QUESTION 1: WHAT DOES BEING A PILOT MEAN?

To me, being a pilot is the most beautiful profession in the world; being a pilot is get- ting closer to the clouds, being able to see the world from another perspective.

Many people have the erroneous idea that, to land and take off an aircraft is to be a pilot. If you want to fly, you would go to a flight school and ask to take the private pilot course. You will spend a few months in theoretical courses and, if you have the money, you can quickly start flying.

It may be that in the first 20 hours of fly- ing with an instructor, which is the number of hours it has taken most of them to learn to fly. You’ll learn the minimum necessary skills, and I say minimum because you are like a bird that jumps from the nest for the first time, a pigeon that does not know how to flap its wings, does not dare to jump from the nest, and with a little push from its mother or father, jumps to fly for the first time.

This is how you feel when your flight instruc- tor gives you the news that you are going to fly alone, without the help of another pilot, without passengers; you are alone in the aircraft. This will be the first solo flight of your life, it is one of the most exciting experiences you will have as a pilot.

Your instructor will have to make the deci- sion to inform you whether or not you are ready for your solo flight, at which point you will have to make the first decision of your life as a pilot and tell your instructor whether or not you feel ready to fly alone.

Once you start the flight, you will be able to see a dream come true, captured in this flight, for the rest of your life; it will be a flight you will never forget, no matter what branch of avia- tion you decide to work in, it will be engraved in your mind and heart.

From this moment on, you will be able to know for sure if you want to dedicate yourself to this beautiful profession. It’s never too late to start and it’s never too late to say no. Many people start in this profession and, once they are in it, realize it was not meant to be their vocation. Many retire and do something else.

A piece of advice I can give you, is that if you don’t have a vocation to be a pilot, you should NOT do it. I’ve heard a lot of comments from many people who want to do this because they make a lot of money, or travel a lot, but if this is your only reason for choosing aviation, you’ll have a very hard time.

Engage in aviation only if you have a pas- sion for flying and ask yourself the next ques- tion: Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? Even if I don’t make a dime? If your answer is YES, you are a pilot; if your answer is NO, look for another profession.

Not everyone who starts the course finish- es it. Some, because of lack of economic re- sources, others because they realize flying is not their passion, etc. So, it’s a good place to make the decision to continue or leave this ca- reer. For that reason, it is NOT a good idea to put 100% of the cost down towards the profes- sion, or to pay a school the full cost of the pilot course upfront. It might get complicated if you ask for your money back in case you realize that a career in aviation is not for you, and you decide to stop your training.

Aviation, like any other profession, is not for everyone. You may have every desire to be a pilot and on your first flight, realize that this profession is not for you. So, I suggest that, if you want to be a pilot, you look for a flight school and ask about the theoretical and prac- tical courses needed to be a private pilot and do not pay it 100% upfront, but rather, as you go along; in case you decide this profession isn’t for you.

 Getting my first «Wings» for having successfully coursed and completed the theoretical Private Airman Pilot course. Flight hours 0, age 17, course fee US$500.00

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