Have you always wanted to learn to fly? Maybe you never knew how to start. Perhaps you lacked the time to pursue your dream? Well, now you can learn to fly for less than you might have thought and more quickly than you might think.

Learning to fly is a great investment in your life. Most pilots describe a life-changing experience, something that can be shared with a friend as well. Whether you are pursuing a dream or a career, Flight Design Pilot Centers can help you take to the air.

Flight Design is committed to adapting new technology to personal aviation, providing more enjoyment to you while you learn and reducing the time it takes to become a pilot.

Learning to fly gives you freedom that others can only imagine. Flying lets you see things and go places that can be reached only from the air, whether seeing the sparkling blue of the ocean or quickly leaving your ground-bound worries behind, you have to try flying to believe how much fun it can be.

Sport Pilot

In 2004 a new simpler pilot certificate became available in the United States. Called Sport Pilot, the new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificate is the first level of pilot licensing. It is a natural entry level to a Private Pilot certificate or other more advanced pilot licenses. Yet Sport Pilot can be a way for busy people to attain their goal of flying for fun or a way for an existing pilot to keep flying in a way more appropriate for our changing lifestyles.

Obtaining the Sport Pilot certificate in a Flight Design airplane costs dramatically less than a few years ago. While a Private Pilot license can cost $8,000 to $10,000, a Sport Pilot certificate may cost only $3,000. Plus it takes only half the time as less instructional hours are required. See the following chart to map how you can progress in aviation, starting with your first flight in a CTLS.

Light Sport Aircraft

Light Sport Aircraft may seem familiar to us by their appearance, but they are in fact quite different from the traditional aircraft we are used to.

First, LSAs weigh significantly less than many aircraft. With a typical empty weight of 600 to 700 pounds and a take-off weight of up to 1320 pounds, they are indeed light aircraft. The light weight, coupled with a generous wing surface area, means that they have a low wing loading making them more susceptible to wind currents than larger aircraft. A good pilot would want to remain vigilant from the time the aircraft first moves under its own power, until after the landing is complete and the aircraft is brought to a full stop. Also, the weight constraints of designing and building a safe and practical LSA mean that only a certain amount of the design can be devoted to shock-absorbing, ground maneuvering, equipment (the landing gear). Consequently, LSAs do not take kindly to being driven nose-first into the ground, the favorite landing technique of so many of us. It is always a good idea for us to try to raise our game by constantly seeking to improve our flying skills (in this case our landing technique) so that we may continue to enjoy many happy accident-free hours of operation.

Next, many LSAs are built to be more ergonomic and have larger windows than older aircraft. Seated inside them, you will find yourself in a more reclined position, with new viewing angles, and able to see more of the outside world. You may find this to be quite an adjustment to make coming from older design aircraft that could often impart the impression of sitting at an office desk with a less than ideal view out the window. It is important to become familiar with the sight picture (the view) when looking out the windows of your aircraft before your first flight and you will find that your landings are directionally more consistent and you are better able to judge your flare. Remember that it’s been said that the main wheels are for landing, the nosewheel is only for steering on the ground.

And finally, LSAs are often capable of flying at a relatively wide range of speeds: from surprisingly slow, to rather fast. Make it a goal to become comfortable and safe at both ends of the speed range. At slow speeds, become familiar with aircraft’s flight characteristics at different flap settings and learn to recognize the onset of a stall. Learn and practice correct stall recovery technique for your particular aircraft. At high speeds, watch where you are going! Things can happen fast. You can cover more distance and find yourself in un-favorable weather areas before you know it.

Light Sport Aircraft are a ushering in a new and exciting era in aviation. From modern construction techniques to sophisticated avionics to new and improved medical certification requirements, everything seems to be changing. To continue this exciting new trend (and for it to be allowed to continue) it behooves us all to continuously strive for higher level of safety and proficiency in all our flying activities.

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