If you wonder what it is like to fly like the birds, aviation is an attractive career with a good salary. However, you have to go a long way before you can finally fly a plane. Here are some of the things you have to keep in mind before beginning your flight training.
For you to fly a plane, you must be fit to fly. So you must be in good health before considering joining a flight school because medical tests are mandatory. You can visit an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) and take a medical assessment to determine if you are eligible to be a pilot. An AME is a certified doctor who conducts a physical examination following the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.
The doctor must check your eyesight, hearing ability, and basic body functions. It is best to schedule this examination before your first flight training lesson to avoid discovering much later that you have a condition that prevents you from flying a plane.
The cost of flight training
Flight training is not cheap, but it is rewarding in the long run. Keep in mind that the costs for flight school tend to rise over time due to inflation and also as the macroeconomy grows. Different trends in the aviation industry have significantly impacted the cost of flight school. Some of the aspects that may impact your flight training costs include:
- Your home airport or location where you are taking the flight lessons.
- The model of airplane you are training with which influences the rental rates.
- The inclusions in your rental rate of the lesson, for example, some rental rates may not include the cost of fueling the plane.
- The level of experience of your instructor.
You should also have in mind other expenses such as:
- The cost of training material, including textbooks, online courses, and other supplies.
- Private pilot written exam.
- Final check ride costs.
It is best to research and compare flight schools before making your decision but remember that the quality of the education is key.
The time needed for flight training lessons.
Legally you need at least 40hours in the air, half of that with an instructor. In most flight schools you will find that the flight training lessons are two hours each. One hour is for flying. The other hour is for preflight checks and debriefs on what to do once in the air. In addition to that, you need more hours reading and learning techniques in your course materials. Remember that you may have to redo lessons if you don’t master the techniques the first time.
Task saturation during your first flight
Just like training how to drive a car for the first time, you may suffer from task saturation in your first flight training lesson. You have to juggle the following tasks:
- Communicate with air traffic control.
- Listen to weather broadcast.
- Perform checklists to set up for the flight.
- Use the GPS on the plane.
- Communicate with your instructor.
But do not feel intimidated. Remember your instructor has also been there and is now an experienced pilot.
THE FINAL WORDS
Flight school can be demanding, but it is rewarding in the long term.