Introductory Flying Lesson, Trial Flights, Flight Experiences, Pleasure Flights
In this video I’m going to describe some of the options open to you if you’re considering having a trial flight in an aircraft or buying an introductory flying lesson for someone else as a gift.
This video is for people who have little or no experience of aviation and would perhaps want some basic questions answered in plain English.
First of all let’s be clear about what we mean by a trial flight, an introductory flying lesson, and a flight experience or a pleasure flight.
An introductory flying lesson or trial flight are pretty much the same thing in that it’s an opportunity for the person to experience flight in a light aircraft with a view to perhaps undertaking flying lessons and obtaining a pilot’s licence.
A flight experience could lead on to further lessons too but it may also be a one-off event like some aerobatics or a scenic aerial tour, perhaps given as a gift for a special occasion.
A pleasure flight often doesn’t involve any flying by the recipient and is designed to be more of a sightseeing tour, a chance to relax and enjoy the views as you are flown around prominent landmarks.
Trial flights and flight experiences usually amount to anything from 15 to 60 minutes with an qualified Flying Instructor during which you will have ample opportunity to fly the aircraft yourself.
Now let’s look at the various types of aircraft there are available for anyone considering a trial flight or flight experience.
One way to categorise them is to divide them into two main groups: fixed wing (light aircraft of various types) and rotary wing (helicopters and gyrocopters).
Fixed wing aircraft might be high wing aeroplanes like a Cessna 150 or 172, or a low wing aircraft like a Piper PA-28. There are many other examples of light aircraft but the essential difference is that the aircraft will have the main wing above or below the cockpit.
High wing aircraft give excellent visibility but the view upwards is obscured while the converse is true with low wing aircraft.
The debate goes on and on with fans of both types. Some people prefer high wing because they are designed to be more stable while others prefer low wing because it feels more like a ‘real’ aeroplane.
My advice is try both and decide for yourself!
Another aspect to consider is monoplane or biplane i.e. one wing or two? And you can also throw in the option of open cockpit or canopy.
Consider the difference between an open cockpit Tiger Moth and a Slingsby Firefly T6. With the former you will experience slow and sedate flying in a vintage aircraft. The wind will be in your hair and you’ll be able to experience pure flying with stick and rudder.
With the latter you’ll be able to experience much faster flight, aerobatics, and responsive handling in the comfort of a cockpit with a canopy.
Continued in the video…
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