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Below is a list of questions frequently asked by prospective student pilots. If you have a question that is not addressed here, feel free to E-mail, call, or better yet: come in ask!
How do I know that I can learn to fly?
Somewhere there is someone just like you who recently became a pilot. Although the average student pilot is 32 years old, anyone 16 years or older can learn to fly an airplane. People from every occupation and every geographic location in the nation are pilots.
What are the requirements?
There are three basic requirements for learning to fly powered airplanes in the United States. First, you have to be at least 16 years old. Second, you have to be in good health. And third, you have to be able to read, speak, and understand the English language.
How difficult is it?
As with any other skill you master, flying is learned step by step. It’s a fascinating experience, yet not particularly difficult. It can be learned by practically anyone who is willing to invest some time and effort. Pilot training has two aspects: ground training and flight training. Ground training takes place in a classroom, and covers such areas as rules and regulations, flight planning, navigation, radio procedures, and weather. In the flight training phase, you learn to fly by actually controlling an airplane yourself.
Do I need special skills to fly?
No. Perhaps the most important element in successfully learning to fly is sheer desire. Once you’re ready to invest your time and effort in learning to fly, it’s time to go ahead and take the first steps.
Where is the best place to learn to fly?
There are several types of flight training schools in various locations all across the country. The airport here in Beverly, MA provides an exceptional training environment thanks to the beautiful landscape, extraordinary community, diverse weather, and surrounding complex airspace. More information on why you should choose Beverly Regional Airport as your training base can be found by clicking here.
Ok, I think I want to fly. So what’s the first step?
You’ve already completed the first step. Making the decision that you want to pursue flight training is the most important step. However, before you fully invest your time, effort, and money it is recommended that you take an “Introductory Flight” in order to experience what it’s like to fly in a small airplane. After this, you will know for sure whether or not flying is for you.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this question, nor should anyone start their pilot training with this question constantly lurking in their mind. Everyone learns differently, and there is no way around that. The regulations only require a pilot applicant to complete 40 hours of flight before taking the practical test. However, a more realistic average is about 65 hours of flight time.
What will my first flight be like?
Your first flight, commonly referred to as the “Introductory Flight”, is a very exciting moment! Your instructor will give you a general overview of the airplane as well as how the flight controls work. Once in the plane, the instructor will guide you as you take the controls and prepare for takeoff! Once in the air, you’ll venture out toward Gloucester to catch some breathtaking views of the coastline. Your instructor will then guide you through the steps of basic aircraft maneuvering before returning back to the airport. For most people, it ends up being the best 45 minutes of their lives!
Ok, I’m sold. But how much will all of this cost?
The cost of flight training varies. Fuel prices, maintenance, and insurance costs are but a few of the variables. To receive adequate and safe pilot training, you can expect to spend around $10,000 when all is said and done. No matter the cost, becoming a pilot is a solid investment in your future.
Is flying safe?
General Aviation airplanes are built to rigid federal specifications, and they are constantly checked and rechecked to make sure they are both mechanically and structurally safe. People who fly are safety conscious. Safety is the most important word in the aviation vocabulary, and is the basis for all of your training.
What happens if the engine quits?
An aircraft engine is a piece of finely built machinery that is designed to keep running. In the unlikely event of an engine failure, however, a plane does not just fall out of the sky. The airplane will descend slowly in a glide…just like a bird that is not flapping its wings. The procedures for dealing with these kinds of scenarios are thoroughly taught throughout your training.
What happens after I get my pilot’s license?
Though it sounds cliché, this is where you will learn even more about flying. Now that you have your license, a whole new freedom has been opened up to you. Do you want to fly to Maine for breakfast? Go right ahead. Or how about commuting to your next business meeting above all the traffic? With a pilot’s license, the possibilities are nearly endless.