Sorry this has taken so long, I was just lazy. :-) Tuesday 30th came around and Mum decided instead of getting me a traditional present wrapped up in a box, she and Dad would give me a flying lesson instead. It was scheduled for the next day at 9:00 a.m. So on Wednesday 1st may, I was surprised when Dad woke me up at 11:03 a.m! I got up, had breakfast, (porridge) and waited. At 12:45 p.m. I hopped in the car with dear old father and Sam, who was staying with us for the week, and drove to Te Anau Airport. There we meet up with Shaun (my instructor) and walked out to a Cessna 172N. It's Rego was ZK-ETK, I have no idea why I remember that but I do. Shaun then asked Sam and Dad if they would like to come up with us. So all 4 of us it would be. Before take-off however, the fuel had to be checked for water, which the fuel didn't contain. Then how much fuel we had, which was 45 somethings, probably litres, which equates to an hours flying, roughly. Now actually in the plane, I was taught how to turn it on, which isn't as simple as turning a key, not straight away anyway. After a few flicks of switches, and one failed attempt at starting, the engine was running. Dad somehow ended up with about 7 tonnes of wire sitting on top of him, so he could operate his Palm-Pre phone, (He was holding the phones for the boss at work.) and then we all got headsets. I was told the air traffic control radio call and then relayed it on to ATC. Then Shaun told me to release the brakes, and we were (slowly) taxiing down the runway. I was fully in control, with the odd direction being given. at the end of the (tarmac) runway i turned it around, with a little help from Shaun. Once turned around, we did a final check with ATC and upped the revs to 2500. I Re-released the brakes, and we were flying along the runway at 30knt, 40, 50, Shaun said it would pretty much take off by itself at around 60knt, and we were airborne, aiming for a saddle around 50km away, at Shaun's recommendation. We turned very gently to the right, (starboard I think, if the jingle in my head is correct...) and aimed at a hill, :-), with (being Fiordland) 2 helicopters flying below us. By the way, I don't know if I was clear, but I actually did the take-off! Anyway, Shaun was really just there as a back up pilot in case things went wrong, which they didn't unless he made them :-). So I flew us around a hill, very gently, and was then asked to do a 180 to port (left if I'm right :-).) and then one to starboard. I was still getting the hang of the controls, so the turns weren't tidy but they worked. By this time, Sam was thoroughly crapping himself, and Dad was grinning from ear to ear. Shaun said that he has going to make the plane stall, which was exciting, and he did it twice, making Sam feel extremely ill, and slightly concerning Dad. After Sam had recovered slightly, he cut all useful power, so the engine was idling and not doing anything, so we were in effect a glider, which had 3 minutes, 20 seconds until it hit the ground. It was quite pleasant, and didn't worry me... Shaun said it was the last 20 seconds that were the most worrying, so we had 3 minutes until we could start worrying - nice. I eventually decided we should do Sam some good, and restarted the engine. Did I mention that Sam had no mouthpiece to talk into? Probably a good thing, considering he wanted to throw up. Shaun eventually decided that I should try a nice gentle 360, which made Sam very happy - until I finished the turn, and Shaun took control for something a little more technical then a gentle bank. No, Shaun decided he should push the plane to it's limits with the maximum turn it can do. So Shaun tips the plane 90 degrees to starboard, pulls back on the stick and turns 180 in about 1/6 of the space I did it in, and grinned at Sam afterwards. During this turn we encountered a force of 2G, pushing us into our seats. I feel sorry for the fighter pilots of WWII who encountered forces of up to 4G when in combat. Soon after he did another turn, in the same space, but less of a sickness provoker than before, basically pulling up, tipping, and putting the plane on it's wing, like a sort of airborne pivot. Then he let me take control once more, ordering a low flight path over Kakapo Swamp, which was interesting, being that the place wasn't exactly accessible, so any accidents and we were on our own. Sam didn't enjoy that part much either. :-) By now it was time to head for home, and I followed Shaun's directions, as I didn't have a clue where I was by now, I was just having fun. By now I could see the Airport, but realised that we were at completely at the wrong angle for the runway! Shaun then indicated to a grass runway about 70 degrees starboard, running across the tarmac one. He basically let me do most of the landing, taking control about 5 maybe 6 metres above the ground, touchdown. Brakes and we swung her 'round to the right, taxiing and coming to a halt facing a chain-link fence, which confused me slightly, as it's not exactly optimal take-off territory. 15 minutes and 1 cup of tea later, (Sam had to recover somewhat, he never threw up, fortunately) We hit the road, with Sam explaining to us about how he nearly threw up.