Sílvia training aerobatics with David Membrives
How can anyone go from having anxiety attacks as a passenger to become a pilot and enjoy flying aerobatics?
It's a long learning process. I took a course in order to overcome the fear of flying. It consisted of ground lessons, sessions with a psychologist, and also flying lessons with a flight instructor who gave me huge amount of explanations, such as why an aircraft flies, why it makes noise, what happens if the aircraft engine stops, the importance of the weather conditions... and all this information gave me confidence.
It is said that fear is often due to lack of knowledge.
That’s true. Thanks to the course, I started to feel safe. The first time I flew a plane it was horrible. I hold the commands strongly and I collapsed. Nevertheless, I tried it again another day and started enjoying it. Nowadays, when I get on a commercial airplane I feel relaxed and even sometimes I fall sleep.
Sílvia Carré competed in the Pyrenees Cup
and the Championship of Catalonia last october
You are currently trying to help people who are afraid of flying, aren’t you?
Yes. I opened a Facebook page. It’s a meeting point for pilots and people who are afraid to fly. It’s in Spanish and is called "Miedo a volar... vuela sin miedo". In English translation is “Fear of flying… Fly without fear”.
A commercial flight is very different from aerobatics. How did you get started?
I discovered acrobatics at the beginning of 2010. I flew with Alex Maclean, a great pilot who had a fatal accident in his native Spain while carrying out aerobatic training for an Air Show. I first met him in the Red Bull Air Races and injected me his enthusiasm for flying. He gave me a lot of peace and serenity. I felt overwhelmed and excited with that first flight. He was the one who encouraged me to take the course and get the pilot license.
How long have you been flying aerobatic?
Since 2012. That year I helped organizing the Spanish national championship and one thing came after another. Now I enjoy it a lot, it has become one of my hobbies. It is estrange how I used to have aerophobia and now I’m an aerobatics lover.
Would you like to develop this hobby into something else?
I would like to be the first in my category, but at my own pace because time doesn’t really matter. I think I will stop where I feel comfortable. Now I'm in the primary category to acquire basic skills, precision and confidence.
Last October you participated in your first championship. How did you feel?
It was an adrenaline rush, something crazy! Not for the maneuvers and figures, but for the feelings.
Usually when I'm flying I feel peaceful. Every flight is different, the shadows, the views, the sun... Each flight is full of freedom, because the aircraft does what you want. When I am climbing to the sky I often cannot believe what I'm going to do, and neither when I am done and I descend for landing.
What did you think when you finished the competition?
When I get off the plane I had to disappear and be alone because I had to cry for a while. The reason was the mixture of feelings: satisfaction, happiness, nervousness, melancholy and many memories from the people who helped me, like Alex Maclean, who had died.
Would you like to take part in a competition again?
Sure, but actually when I competed for the first time I thought it would be the only one. I didn’t think I was a competitive person, but I am. I really feel excited to compete again this year.
|Sílvia feeling happiness after her first championship|
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