By Leading Cadet G. Hunter of 2425 (Nottingham Airport) Sqn ATC
I became interested in flying at the age of 11 by going on holiday abroad for the first time in over 8 years, nearly 4 years later and I am now learning to fly at Truman Aviation at Tollerton (Nottingham Airport.) The aircraft I’m learning to fly is the Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk although I had my first ever flight with 7AEF (Air Experience Flight) at RAF Cranwell in a Grob Tutor and since have been gliding in a Vigilant T1 at 644VGS.
I’m am currently training to take my PPL (Private Pilot License) In the course there are approximately 8 written exams on Aviation Law and the Principles of Flight (Much harder than exams in the Air Cadets!) and after completing all the exams you must go for a flight with an approved Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) examiner! At the age of 16 you begin to fly solo and then you can begin to do cross-country flights and then at the age of 17 you will be issued your license and you can go on international flights (to France or Germany). Currently I am learning how to takeoff and land as well as the physics behind flight, turning, climbing, descending and soon I will be stalling and spinning (which I am not looking forward too!). I have already learned to taxi and I have even taxied by our squadron! I have also learned standard aviation RT (Radio Telephony) and now can communicate with the Air Traffic Controllers on the radio for most of the flight, when I’m 18 years old I will be allowed to start training for Air Traffic Control at Tollerton. I hope to upgrade onto a bigger aircraft (the Piper PA-28) where you can have more than one passenger (this is still covered by a PPL – Private Pilots License) You just have to become familiar and ‘get to grips’ with flying a different aircraft, then I want to go on and do and Instrument Rating (or IR for short) where you can learn to fly without looking out the windows! After that I plan on flying multi-engine aircraft and want to become an instructor, but to do this you must have another license called a CPL (Commercial Pilots License). After a few years of being an instructor hopefully I will have finished College and have enough money to pay for a type-rating for a commercial airliner and get a ATPL (Airline Transport Pilots License). I then plan on trying to get a job with an airline through a some sort of recruitment program just like one of my ex-instructors did, and he now flies for Ryanair. In the past two years when I have been on holiday I have met a First Officer (or Co-Pilot) who works for Jet2 on the Boeing 757-200 and he trained at Tollerton and worked there as an instructor too! So I have high hopes! He has even flown the same plane as me! The aircraft I would like to fly when I’m older is the Boeing 737NG as well as flying for an airline, in my spare time I would love to fly privately as a hobby, and with my PPL I could take my family on holidays and day trips away to places like Skegness, France or even Germany!
I have a YouTube channel where I go spotting at East Midlands regularly and upload videos of my flights in the Tomahawk - http://www.youtube.com/user/GeorgeHunterHD/videos
Also I have a Blogger site where I write about what I have learned in my flying lessons and my experience in Air Cadets - http://golfindia298.blogspot.co.uk/
If you want to learn to fly you can actually do your PPL with Air Cadets, but it would be much quicker and easier to do it at a flying school such as the one here at Tollerton (‘Truman Aviation’) or ‘Sherwood Flying Club’ both offering cheap rates (some of the best in the country as well as one of the best General Aviation airports in the world, right next to our squadron!). If it’s flying helicopters your into then you can get a PPL(H) H meaning Helicopters just go to the website of ‘Central Helicopters’ they are also quite cheap for what it actually costs however it costs nearly 2 x as much as learning to fly a conventional aeroplane.