Learning to Fly
Today there are thousands of people, just like you, learning to fly. They come from all walks of life and have a variety of reasons for wanting to be a pilot. Some fly to expand business opportunities, others to explore careers in the aviation industry, some are looking for an activity they can share with their family. Whatever the reason for your interest, learning to fly is a lot easier than you may think.
Learning to fly is not as hard as you may think. In fact, each year, thousands of Americans, men and women from all walks of life, from high school students to grandparents, learn to fly. Most pilots hold a private pilot's certificate that is the first goal of the student pilot. Some students continue to obtain an instrument rating or additional certificates, such as commercial, flight instructor or even airline transport pilot. However, most people are content with their private pilot certificate. This allows them to fly themselves and non-paying passengers virtually wherever they want to go in good weather.
After an average of eight to twelve hours of instruction you'll be ready to fly the plane all alone on that first unforgettable solo flight. The plane will be livelier without your instructor's weight. As you turn on final approach for your first landing you may feel a little apprehensive, but as you line up with the runway, you'll start doing things you've been trained to do automatically. Your concentration may be so intense that it may not be until you have taxied off the runway that you will stop to think about what you've done and realize how smooth it was. The first solo flight is the first milestone of your training. You're on your way, but still have a lot of flying and studying to do before you have earned your private pilot certification.
Piloting your own plane also increases the number of destinations you can reach directly by air. In the U.S., there are about 800 airports that serve commercial airlines, but more than 5,300 airports are open to general aviation.
In summary, flying opens up a whole new world to enjoy! Traveling around the country as your own pilot gives you the opportunity to visit many places in one day - or weekend. Such travel in a car would take days of hard travel. With flying, it is not only faster, but the scenery is breathtaking, and the color spectacular!