The Pilot (V)

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Pablo Edronkin

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This is done very gradually; flights will begin with the instructor steering the airplane for most of the time and as he or she sees that you progress, you will be given command of the plane more and more time and at specific moments, when the intended manoeuvers are to be performed.

Then the day of your solo flight will come and you will have to fly the machine on your own. Some time after that, when your instructor finally considers that you are fit to become a pilot, he or she will present you to a flight inspector named by the aeronautical authority (the FAA or similar body), and after an hour or so, if you pass the test you will be issued your first license. If for some reason you don't pass it, you will be given another chance later.

Once you get your license you will have to adopt a certain attitude, and this is fundamental: Finally becoming a pilot doesn't mean that you got a license to barnstorm and kill, either yourself or other people. Your pilot's certificate is really a license to learn from a zillion different courses available to people who know how to fly: You can become a professional pilot, or you could learn how to fly in a balloon. Perhaps you could learn how to fly a floatplane or to do some aerobatics or who knows? But remember: Top Gun is just a movie.

If you would like to learn to fly a helicopter, with your PPAL it will cost you significantly less money because you will grasp the ideas of flying a rotary-wing aircraft quicker, thus spending less on those more expensive instruction hours, plus, you will probably get a reduction in the number of required minimum hours to get a helicopter pilot's license. And if you would like to become an airline pilot, your next steps should move you towards your first commercial license.

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