Do you dream of taking to the skies with your own hands on the joystick? Not sure how to turn your ambitions into reality — or if you’ll even really take to being in control of a plane? Well, a trial introductory flight could be just what you’re looking for.
Many flying schools offer trial introductory flights as a way of exposing potential students to what being in the cockpit is really like. After all, there’s a fairly significant difference between spending a flight sitting comfortably in the passenger seat or being the person in control of actually landing the plane. Flight school can be quite expensive, so you want to be one hundred percent confident that learning to fly is something you really want to pursue before making the investment.
Continue reading to learn a little more about what to expect from a trial flight and how to find the right flying school for you.
What’s involved in a trial flight?
What a trial introductory flight consists of can depend on the flying school. Generally speaking, the purpose of a trial flight is to give you a good understanding of the processes a pilot follows, and then how it feels to take control of the aircraft. An experienced instructor will guide you from start to finish.
The pilot will likely start by providing an introduction to the plane you are going to fly, and brief information as to how the controls work. You may then conduct a pre-flight check on the aircraft, just as all pilots do before every time before they go flying. Once you get up into the skies, they will show you some basic manoeuvres before handing you the controls and letting you try it under their guidance.
Most flight schools will provide a few different options as to the length of the flight and the type of plane you go up in. Some people choose to undertake a trial introductory flight as a one-off experience, perhaps as an exciting gift or the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Others end up logging the flight as the first minutes of their flight training — the beginning of your journey towards becoming a pilot!
Can anyone take a trial flight?
Again, the answer to this question really depends on the flight school in question. While all flight schools have stringent requirements that must be met before someone can operate a plane, trial introductory flights don’t tend to be held to the exact same rules.
The school may ask if you have any pre-existing health conditions that could prevent you from safely flying. Other than that, a trial introductory flight is for pretty much anyone!
Finding the right flight school for you
With quite a few different flight schools out there, how can you be sure that you’ve chosen the right one?
Well, in the case of a trial introductory flight, you want to be spending a meaningful amount of time in the sky. Make sure the school offers a flight length of at least 30 minutes — 60 is even better! If you’ve chosen to buy the flight as a gift, for a birthday or an anniversary, perhaps, check out what add-ons they offer. Wouldn’t it be great to have video footage commemorating your time above the clouds?
Finally, check out the other pilot training courses the school offers, particularly if you are using the trial flight as a test of sorts to see if you want to progress towards becoming a pilot. Most flight schools will allow you to log the time spent in the trial flight as actual training towards a licence if you do proceed. Also, a school that offers a wide range of courses will also generally have more experienced instructors, which is important.Above all, make sure that you take the time to enjoy your trial introductory flight! Who knows, this could be the start of a new and exciting path leading you up into the sky towards a pilot licence or even a career as a professional pilot!