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How do I learn how to fly a single engine aircraft?

Since the beginning of time, mankind has wanted to fly. Faced with the effortless flights of the birds around him, this is hardly surprising. What may be surprising is that mankind's first efforts to fly started in 450 BC China. The first successful flight with a plane with an engine was in 1903 when Orville Wright flew their plane at Kitty Hawk. Single engine aircraft have come a long way, offering an opportunity for those wish to learn to fly. To begin this process of learning to fly, there are some steps you must take.

A flight school

The first step is finding a flight school in your area. You should take some things into considerations: the cost, the reputation of the school, its distance from your location (travel expenses should figure into the over-all cost), as well as its licensing. The school must have the proper licenses to offer flight school. Be sure to ask to see them before beginning to learn to fly.

The classes

Learning to fly begins with a 30-minute flight in which you learn the feel of the plane and what it is like to fly. As the single engine planes, you will be learning to in are usually Cessnas, Pipers, or other smaller craft, this will be a different experience than flying in a larger jet plane. Following a medical exam to ensure you are healthy enough to fly, you will begin your training. After putting in a certain number of hours of training, you will take your first solo flight. After you reach 40 to 70 hours of flight time, you will be ready for the next step.

The exam

Once you have the proper level of training as determined by your instructor, as well as enough hours of flight time, you will take a flight with a FAA flight examiner who will not only test your flying skills but your knowledge of regulations et al. Only when you have passed the oral, written and practical exam, will you gain your pilot's license. From this point, you will have the enjoyable task of deciding whether to lease a pane, buy from a selection of used planes, or buy new.

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