How To Fly A Plane
It’s not as difficult as you think. Don’t let pilots bamboozle you with acronyms and aeronautical data which will leave your head spinning like a propeller, thinking that ‘you just aint made of the right stuff’ to learn how to fly a plane.
Granted, you do have to have an aptitude for maths and physics in order to understand the subjects needed in order to learn how to fly a plane, but you certainly don’t need a degree. I am talking about ppl training here (private pilots licence).
For a JAR (European) PPL the requirements are:
- Have a Class 2 Medical Certificate issued by a CAA Authorised Medical
- Be at least 16 years of age to fly solo
- Be at least 17 years of age when issued with your JAR-PPL
- Have accrued a minimum of 45 hours flying time under training
Of that 45 hours, 25 must be gained from dual instruction and 10 from flying solo (5 of which from cross-country flying).
In addition to the practical side of flying, there is some theory to get under your belt. Your ppl training will include the following theory subjects which will be tested with multiple choice exam questions:
- Aircraft Technical
- Flight Planning and Performance
- Air Law
- Radio Telephony
- Human Performance and Limitations
These are the subjects needed for a JAR licence and will be similar whichever country you choose to fly in.
I learnt to fly in Tasmania, Australia which is probably one of the most beautiful places in the world to learn, with stunning views of snow capped mountain tops, interspersed with tranquil lakes which mirrored the sky.
The course was well structured and my flying instructor was very experienced (he had clocked over 10,000 hours) passionate about aviation and perhaps most importantly patient! My flying training was based around learning to handle the aircraft:
- Straight and level flight
- Turning (level, ascending, descending)
- Take-off and landing
- Emergency procedures
It also included many cross country flights in which my navigation skills were tested. I can’t explain what a buzz you get having completed a solo cross country flight and ending up at the right destination! Or the thrill of flying solo for the first time.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
So, what are you waiting for?