Plane & Pilot
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Learn To Fly: March 2008

Becoming a pilot is a dream for many. Here we present the basics to help you make that dream a reality.

learn to flyTo learn to fly is to step off the precipice of the ordinary and mundane. It’s a step into a new world that challenges your mind and senses, and rewards you like nothing you’ve ever dreamed of. To become a pilot is to see the face of our planet from the vantage point of angels.
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What About The Flight Instructor?
The student/flight instructor relationship is a critical part of your flying experience; finding the right instructor is key. It’s a shame that many students quit because they don’t work well with their instructors, when that can be easily corrected.

Every student learns differently. A great instructor for one may not be great for another. Take your time to shop around and find the right instructor. Use the time-honored method of “hanging around the airport.” Check bulletin boards and online forums, ask line personnel and talk to pilots. All pilots have opinions and are happy to share them with beginning students. Good instructors become known.

Interview prospective instructors. If an instructor balks at that, drop him or her right away. Good instructors know they need to click with their students and will go out of their way to ensure a good match. Ask open-ended questions about methods of teaching, what will be expected of you and what they believe makes a successful flight relationship.

If you aren’t working well together, find another instructor immediately. Egos don’t have a place in aviation, and instructors shouldn’t take your switch personally. Maintain a professional and polite attitude, communicate clearly and never settle for “good enough.”

Then What?
Whether you’re seeking a lifelong career or just want to become a pilot to quiet a call deep inside, these first steps are the same. From here, the sky literally is the limit, and what a big sky it is. You have thus joined the select few souls who have tasted flight and have begun a journey both adventurous and bold. You have taken the first step to truly knowing yourself.

You want to learn to fly? Take heed of that desire. That’s your soul speaking to you—a call that won’t ever stop. You have been touched by the sky itself. Aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal described it well when he said, “To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything.”


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