Basic pilot training
is the bottom end of the ladder of aviation. Pilot training is difficult,
intensely stressful, action-packed and information rich. On an average it
takes about 60 hours of in the air practice, 20 hours of grueling ground
instruction, and countless hours of abuse from the instructor. It is a
skill that stretches physical reactions and mental sharpness to its
limits, along with the need to comprehend and memorize a staggering amount
of scientific and legal knowledge. Man was not born to fly, but we can
learn how to, with a lot of difficulty.
I took more time than
average. By the time I was done, I had clocked 73 hours of instruction, 23
hours of solo and about 350 landings.
Often I would go out
on a lesson and then could barely drive home. Sometimes I would come home
and sit around for several hours, just flaked out. But it was well worth
it. My training was done at Chandler
Air Service. I recommend these people with no reservations, they are a
getting flying lessons and what to expect, are plentiful on the Internet,
and I will not duplicate that material here.
(Certified Flight Instructor) is a different kind of human being. They
are folks who have spent a fortune to get a low paying job. In that job,
he or she is continually dodging death at the hands of imbeciles who do
not know how to fly (I was one such imbecile).
No one can teach you
how to balance on a bike. Similarly no one can teach you how to fly.
A CFI has two important function:
Prevent you from killing yourself
Helping you learn
The real skill of
flying is acquired by practicing alone. When there is no one
holding your hand, you really find out what flying is all about. Of course
you make mistakes and you watch you life almost come to an end. You learn
how to never do it again. And soon, you learn how to really fly, and then
the fun multiplies.
My lessons started in April 2001. On July 10th I was told to go fly by
myself. The story is here: The First Solo
Since the first solo
was quite a disaster, I swore
off of flying by myself for a while. I trained and trained, focusing on
landings, till I was much more proficient in touching down. Then I did my
second solo. Then I got hooked.
I found the fun of
flying by myself. It is quiet, serene and a close partnership between man
and machine. So
whenever I got the chance, I took a plane out for a ride. After some time
of solo practicing, we got onto the night flying and cross-country
sections of the training. That eventually led to solo cross country
A few notable events during the training
Finally, there is a grueling written
exam covering a world of stuff including aircraft systems, aerodynamics,
legal issues, weather, procedures and such. Then there is a practical test
called the checkride.
not want to talk about my checkride, apart from I passed (Dec. 6th 2001). Ever since then,
i have been practicing hard and honing up my skills. I have also had fun
on out of town trips.
Be safe up