Monday, September 22, 2008

Learning to Fly

Most airports have a cheap introductory flight lesson available. This intro flight is often as cheap as $49 for 1/2 hour of ground instruction and 1/2 hour of time in the air which you take the controls. It is sometimes a little more these days since fuel and other expenses have gone up in price. It varies from flight school to flight school. It is even sometimes available for helicopters; I had an intro flight for a helicopter that was $99.

Some people do not realize how many small airports are around the country and that you can get pilot lessons at most of them. Use this AOPA tool to find the nearest flight school. The other thing that I think most people do not realize is that most pilots are super friendly and enthusiastic to help somebody else enjoy flying.

It is amazing the number of people that I talk to at the airport that are there dreaming about flying and have no idea how easy it is to get a taste of flying. Maybe a person can't afford to do the entire private pilot certificate, but most people can afford the intro flight. Then maybe someday the intro flight will turn into a realization of a dream.

If you are a pilot, spread the word that these intro flights exist.

AOPA and other resources

If you are starting to be a little interested, AOPA has some new resources for potential pilots. They have some older flight training web pages as well.

In the past, there was a good article about learning to fly at Plane and Pilot Magazine.

They both have recommendations on how to find a flight school and instructor.

On-line Ground Schools and Written Test Practice

If you get serious, one of the things you will want to look into is ground school and taking the written test. Now that the internet is more and more prominent, there is more and more resources out there; much of it free. You can find a general list of online resources at Pilots Almanac. One of the ones I have seen mentioned a couple times is this free on-line ground course which looks pretty good at a glance.


Another place that I think could be very interesting to an aspiring pilot is the area of blogs. There are many blogs out there of pilots at different stages includes records of people when they first started to learn. There are a number of places to look for blogs. Thirty Thousand Feet Aviation directory has a good list of aviation blogs. The Blogging Pilots Aggregator has another good list of aviation blogs.


Hopefully, if you are not a pilot yet, this has sparked some interest. Go down to your local airport and ask around or just hang out. It is lots of fun. If you have any questions, please send me an E-mail.


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