Why Learn to Fly
If you're reading this page it's reasonable to assume that you have some interest in learning to fly or at least learning about airplanes. Considering that an investment in earning a private pilots license can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000 and from four to six months of your precious time, what could possibly compel you make this choice? Here is a list of reasons you might consider.
A SENSE OF FREEDOM: The sense of freedom in an airplane is unparallel. You can walk out to your airplane, hop inside and head off in any direction you desire in these United States (with a few exceptions, like over the White House and other sensitive areas, of course).
I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO FLY: When I ask pilots across the country why they got involved in aviation, about 90% say they've always wanted to fly and knew this since an early age. Some folks want to fly but don't know why. So what? Who said you need a good reason to do something exciting? If you wan to fly then fly.
ADVENTURE: If you like adventure then you'll love flying your own airplane. Imagine taking someone to the airport, hopping in a small two-place airplane and flying to another airport for dinner then returning later that evening. Would your friend, date, spouse or acquaintance be impressed? I think so.
YOUR OWN PERSONAL AIRLINE: Don't like flying the airlines? Consider purchasing your own airplane or purchasing one as a fractional owner (which reduces the cost of ownership dramatically) and using it in your business or for personal travel. As a private pilot, with a 200 mph airplane (a common speed for most small high performance airplanes) you can often fly half way across these Unites States and often arrive faster than a typical scheduled airline flight. That's a fact. If I takeoff in my A-36 Bonanza from Southern California and head for Wichita, Kansas, I can often beat or match the total time I spend flying on a major airline. Why? Given the required advanced check-in time, the typical delays and time getting your baggage and finding a ride to your destination, it's not at all uncommon to meet or beat these times when flying a small airplane. Of course, if the weather is poor, this will add more time enroute. Then again, really poor weather means no time enroute because that's when you hop on an airliner and let the heavy metal folks (and I don't mean rock musicians) get you there. It's undeniable that flying your own airplane as an options gives you much more flexibility and freedom that flying an airliner. And just in case you think there are not enough airports around the country for you to land at, you might want to think a second time. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of small airports across the United States that cater only to small airplanes.
I LIKE A CHALLENGE: If you like the challenge of self-improvement, then learning to fly is right down your runway. The idea of being able to control several thousand pounds of metal and place it anywhere you desire on a runway is one heck of an accomplishment.
BECOME SOMETHING NEW: Flying can give all people, especially young people, a sense of purpose. Read my story of Henry in the article titled Become Something New. Henry was a young man who had a serious behavioral problem and changed his life dramatically by taking flying lessons. Leo Buscaglia once said that when we learn something new we become something new. Learn to fly an airplane and you'll become an entirely new person.
IT'S FUN: Finally, it's just plain (plane?) fun to fly. No further description is necessary.
Image above: © Luis Louro - Fotolia
Part 1 - Learn to Fly With Rod Machado