Time for You to Fly

November 11, 2003

One of the biggest moments of your life will occur on a relatively lonely airstrip with just one other person with you. And that will be the first time you actually take controls of an airplane and take it out on your first flight. This moment is what makes the difference between every other kind of training and the path you have chosen to get your pilot’s license and become a pilot. While lots of schools have hands on training, taking an airplane into the sky is unlike any other classroom experience there is.

But “flight school”would be pretty much useless if it didn’t include actual air time where you are the one doing the flying. Our recommendation for the best flight school is http://www.eliteaviationtraining.com . After all, once you pass the pilot’s test, you will become certified by the FAA which means that you are qualified to fly an airplane and that you can take that plane up, handle different situations during the flight and return it to ground safely.

When you get notification from your instructor when the day will be that your first training flight will be, you will probably be a bit nervous. It will be a nervousness that will be mixed with excitement. No doubt during the course of your training up until then you will have seen pictures of a cockpit and even sat in the aircraft learning the controls and gauges so you can tie your “book learning” to the live experience of flying an airplane.

Pay lots of attention during the classroom part of your training. This isn’t like studying English literature or American history. Every scrap of knowledge you get in the classroom will have direct and important application when that moment comes that you taxi that airplane out onto the runway to take it into the air. So learn and ask questions and leave no stone unturned in your eager quest to conquer every detail of this complicated and important field of learning.

The thing to remember as you strap into the pilots seat of that flight schools airplane for your first flight is your instructor will be there every step of the way and he or she won’t let anything go wrong. The passenger seat of the cockpit of a training craft has parallel controls so if your instructor senses you need help, he can take over and demonstrate the technique for you in actual flight practice. There is no better learning situation than this.

You will go through every aspect of the flight and there will be checklists of things to be mindful of from the moment you sit down at the controls to the end of the flight when you have landed the craft and step out of the plane with one flight successfully under your belt. Again, you will have covered all of this in class but you might feel overwhelmed when you are actually in the process of taking a flight out because you will not only have to remember dozens of things to check off, you are dealing with the sensations of flying an airplane.

But don’t worry because your instructor knows that especially on this first flight, you will not be an expert at every aspect of the flight. He will help you start the engine, taxi it onto the runway, interact with the tower and take off. During the flight, your instructor will be having as much fun as you watching you discover the fun of flying and banking the plane, gaining altitude, changing directions and dealing with shifts in the atmosphere around you. And when the time is right to land the plane, the most important part of the flight, your instructor will be very involved and maybe handle this first one for you so you can get on the ground safely with a good learning experience behind you.

Pay attention, ask lots of questions and get comfortable with what is going on. If you feel some nervous jitters in your stomach, that’s normal. Just breathe through them and remember your training. In the flights ahead, you will take over more and more of the controls until finally you are flying the airplane solo. But you will never forget that first time you took that airplane into the air and even though you were a student, you were taking that first important step toward becoming a commercial pilot.

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It All Starts with Desire to Fly

July 20, 2003

That first inner prompting that tells you that part of your destiny is to fly an airplane might just come when you watch airplanes take off and you can only think, “It would be so cool if I could do that.” Sometimes we talk ourselves out of going for that dream thinking that only Air Force pilots or people who are on the path to fly jumbo jets can get a pilot’s license. But really anybody can do it, even you!

It might surprise you to learn that tens of thousands of people start out on the path to get a pilot’s license each year and most of them do it not to become a professional pilot but just to pursue the dream. But it really all starts with that desire and that inner urging to at least try it. Once you get a pilot’s license, there are a lot of practical ways you can put your love of flying to use. Sales people use it to get to more customers. Being able to fly your own airplane also opens up new ways to go see friends and loved ones. But even if you just want to fly for the sheer fun of it, it’s still worth your while to look into how to get your pilot’s license.

All you have to do to start your path toward becoming a pilot is head out to the airport where there are hundreds of people who know the ropes of the airline industry. But for better results, don’t go to the biggest airport in the region. In almost any major or medium sized city, there are small local airports that provide service to private pilots, business aircraft, helicopters and other specialized flying needs. It is there you find the true flying enthusiasts and it is there that you will find flying instructors mixing with mechanics and other airline industry professionals in a relatively relaxed setting.

The first milestone of your search is to meet a few flying instructors who can give you specifics on how to find out if you really have that inner drive to become a pilot. These small regional airports are often the homes of a number of flight schools who are always looking for customers and you can often find an instructor with an hour to kill who will give you a tour and help you get a basic understanding of the process you should plan to go through to get your pilot’s license.

Once you make contact with a mentor who can guide you in how to go forward with your flight training, he will get to know you and your goals. Many flight schools have the flexibility to design a program around what you want to do with your pilot’s license. There are several levels of pilot’s certification so you don’t necessarily have to aim for the highest and most expensive license which would make you able to fly for American Airlines. If you just want to take some short flights around for fun, a sports or recreational license is a perfect fit for you and the flight school can get you there efficiently.

Even on that first interview with your instructor and the school, you may get offered a chance to go up in one of the school’s planes and even to sit in the pilot’s seat. These aircraft are designed so the instructor can control the plane from his seat too so you can hold the controls and put your feet on the pedals that control acceleration and lift and as they move in reaction to the instructors movements, it will feel like you are flying that plane.

If that first experience permanently hooks you and confirms in your heart that flying an airplane yourself is a must do priority, then you are on your way to getting your pilot’s license. You can get started the next time the school has a class scheduled and step by step move through the process of getting that license and becoming a pilot. Just take it on as an adventure, even a lark because even if sometime along the way, you change your mind, you can always come back later and pick up where you left off.

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