Posted on: 18 May 2018Share
Many people dream of one day flying a plane or helicopter by themselves — and in this day and age, it's not an unrealistic goal. If you're willing to put in the time and the money, it's entirely possible to acquire a private pilot's license. In fact, it requires no more coordination than driving a car. However, there are a couple of other skills you'll need to develop too. Here's what you should be prepared to learn.
If you've ever heard pilots talking over the radio on a commercial flight, communicating with air traffic control or the airport, then you'll know there's a complex system of codes and technical jargon. Unfortunately for the private learner, this is not just for commercial pilots. You will need to be able to understand what air traffic control units are saying to you and to report back with the correct language. This may require some good old-fashioned study!
Charting and Map-Reading
You won't just be following pre-established routes. Once you acquire your license, you'll be setting the flight plan — so you'll need to understand how to plot a course, and to follow one while in the air. This is not like following a ground map, and it may take some practice to ensure you can keep track of your compass and don't get lost in the air.
If you suspect a technical problem while operating a ground vehicle, you can simply stop and seek assistance. With a helicopter or plane, this is not as simple, and so pilots must know a little about the equipment, mechanics and physics of the vehicle they are using. That way, in the rare event that there's a problem or emergency, you are able to take the best course of action to fix or eradicate the problem or do your best to land safely in the worst-case scenarios. Of course, having a technical understanding of flight and your machinery is also helpful in general, especially if you'll eventually be owning your own helicopter or plane.
In the end, the physical act of controlling the vehicle while flying is one of the quickest things you'll learn. It's the skillsets that surround it, which keep you safe and well-informed, that will really take some studying and applied knowledge. However, with a little time commitment, you'll surely be well on your way to succeeding in that lifelong dream — especially now that you're prepared for it. Reach out to companies like Professional Helicopter Services Pty Ltd to learn more.