Learning How To Fly

Two main options for learning how to fly.

The dream of flight is held by many people throughout the world. Some fulfill it vicariously through the occasional ride on a commercial airliner. Others actually pursue their dreams by taking flight lessons and earning a pilot's license.

Two major options exist for becoming a pilot. First of all, an individual can rent a plane and hire a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). According to Federal Aviation Regulations, this is called Part 61 Flight Training. To find a qualified CFI, begin by searching through the local yellow pages, use an online search engine, or call your local airport office. They ought to be able to provide you with the names and numbers of local CFIs as well as offering information on planes available to rent for your flight lessons.

A variation on this option is to buy your own small, single-engine plane and then hire a CFI to teach you to fly in it. In the long run, if you find a good deal on an airplane, you might save more money than you would if you were to rent. When comparing the cost of buying versus renting, remember to include the price of maintenance, fuel, and other necessary costs inherent in owning a plane.

The second option for learning to fly involves what the Federal Aviation Regulations call a Part 141 Flight School. Though this might not be an option for people who live in more rural areas, bigger cities and airports usually have at least one flight school with their own planes and CFIs. Again, a search online or in the yellow pages for flight schools will be able to provide you with the names of local schools.

Each option can be beneficial for most people wanting to fulfill their dreams of flight. When considering a Part 141 designated flight school, the responsibility for finding the best CFI will be lifted from your shoulders. On the other hand, if the CFIs offered by the flight school seem to rub you the wrong way, then you might find yourself searching once again for a new instructor.

To get the best price possible, check around before committing to one option or another. Often, both flight schools and private lesson instructors will offer package deals. Usually, these deals will get a person from ground school to the private pilot license examination. When exploring the different deals, determine what exactly is offered by each. Are all of the necessary books included? Are headsets provided? Does the cost of the lessons include the exam fee as well? Shop around for the best deal that you can find.

Finally, in examining the different options in your area, do your research completely and don't rush into anything. If possible, talk to some of the local pilots who hang out at the airport. Try to find out where they took their private pilot lessons and who they consider to be quality CFIs. It's also a good idea to ask about the maintenance record on the plane that you will ultimately be flying.

Good luck in the pursuit of your dream, and as they say in the world of flight, blue skies.

© High Speed Ventures 2011