Taking wing

LEISURE Flying is an exciting pursuit that requires dedication and discipline. M. THIAGARAJAN

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Hobbies are an exciting part of growing up; an important rite of passage and sometimes they even define your life. Some are more easily accessible whilst others remain un- pursued due to lack of proper guidance. Flying is one such hobby that many would like to pursue given a chance. Flying has known to be an expensive hobby but today with the right planning one can easily avail of a private pilot license. One can start flying as early as seventeen. Flying generally has requirements like medical fitness, fluency in English and minimum education qualification like Std.X.

Flight schools have mushroomed all over the country and it is not difficult to find one near your city. You will have to enroll for a Private Pilot License (aviation Lingo PPL) and this will generally include 40 hours of flying. The Flight training may include dual flying and solo flying and are included in the training costs.Dual Flying involves the time you are in the airplane with your instructor. In this case cost will include both the airplane and instructor.Solo Time will be renting the aircraft that is charged on a per hour basis. Flight Instructor: This is the charge per hour for the flight instructor. Pilot training theoretical classes include subjects like Air navigation, Air Regulation, Meteorology. Becoming a hobby pilot requires lot of dedication and discipline to complete the course.

Many students lose direction and tend to leave the course incomplete. Planning your finances is a key factor in obtaining a PPL. The License is certified by the Director General of Civil Aviation of India and students will have to pass an exam by the Government of India. Once the license is obtained it is easy to maintain. All that you are required to do is have a minimum of five hours of flying within a period of twelve months.You might also wonder whether to make this hobby into a lucrative career; many pilots start their career by being hobby pilots. However flying is an extremely demanding job, physically and mentally. It gives one a sense of freedom and an adrenaline rush that becomes addictive. Let your dream take wing!

The author is a hobby pilot and is the youngest CEO of a scheduled airline in the world. He is the Managing Director of Chennai-based Paramount Airways, a premium business class airline.

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