Introducing Non-Aviators to the Flying Experience

Shawn Arena

Experiencing the world of flight by actually sitting in the cockpit of an aircraft manipulating the flight controls is one of the most exhilarating, inspiring and surreal events an individual can encounter. And being able to share that experience with friends, family and significant others is an amazing opportunity. But sometimes, it can be difficult to convince them to go up with you, and share the experience. Not everyone is ready to jump into the cockpit right away. However, without being in an actual airplane, there are many ‘ground based’ and alternative flying options that will let them take a peek into the flying experience, and help ease them towards giving the real thing a try.

It’s Almost Like the Real Thing

Aviation, similar to other industries, has benefited from the explosive growth of technological advances. Advances such as the ‘glass cockpit’ and ‘fly-by-by-wire ‘automated systems, have become industry mainstays in commercial aircraft. However, you may have also noticed technological advances have evolved that can make one feel ‘as good as the real thing’ without having to pay ‘real thing’ prices. Flight simulation alternatives have filtered down to the most cost-conscious general aviation pilot.

Ranging from full-motion simulators used at flight schools at nominal costs, to computer-based-flight simulation programs you can easily install and use on your personal computer at home, the options to peek into the exciting world of flight are growing. These high-definition, real-world graphic presentations, allow outstanding platforms that opens a door for one to start looking into the exciting world of flight.

Hangar Flying

Bring them along to spend some time hanging around fellow pilots and aviation entusiasts down at the hangar. They’ll very quickly find out the meaning and importance of ‘hangar flying’. Just as the name implies, one of the most talked about, yet informal activities in aviation is when two or more pilots sit around in a hangar and talk aircraft and aviation.

While these sessions can turn into the ‘fish stories’ of flying, they can also serve a very important purpose of fostering and promoting a passion for flying. This activity can also be incredibly helpful when veteran pilots talk to student or newly minted private pilots. I guarantee you that you will walk away with more firsthand, real-world information than you can find in any flying magazine or even a ground school class. If you are like I was, you become a sponge taking in all they can offer – at no charge! This also helps to set them more at ease with the idea of flying as they hear others talk about it openly and candidly.

While you’re there, you might also take the opportunity to introduce them to the idea of a discovery flight. As I mentioned in a previous article, taking a discovery flight will also allow them the opportunity to get a real taste of the flying experience by taking a quick hop around the pattern in an actual training aircraft.

Also, if there’s an airshow in town, don’t miss it! This is a great opportunity to spend time with a crowd of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, see a variety of vintage and new aircraft and see some great flying firsthand.

Flying Scenarios

Another really fun yet educational experience is to go to a concessionaire which has World War II and current aircraft simulators configured to accomplish a specific mission. My son and I went to one such concession at the Mall of America in Minneapolis…what a blast!

Even though I had been actually flying for several years at that point, this real-world simulation was very worthwhile. I chose the U.S. Navy / USMC FA-18 Hornet and my son chose the P-51 Mustang. There were two scenarios programmed into our session: a dogfight and a night carrier landing. Needless to say, my son ‘waxed my tail’ in the dogfight session, but I greased a perfect ‘trap on the number 3 wire’ on the carrier, one that Maverick and Goose would have been proud of!

Westward Ho

Regardless of the avenue you choose, there remain a variety of opportunities that you can use to help introduce your friends and loved ones to the flying experience. And these is just the tip of the iceberg – in order to keep things brief, I left out (not intentionally) options like hot air balloons, glider flights, ultralights and more. So without getting into the actual cockpit, one can experience the world of flight from as many angles as there are fair-weather cumulus clouds on a spring day!

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

Schedule a Intro Flight with ULA

Are you ready to LEARN TO FLY today? Call Upper Limit Aviation at 844-iFLYEDU and schedule a intro flight, or click here to find out more information about our flight school. Need financing for flight training? If you’ve always dreamed of flying, or your desire is to become a commercial pilot, now is the time to make the commitment and realize your dream. Upper Limit Aviation has been training student pilots since 2004, and now is your time to take flight.

Stacy Steele’s intro flight was an amazing experience, beyond words, beyond description, and just what she needed. When Stacy arrived at Upper Limit Aviation to take her intro flight, she really did not expect to fly. Stacy thought she was just along for a ride. With ULA Chief Flight Instructor, Alan Carver, at the helm, Stacy actively participated in the takeoff, flight of the aircraft, and landing. Stacy was hooked.

Watch Stacy’s Intro Flight Experience with Upper Limit Aviation

Most people describe their first flight (actual “non-passenger” flying experience) as one of the most amazing experiences of their life. If you’ve always dreamed of flying an airplane, it all starts with your intro flight. So what are you waiting for? If you have not taken an intro flight, schedule one now.

If you are looking to learn to fly with Upper Limit Aviation, your first step is to schedule an intro flight. Most flight schools and instructors charge a reasonable rate for an introductory flight. Upper Limit Aviation offers serious student pilot candidates a great deal on their intro flight, and we go beyond what other schools offer.

Scheduling an introductory flight is not as complicated as you would think. We do suggest that your flight be scheduled to be flown in good weather conditions. Bad weather conditions (wind, or rain/snow) is not advised for your first flying experience.

When you arrive at Upper Limit Aviation, you will be well taken care of. We realize this might be your very first flying experience, and we want to make sure that it is a memorable one. You will be flying with an experienced flight instructor. Remember, no matter how experienced your flight instructor might be, he or she was in your shoes at one time. They uniquely understand the importance of an awesome introductory flight.

Before you go anywhere your instructor will take you through the preflight inspections (be ready to ask all the questions you can think of). Before you depart the tarmac, your flight instructor will cover the basics of the airplane (instruments, flight controls, shoulder harnesses, start procedures, taxi procedures, communication with the tower, and a checklist of safety items). Your first flight and every flight after that will be all about safety – now you are ready for takeoff.

Your flight instructor may allow you to taxi the aircraft to the runway, allowing you to steer the airplane. The instructor will always be flying the plane, but he or she may have you keep a hand on the control yoke and your feet on the pedals. This way you get a realistic feel for flying the plane. At this point, your instructor will take you through basic flight maneuvers, and described the “what and why” of each maneuver.

Your first intro flight will take about 30 minutes in the air. After flying, you will be encouraged to spend some time discussing your flight experience with your instructor. It is recommended you ask all the questions that come to mind. If, after your intro flight, you are set on earning your Private Pilot’s license, then it’s time to enroll.

Most ULA student pilots are considering a career in aviation, so they continue with ULA after earning their Private Pilot certificate. Upper Limit Aviation can take a student pilot from Private Pilot, Instrument, and to Commercial in 9 to 12 months. If you are also looking to obtain your Certified Flight Instructor and Certified Flight Instructor Instrument ratings, you can do so through Upper Limit Aviation by adding another six months of training.

For more information about scheduling an intro flight with Upper Limit Aviationcall us at (801) 596-7722.

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