductions I boarded the plane. I was given the seat for the co-pilot! I was handed my earphones and once seated, Jack started to give me instructions. He told me to fasten my seatbelt and to get ready for the takeoff. The whole time Meghann was taking more pictures of me. Then it was time to say goodbye to her. We were about to take off! I was so excited but I was nervous as well.

Before the plane took off Jack switched on the radios and started the engine. Jack started communicating with the tower control and gave them some information about our departure. As a co-pilot, I was hearing all the conversation through my earphones.

When the plane started to lift off the ground, I had to concentrate on what Jack was doing to stop myself from feeling scared. When I looked through the window and saw that we were actually floating on air, a crazy thought came to mind: what if we fall down? I tried to shake it off and think positive thoughts instead and focus on this wonderful opportunity that I was given. Nothing bad will happen. My fear vanished.

While we were flying, Jack had conversations with many tower controls. But after that, he switched off and he started conversing with me. He pointed to me some of the instruments in the plane and explained their functions. I cannot remember the name of all the instruments but I assure you I remember their functions.

When we were about to land I noticed one of the instruments that Jack showed me which shows the distance of the plane from the ground, the number was decreasing fast then slowed down as the plane decreased the speed of sloping down.

Landing the aircraft was not as scary as taking off. After landing we waited for minutes for some passengers to board for. As we were waiting for the passengers I asked them about the function of a locker in the plane. What I understood from George’s and Jack’s explanation was that it is an air filter.

With all the passengers ready, we took off again and flew over Manyara National Park and Lake Manyara. This time around, I let myself enjoy the view and not concentrate much on what Jack was doing. This is my first time to see these places and what a first—to see them from the sky! I took everything in and it was if my heart would burst. I saw the clouds and rivers and lakes and tributaries and rocks!

This was a wonderful gift from George Mavroudis and I will thank God everyday for this opportunity. God willing, this is a memory I would happily narrate to my grandchildren. Thank you, George, for fulfilling part of my goals and dreams. And thank you TFFT for making it all happen for me. Thank you very much!


3 Responses to “My First Flight”

  1. Sari Lampert March 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Irene!! First of all, a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on your first flight as a co-pilot! I can only imagine how exhilarating and exciting it must have been. You look so pretty, so happy and like a real natural sitting in that airplane. I hope one day you’ll be able to fly me over Africa and show me the beautiful sights. Pilot Irene Peter… Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?!

    I’m so proud of you. I know this is a dream of yours and this was just the first step in reaching your goal. Wow. When I was reading your story I felt like I was right there with you. Thank you for sharing the details of your day with us.

    Sending you lots of love and a big big hug from New York.

    xo Sari

  2. Gretchen Wooldridge April 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Irene, thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband, Michael, has the fortune of being a pilot for his career, and I can remember his story of the first time he got to sit in the front seat and experience what it might be like to be a pilot someday. You tell your story so beautifully. I smiled!

    I don’t know if we will be able to meet you in June, but Michael and I will be participating in RideTZ to support TFFT! It would be such a blessing to be able to connect with you as someone who shares the same dream my husband has shared!



  1. Nancy’s Response « TFFT's Blog - May 15, 2012

    […] second blog post A Hat her dream of becoming a fashion designer here. We will post responses from Irene, Rosemary, and Sophia as soon as we receive them. The kids absolutely love hearing from you!! Share […]

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