The Liberty Gazette
May 11, 2010
May 11, 2010
The View From Up Here
By Mike Ely and Linda Street Ely
Mike: Whether a pilot has been flying for a short time or is a seasoned pro every aviator remembers his/her first flight. That first flight could have happened on a whim or could have been something a person was contemplating for years. Either way, for many pilots that first flight was enough to cement their desire to learn more, to stick with it and achieve something many only dream about. Every pilot is different and will learn at their own pace, some taking to it more naturally than others.
Linda: International Learn to Fly Day was announced at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture at Oshkosh in July of 2009 as an effort to increase interest in flying and to encourage the aviation community to get others involved in promoting aviation and flying in general. This year’s International Learn to Fly Day is Saturday May 15. EAA chapters and several other aviation associated businesses, organizations and flight schools are participating in the event at airports all around the country. Similar to the EAA’s Young Eagles program, the idea is to give people that first flight experience or at least give them enough information on where to get it. Since its inception in 1991, the Young Eagles program has given over 1.7 million kids between the ages of 8 and 17 their first flight. The International Learn to Fly Day event has no age restrictions. So now all those moms and dads who watched a child enjoy the discovery of flight can now participate in the fun.
Since facilities, equipment, and personnel differ among each EAA chapter, commercial flight school, or participating organization, presentations of the Learn to Fly Day will be unique variations on a theme. Some will offer a 30 to 40 minute presentation with things like how much it costs, how long it takes, what you will learn, how to pick the right instructor for you, where you can fly, ways to save money on your training, mistakes to avoid, and more. Some flight schools and EAA chapters will arrange for a tour of a flight school and meeting with instructors. Many will offer aircraft on display for you to sit in and learn something about the instruments and controls. Some flight schools will be offering introductory flight lessons as well.
Mike: Participating organizations in the Southeast Texas area include the 1940 Air Terminal Museum located on the west side of Hobby Airport, Houston Light Sport Aviation LLC located at West Houston Airport, JustFly! Flight Training at David Wayne Hooks Airport, and Brazos Valley Flight Services at College Station’s Easterwood Airport. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum’s program will coincide with their monthly Wings and Wheels event which this month features Beechcraft aircraft. They have invited flight schools who participated in their March event to return for an afternoon presentation. There may be more by the time Saturday rolls around so you can check the EAA’s website for the event, www.learntoflyday.org, or call the Learn to Fly Day Hotline at (800) 399-6144. Free tickets are available to these events through the Learn to Fly website. If you’ve ever thought about learning to fly or are just curious what it’s like, we encourage you check out a participating facility for International Learn to Fly Day and enjoy a fun learning experience.
Mike and Linda can be reached at Texasavi8r@aol.com.