When a plane passes over, do you wish you could be flying high above the ground, soaring like a bird? You can be. You can know the freedom that pilots experience as they travel the limitless sky, near the stars, clouds, and winds that encircle the earth.

If you think that piloting a plane is only for those who joined the military or became commercial airline pilots, think again. You can be a part of — general aviation.

The term general aviation refers to all aviation activity that is not military or commercial. Each year more than 100,000 people in the United States take flying lessons to learn how to fly general aviation aircraft. When asked why they want to learn to fly, most say, “because flying is fun.”

Some of the people who learn to fly are salespeople who want to expand their business territories or doctors who need to reach patients in remote areas. Others fly for recreation, like going on vacation. Some people who learn to fly are teenagers getting a head start on a piloting career.

And not only is flying fun, but it’s also efficient. Many trips that normally take a whole day by car can be made in half the time, or less in an airplane. Piloting your own plane also increases the number of destinations you can reach directly by air. In the United States, about 800 airports serve commercial airlines, but more than 5,300 airports are open to general aviation pilots.

If you think you’d enjoy flying, and wonder if it’s more than an impossible dream, then read on. This “Learn to Fly” brochure will tell you all the general aviation flying basics. It answers the questions most frequently asked of flight school instructors the world over. You’ll learn about the physical and written examination requirements, the training costs, and the time it takes for flying lessons.

Copyright 1996 General Aviation Manufacturers Association
General Aviation Manufacturers Association