Learning to Fly I

A lot of people I’ve talked to have been curious what this flying malarky is all about, so I thought I’d explain a bit about it. I had a trial flying lesson in April, actually an Xmas present, and to say I loved it would be an understatement.

After a few month’s of Hmms and Ahhs, I decided to go for it. However, flying is rather expensive. This is probably something most people take for granted, but I feel the need to reiterate. It’s expensive. The impression I’ve gotten is that everything in aviation costs at least £100. Lesson? Bout a hundred. Flight medical? Hundred-ish. Pre-flight biscuit? Hundred pounds. I don’t think you quite understand. It is an Aviation Biscuit, essentially a normal biscuit but it costs £100.

Well, okay so added danger leads to increased cost of pretty much anything. Cost, like all things, is entirely relative. So with the callous capitalist concerns cast aside, what’s involved in learning to fly?

First of all, I am applying for what is called a PPL; the Private Pilots Licence. This is the international standard, also known as JAR, as opposed to the national ‘NPPL’ which only certifies flying in the UK. The JAR PPL requires a minimum (usually more) of 45 hours worth of flight training. Thus far, in the past 3 months, I have had six. At the current rate it will take me about 2 years to pass training, but it’s just as well considering there are 7 ground exams to complete from Air Law to Meteorology.

So why am I doing it? That’s an interesting question. Most people seem to expect me to have a grand plan in the works to be flying an A380 by my forties, but to be honest I just really love to fly. I’ve always felt a certain affinity for the air and aircraft, so I’m just going to see where it takes me. Regardless of how far I take it, I’m learning things along the way that I’ve always wanted to know more about.