I think I might have to boycott Groupon: a few months back they had a deal for an introductory flight, first ground school time, and pilot log book for about 50% off the normal rate from the local flight training company, NexGen Aviation.
I arrive at the airport a little before 1400 for my flight on Sunday. Adrian, my instructor, is an intensely friendly man. He’s originally from Zimbabwe, though has spent enough time in Kentucky that now his family think he has an accent 🙂
NexGen has a Piper Warrior – a four-place, low-wing, single engine airplane they use for lessons.
Things I did not know about operating an aircraft – you steer while you’re on on the ground with your feet.
Adrian opened the door and told me to get in first. That was not what I expected – that put me in the pilot’s seat. After doing a quick preflight, he started the engine, and we started taxiing… more accurately, while he radioed the tower for clearance, he had me taxi us out onto the runway.
So that was pretty cool .. but it got better: when we got to the runway, and the tower had cleared us, I got to take off =D
Adrian ran the throttle, and he took care of the trim tabs and explained to me what I had to do, but otherwise he let me fly for the about 30 minutes we were up – the only time he took over was for our landing. We toured around Lexington at ~2500 feet (buzzing up to nearly 3000 as I tried to maintain our heading, steer, look around, and keep us flying level-ish.
I got to see our house from 2500 feet, and a variety of other parts of Lexington that I think may help when it comes to driving, too.
Now for the bad news: I’m hooked. And the total time and outlay that getting my license will entail will be at least 40 hours of flying time (including different type of solo time), along with several hours of ground school. And all of that combined with needing to take a written test so the FAA will eventually be willing to give me a check ride so I can get my license.
That’ll run ~$6650 … if I go as quickly as I can. Taking too much time between lessons will help to reduce retention, so I’m probably more realistically looking at about $10k to complete my license.
I’m accepting donations, though 😉