Freelancer, loves finding new places, especially watering holes. Follow me on Twitter @PaddyKoan
Published May 23rd 2012
I love flying. Whenever I book a flight, even interstate, the bit I look forward to most is the flight. Yes, that sounds strange, but it's me to a tee. And for some time now, I've toyed with the idea of taking that next step and taking some flying lessons.
Enter my wonderful girlfriend, who at Christmas time bought me the experience of a lifetime. For 30 minutes, I felt the rush of being in control of a real life aircraft. And you can too.
Tristar Aviation offer a light aircraft introductory training flight for all budding aviation enthusiasts and thrill seekers alike. Located at bustling Moorabbin Airport, only 40 minutes from Melbourne CBD, you'll be in the air and living your flight dreams in no time. When you arrive, you'll be shown a short presentation on what the controls of an aircraft look like, how preflight checks are completed and, should you be hooked already, how you can find out more information about completing further flight training.
After donning your safety vest and being escorted to the aircraft holding ground, you'll be presented with the bird you'll be flying. Err, the plane you'll be introduced to flight in.
Ample opportunity is given for photos, either with just yourself or family and friends if they've come along, so you can show off to all of your friends. But more about showing off to friends later.
You'll be fully immersed in what it means to be a pilot. From checking that the aircraft is functioning as designed to starting the engine, you'll be in control, safe in the knowledge you're under the direction and supervision of one of Tristar Aviation's fully trained and friendly instructor pilots. As you taxi toward the runway, it soon becomes apparent, you're in control. With the exception of carefully timed interjections from the pilot, you're in command of an aircraft. Once you reach the runway, and the tower has given you clearance, you'll go full throttle, hurtle down the runway at up to 70 knots and take to the skies.
Once in the air, you'll be introduced to the physics of how an aircraft flies and the basic functions necessary to maintain control of the aircraft. You'll learn how to make turns, climb and descend, and what the instruments and gauges are telling you. With a certain affinity for flight, I confessed my love of aviation and my dabbling in aircraft simulators. The pilot mused, then showed me the difference between a simulator and the real deal.
If you have a camera with you, or a phone that has a camera on it, then you're in luck. The pilot will offer to take a picture of you flying the magnificent beast. This will be the envy of your friends.
As with all good things, 30 minutes flies by. Pun partially intended.
You'll be offered the opportunity to land the aircraft too, with the guidance and where necessary the assistance of the pilot. Touch back down at Moorabbin Airport and you'll wish you were still up in the air. And the feeling won't go away. For the rest of the week, even month, you'll be reciting Top Gun lines to everyone you know. When you re-enter their office, you'll be provided with information on how to get your pilots licence and information on how much it will cost you. If all that interests you is a light aircraft introductory flight, that will set you back a surprisingly affordable $150.
So, if you've got the need, the need for speed, then maybe a light aircraft introductory flight is for you. Soon you'll be writing cheques your body can't cash.