How Hard is it to Learn How to Fly?
Is it your dream to sit in the cockpit and fly an airplane or helicopter? Whether you want to learn to fly as a profession, or it’s a hobby that has always interested you, there could be a few barriers of entry in your way of achieving this goal. It’s important to have realistic expectations about what it takes for someone to be qualified to become a pilot.
These are some of the most important limitations that need to be considered:
Pass a Medical Exam
There could be disqualifying factors in the results found through your medical exam. This examination is designed to screen for major problems, such as vision impairment, blood pressure concerns, heart disease, seizures, cancer, and more. Any medical condition that can hinder your ability to fly. If you have a medical disqualification, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to fly. Instead, you might have limitations because you can’t fly solo – another pilot needs to be present.
Completing Flight School
Flight school requires both time and money. If you are going to start this program, then talk to the school about financial requirements and the time investment that will be necessary. Expect to have classes and training over the course of a year (or more). Some programs offer fast-track solutions that allow you to be done in just a few months.
In addition to the time requirements, there are necessary skills that you will need to study and learn. Plan to dedicate hours each week to studying and homework.
Financial Costs for Flying
Most airplane flight school programs range between $5,000 – $7,000. Helicopter flight school programs range between $16,000 – $30,000. If you don’t have the cash upfront to pay for the school, then you might choose to find a loan or financial assistance through a line of credit. Expenses add up for hourly flight instructor fees, as well as the cost of running the plane you are training in, often between $65 – $130 per hour.
Passing the Flight Test
Hopefully, flight school will prepare you enough so you are ready to pass the examination on your first try. But rest assured knowing that you can take the test again if you don’t pass it the first time around. The goal of the test is to ensure that you will be safe in the skies by showing that you’ve learned the necessary skills and information to manage the aircraft.