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Published April 2nd 2016
Flying Lessons (by Adrian Pingstone / Public Domain)
Your first flight from Sydney is an exciting moment. The large airport screens filled with exotic destinations from around the world build anticipation for your adventure. After your crisp, new passport is checked and take off begins, your adrenalin rises as you're glued to your seat by the sudden acceleration. In the skies, scanning for your house amongst our leafy suburbs and watching the city slowly shrink, it's difficult to believe you're soaring at over 800km/h. The only feeling to match this is the thrill of returning home after your holiday and the nostalgia of Sydney's joys flooding from your memories.
What if you could regularly experience the uplifting sensations of aircraft flight? What if you could actually fly the plane? Owning a plane and obtaining a private pilot's licence is expensive but Sydney has various options to indulge your flying fantasies without needing a Lotto win.
Your instructor will explain the basics of aeronautical theory, the flight controls and the safety and emergency procedures. The instructor will be a qualified pilot with hundreds of hours of piloting experience in a variety of conditions. They are trained to cope with issues, using guidelines developed by safety experts from around the world.
Each of these centres offers longer training courses once you develop a serious passion for flying.
Historical joy flights (by J.Klank / CC BY 3.0)
Some of the options for flying a plane in Sydney are:
Bankstown: For the thrill-seeker, Aero Academy offers a 45-minute joy flight where you'll fly loops and rolls over Sydney, leaving from the hangar at Prentice St in Bankstown Airport. The experience is $399 with the option to share your experience with a video recorded on a USB stick. If you need more flight time, you can complete the Recreational Pilot Licence training at the academy.
Bankstown: If you'd like more flight time, Soar Aviation has an introduction package with 1 hour of flight time and a post-flight debriefing. You'll glide over Sydney in a Cessna, Foxbat or Aquila for $199 from the hangar at Butler Crescent, Bankstown Airport.
Bankstown:Sydney Aviators provides a 90-minute experience including 1-hour of flight time from the hangar at Airport Avenue in Bankstown Airport. You'll take-off aboard a Cessna, Warrior or Archer for $240.
Camden: Although further from Sydney's centre, the Phoenix Flying School on Aerodrome Road in Camden Airport is a great option as you'll usually avoid the traffic and delays at the busier Bankstown Airport. Take flight with a trial for $150 in the cockpit of a Beechcraft Skipper, Cessna, or Piper Warrior.
Camden:Airborne Aviation has 4 different planes available for a 30-minute flight from Camden Airport. If you'd like a pilot's licence, you can log this time towards the flight time requirement. The experience begins at Hangar 53 on Macquarie Grove Rd, Camden, beginning at $205.
If you can't wait, enjoy this video of a lesson in America. After the pre-flight checks and taxiing, take-off begins at the 13-minute mark.
Before take-off, check Monty Python's advice for first-timers:
So now it's over to you. Once you've dreamt of adventure after watching giant aircraft flying over Sydney, where do you go to fly an aircraft?