It’s a good question! Many people are interested in flying but they are not sure how to start or even if it’s worth it. For sure, it’s an investment in time and money – so what’s the payoff?
Here are a few reasons you may want to get into general aviation.
1. It’s a challenge.
In order to be licensed to fly, a pilot needs to pass tests following specialized training. When they do fly, they need to exercise their knowledge of engines, flight-physics, navigation, radio communication, situational awareness, rules and procedures as well as “stick and rudder” skills. Are you up for that? If you like a challenge – you probably are!
2. It’s an experience.
GA Flying allows a high level of freedom and is an adventure almost unparalleled by all but the real “extreme” sports. There is some risk, although this is mitigated by good training and equipment. There are almost limitless places to visit and things to do. There are sights that can only be seen from the air and destinations you can access only by air. This is all on-top of the adventure of piloting your own aircraft in one of the largest, most diverse and beautiful countries on the planet.
3. It’s a great crowd.
Like many hobbies and sports, the GA crowd are passionate about their pastime. There’s always someone to talk to about their flight, experience, technique, equipment, aircraft or a combination of all. You’ll fall-in with pilots and enthusiasts, radio hams and photographers – and love the comeradery that comes with being a pilot or fan.
4. It’s not as expensive as you think.
We get into costs in other articles, but apart from the licensing, owning and operating a GA aircraft is comparable with having a motorboat and even some golf and health clubs. Certainly, if you’re a sports fan, you can spend more on going to or playing games than you will on GA and, for the cottage crowd – flying is almost certainly less expensive (depending on what and how you do it). There are many things you probably do now that cost more than GA – you would be surprised.
You can use your aircraft to get around. Trips can include simple pleasure rides solo or with friends, vacations and business. There are people who use their aircraft like they do their car. Many people forget the fact that having an aircraft is a great way to – you know – get somewhere fun 🙂 It’s as much about the destination as the flying (actually not really – but you understand the point).
6. It makes your existing hobbies and pasttimes better.
Some golf clubs have private strips – and a car ride for a day’s golfing is not really doable. The bast fishing is on untouched lakes – and GA is the only way to access many of them. If you’re a camper or hiker, you can travel to some great back-country spots and see nature the way it was intended. There are many, many other ways GA can enhance your life.
7. It’s cool.
Sorry – but it IS cool, there no other way to describe it in one word. Did you grow-up with hero pilots? Did you look-up and imagine the freedom of flight when you were a kid? We sometimes forget our dreams but there’s no need to. – GA is for everyone – that’s why the words “aviation” and “public” are both often preceded with the word “general”!