Why people want to “Learn to Fly”
Learning to Fly is like a lot of other hobbies – from an outsider’s perspective it is often hard to work out why people get so enthusiastic about their hobbies, sports and careers.
- Jet Skiing
- Target shooting
And aviation is no exception. So what makes people so passionate about aviation as a hobby?
As human beings we have certain needs which on the surface appear to be mutually exclusive.
The first need is certainty, but if we are completely certain about what is going to happen, we get bored. Which means that we also need uncertainty – but if we get completely uncertain about things we freak out.
The sports and hobbies that we generally enjoy are a nice mixture of the two. Aviation has a huge amount of certainty – we operate off checklists to confirm that we do not miss any important tasks before we get airborne. And we have a lot of certainty that if we move the controls in a certain direction the aircraft will respond in a certain manner.
And if that was the end of the story, aviation could be extremely boring.
The uncertainty and variation comes through every flight being different. However skilled or experienced you are, the weather conditions, the aeroplane you fly, the different people you fly with, the new terrain you fly over, the new places you visit, all add up to a challenge every time you fly. So even once you’ve achieved a pilot licence, you’re continuing to learn and improve your skills every time you fly.
Challenge / Sense of accomplishment
The best bit of advice I got from a wise instructor was; if you do something absolutely perfectly, the next question should be how can I do it even better next time? With this approach two things happen.
One is that you become an even better pilot.
And the second, probably more important, is that you always have a challenge. In life, there are lots of opportunities to compete and be better than someone else. But you will always have a more rewarding challenge if your golden rule in life is to be better than your old self. Private victories are often far more rewarding in the long-term then public victories / achievements.
The greatest personal satisfaction / fulfillment comes from putting your own time and effort into a project. As they say, the longest journey always starts with one step. Learning to fly is a journey of many simple and not-so-simple steps, and can only be achieved by putting your own time and effort into it. (Blood Sweat and Tears). And you get to join an elite group that actually hold a Pilot Licence.
A possible career
Many people go into aviation intending to make a career of becoming a professional pilot. But even for the recreational pilot, once you have a licence, lots of doors open up in all sorts of areas other than Aviation. Many of the skills you learn are very relevant to other industries. It’s an excellent thing to have written on your CV that should get on the shortlist for that ideal job, or give you something else to talk about with your customers etc…
Adventure / Exhilaration
For anyone that has got the bug, flying is fun, with many different ways to take to the air –
- You can take your friends flying
- Cross-country trips
- Night flying
just to name a few of the ongoing activities you can join in with.
If nothing else flying is just good clean fun!