Plane & Pilot
Monday, March 1, 2004

Learn To Fly!

Flight Training Adventure Camps offers a unique and exciting opportunity for aspiring pilots

learn to flyLearning how to fly means, among other things, mastering the controls of an airplane, understanding weather theory and unraveling the mysteries of aerodynamics—all of which can be studied at a local airport. That is an adventure in itself. But what if that process were taken one step further? Imagine, for instance, the Wild West as your flight school. The airplane, your teacher. Here, the vast expanse of the West plays an integral part in your flight training. It’s a daring place where you sleep, breathe and eat aviation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, where you can sleep underneath the wing of the plane you’re learning to fly and where all around you is some of the world’s most inspiring landscape. This is you learning to fly.
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Not For The Faint Of Heart

The Right Flight School
Flight schools are widely listed in phone books and across the Internet. But in order to completely get a feel of whether or not each flight school is right for you, visit them, look at the facilities and spend some time talking to instructors. Your personal impression of a flight school is a big part of making the right choice.
While investigating flight schools, you’ll often hear things, like “We’re an FAA-approved Part-141 school” or “We’re a part-61 school so we can customize to fit your needs.” Others are formulated around student pilots who want an aviation career. The list of differences between schools can be ad nauseum. The difference that should matter to you the most is how the schools match your individual requirements. The pilot who wants to use his license recreationally, for example, will likely have different needs than the student hoping to end up in the left seat of an airliner. Discuss your goals with all the schools you’ll be considering and see how well their programs will match your needs. But remember that all of the courses end at the same place—with a private pilot’s license.

Yet, amidst all the fun, Strobel stresses that FTAC isn’t all about the excitement of adventure camps. It’s also about intense reality-based flight training.

He emphasizes, “FTAC sounds like a lot of fun—and it is. But it’s also, probably, one of the toughest, most demanding and most rigorous flight schools that you can imagine. So, somebody who just likes to spend some free time at the mall would be a little in over his or her head.”

In fact, one of the lessons that FTAC is quite proud of is its ability to build each individual’s character. Students learn not only to become pilots, but also act, speak and calculate as one—quite a life-altering event for most FTAC students.

“It was very demanding because my instructor was very precise and goal-oriented,” explains Claudio Corfu, another FTAC student. “Looking back, I’m very grateful that it was demanding. Even now, not a day goes by without the memory of yet another adventure and another experience that we had.”

And nothing builds more character than that first solo, when students get to fly all by themselves—without their flight instructors by their sides! “Never has the decision-making process been more obvious as on the first solo flight when you look at that empty seat next to you. You realize, ‘This is me. Nobody is going to help me, whether or not I want them to.’ After they’ve flown for the first time, many students find the experience quite emotional. I’ve seen a lot of tears about the first solo,” says Strobel.

Katie Koch, a former FTAC student, agrees: “I’ve not only learned how to fly an airplane, but I’ve also learned things that have helped me become a better friend and student because of that first solo. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life and to look at the world and its complications through new enlightened eyes.”

Indeed, for most of its students and flight instructors, FTAC is more than just a flight school. It’s hard work, teamwork and fun—all melded into one.

“As much as FTAC is a flight school, it’s also a life school,” says Strobel with a hint of pride in his voice. “It makes students mature and it gives them a license to proceed in a career in aviation. It’s the most demanding first step to an aviation career that they could possibly imagine. What they get from this camp is a pilot license unlike any other—and it comes with a life-altering change in behavior that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”

For more information on Flight Training Adventure Camps: The Reality Flight School, contact Dominik Strobel at (641) 472-5217, or log on to the school’s Website at and learn all about its programs.

Learn To Fly Online
The following Websites offer more information on learning to fly:
Aviation Communications
Be A Pilot
Cessna Pilot Center
Learn To Fly Kit
Plane & Pilot—Schools Directory
The Student Pilot Network

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