Learning to Fly: What You Will Need
So you want to learn to fly. Well, this article is for you. It's about the basic stuff that you will need to become a pilot.
Goals and Plans
Learning to fly is very much like flying itself. Before you start, you need to know what your objectives and goals are. It is easier to get there if you know your target clearly. It could help pare down your requirements, too, and this is very important because learning to fly can cost a lot of money and time.
Learning to fly starts with the selection of a flight school and ends with the obtainment of your private pilot license or private pilot certificate. The private pilot certificate allows you to fly for fun, with passengers, under visual flight rules (VFR), and on most types of airspace.
After getting your private pilot license, you can continue your education by completing an instrument flying rules (IFR) rating, which enables you to fly inside the clouds and with poor visibility, a multi-engine rating, a professional pilot rating, which allows you to get paid as a pilot, and many more other ratings depending on what your goals and destination are.
Navigating to the Flight School That's Best for You
After fixing your goal, your next stop is to shop for the flying school that best suits the kind of flying you want to learn. The good news is you have a lot of choices. All you need to zero in on the one that's best for you is a set of navigational questions, so to speak.
Now, here's the checklist of what you need to ask about flying schools:
· Aircraft Fleet. Is it maintained according to FAA standards? Ask the flight school representative to show you the maintenance records of the aircraft where you plan to receive instruction. Airplanes are required to be inspected by a certified aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) every 100 hours of flight, and every year (annual inspection).
· Curriculum. Does the plan for ground and flight training have FAA approval? The FAA must approve all flight schools so make sure you ask.
· Schedule. Is the training plan suited to your own work schedule or plan? Flying demands time. Make sure that your life schedule fits that of the school. Keep in mind that you will need to fly during the day, so you should have daytime available. Most school offer instruction on weekends.
· Instructors. Do you like the flight instructors at the school? Do they inspire trust? You will be spending a lot of time on small cockpits with you flight instructor (CFI) so make sure you like them.
· Costs. What are the items you need to pay for? Make a checklist of these requirements.
Shopping for Training and Pilot Gear
After setting on your flying school, you may also want to find out what you need and where to find them. Pilot shops are usually found in the vicinity of flying schools and they offer the latest in pilot gear, supplies, aviation apparel, charts, reference materials, and the like. Be aware that pilot shops near the school or airport will charge you a premium on their products. That is more money spent on flight gear, and less money spent on flying. So it is better to get your pilot gear online.