Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Why not consider the gift of flight for you or a friend? All it takes is a quick visit to your local airport to take your first “orientation” flight. A good way to go about it is to use the internet to search for local small airports near you and then plan your day around the visit.

Depending on your schedule and geographic location (the flight school’s Chief Flight Instructor will help you), you may wish to plan your first flight in the earlier morning (before 10am especially in the summer months) or in the later afternoon (after 4pm) as this is when possible turbulence will be at its lowest (a bumpy first ride is not that desirable…). I would suggest you go in the morning – grab a cup of joe and get to the airport by 8am or so. Hopefully, you have already set up your appointment in advance to keep the costs as low as possible but don’t worry as there will be several flying instructors willing and able to take you up for a ride.

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

You will be briefed on the basics of flight while still on the ground (you may go over the basic weight and balance forms for this flight) and then taken out to the airplane to do your first “walk around” inspection; this is a very important part of your flying career and one you will learn to really love (seriously…). Next time you are awaiting a connecting flight at the airport, you will surely find yourself scanning the tarmac for the pilot doing his walk around.

Once the plane has been “checked out”, you will be invited to sit in the “left seat” (the traditional spot for the Captain) while your flight instructor will take the controls in the right seat. After you go through the checklist(s) and listen to the ATIS (Automated Terminal Information Service – a fancy name for the rules – right now!). These rules change all day long starting with ATIS Information Alpha, then Bravo, and Charlie and so on… (look at the bottom of this article for the rest and then IMPRESS your friends!). Now it is time to taxi the plane after getting clearance from the “ground controller” in the tower (if, indeed there is a tower…); if you are lucky, you may be able to help with the taxiing. Be advised, this is not like your car… you steer with your feet so, hands off mate!

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

You will find yourself lined up at the end of the “active” runway and your “pilot in command” (flight instructor) will do the take off roll and “clear the control zone” to what is known as a cross country trip or to a “designated area” known as the practice area by student pilots. When you decide to take up this great hobby, you will spend a lot of time in this area of the sky… look around at the landmarks below you as you will be passing over them again very soon.

Depending on the flight school, your flight instructor will take you to straight and level flying and then hand over the controls to you to do all the rest for about 30-45 minutes. No need to worry as he/she will be talking you through everything step by step. He may say, “handing over” and you will answer, “taking over” as you put a light grip on the control yoke. You are guaranteed to have the time of your life. After the allotted time, you will head back to the airport while your instructor will explain how to re-enter the “traffic pattern” (known as the “circuit”) properly and then will set up for landing. The whole time you will be listening in to ATC (Air Traffic Control) and will gain some valuable knowledge in your first hour. After a gentle touchdown, you will “shut down” the aircraft properly, tie it down securely and head back in to the dispatch desk to fill out your paperwork and complete debriefing.

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

The best part…? You get a cool certificate to frame and put up on your wall as this is a legal first flight approved by the FAA.

When you realise how much fun this would be and how cool it would be to join the likes of John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford and other Hollywood heavyweights, just follow up with your flight school to get started on getting your FAA medical test, ground school classes and practical flying time. Most student pilots will “solo” after about 25-30 hours of training and take their Private Pilot check-ride after about 50 hours in the air. The costs per hour are usually around $100/hr for aircraft alone and $140/hr for aircraft with instructor with your total for everything coming in around the $6000 mark. Then, it’s only up to you to keep flying in search of the ever famous (infamous) “Hundred Dollar Hamburger”!

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Single Engine Plane

Now it’s time to start practicing your “pilot speak”:

A = alpha | B = bravo | C = charlie | D = delta | E = echo | F = foxtrot

G = golf | H = hotel | I = india | J = juliet | K = kilo

L = lima | M = mike | N = november | O = oscar | P = papa

Q = quebec | R = romeo | S = sierra | T = tango | U = uniform

V = victor | W = whiskey | X = xray | Y = yankee | Z = zulu

1 = won | 2 = too | 3 = tree | 4 = fo-wa | 5 = fife | 6 = six | 7 = seven | 8 = ate | 9 = niner | 0 = zero

By Woody House
Article Source: ezinearticles.com