JUNEAU — Have you ever had a dream that you were flying?
Anyone interested in learning how to fly had a chance to find out how to make that dream a reality on Saturday at the Dodge County Airport.
Wisconsin Aviation celebrated International Learn to Fly Day, and offered guests the chance to learn what it takes to become a private pilot and the opportunity to go up in the air with a flight instructor. International Learn to Fly Day was announced at the 2009 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.
Senior flight instructor Jeffery Anderson led a presentation detailing what it takes to become a licensed private pilot. Anderson, a retired FAA operations inspector, has been flying since 1966. He said he is approaching 10,000 hours flying.
He said that learning how to fly is life changing and that most pilots refer to other pilots as “sick.”
“Once that flying bug hits, there is no cure,” Anderson said. “After your first solo – your life has changed.”
Anderson talked about the cost of learning how to fly, and said that it is up to the student, and depends on how often they fly, how well they study and the time they have available. He said that learning how to fly can help with decision making, and that Dodge County’s rural setting makes it an ideal place to learn.
Anderson said there are hurdles to getting a private pilot’s license. Those interested in learning how to fly should first get an aviation medical certificate and be prepared to study. To earn a private pilot certificate, a person has to be at least 17, pass a knowledge test and a practical test, which consists of an oral exam and a flight exam conducted by an FAA-designated examiner. Students must have a minimum of 40 hours of flight training and 10 hours of solo flight.
“We’re going to train you to be a pilot, not just pass the test,” Anderson said.
Those attending the first Learn to Fly session had questions about the different categories a pilot can be licensed in, if a pilot’s license has to be renewed and about the costs associated with learning to fly.
Anderson and fellow flight instructor Glenn Ingram showed the simulators available at Wisconsin Aviation .
“It’s a great way to learn without the pressure and stress of performing (in a real plane),” Ingram said of the simulators.
For more information on Wisconsin Aviation, visit www.wisconsinaviation.com.