Probably you have looked at a pilot before with admiration and thought to yourself I would like to become him/ her one day. I would like to Rusha ndege!
Take to the skies and share a few moments with the Angels.
What makes this person or how can one become a pilot?
Is it like learning to drive or getting a driving licence?
Well there is the theoretical and practical part of it.
Generally it helps if you have a basic knowledge of certain subjects like Geography but this isn’t mandatory and doesn’t disqualify you if you haven’t studied them.
It helps to be smart and have the courage to be an aviator.
If your sixteen years of age and above you can start by going up in the air in the very first stages of your addiction to flying.
These flights are called experimental flights and can be done in any school or club. (Check our list of schools/ clubs under the menu labelled training)
Basically, you go up in the air with an instructor in a trainer (training aircraft for ex. Cessna 150 or 172) like the one below.
The instructor will give a general overview of the basics of flying. He might even allow you to handle the controls momentarily.
This will probably be a basic test for you and your Instructor.
How you feel after the flight will determine if you want to carry on and become a pilot, attain your wings, fulfil your dreams.
It is always wise after this to have a medical check up from a certified Aviation Doctor.
Their several in the country and you should be given a list at your school/club of choice.
A medical check up is mandatory as their some disqualifying illness that might restrict or deny you a medical certificate and consequently a flying licence.
• Heart attack.
• Kidney stones.
• Abnormal ECG.
Why do you need a medical certificate?
This is a requirement by law for all pilots.
When you start flying you are considered a student pilot.
You shall be issued a student pilot licence (SPL) by the Civil Aviation Authority which is the governing body in the Aviation Industry.
General requirements to receive a SPL are:
• Local registration fee
• Medical certificate
• Passport photos
• Passport or national I.D copies
Once you receive this licence.
You will be required to go through theoretical lessons also known as ground school.
This can be done within the school or by purchasing Computer based training CDs.
I think the latter is much better as you can review and study at your own pace from any location.
What will you study?
Study areas are:
• Aircraft technical.
• Air law.
• Basic radio telephony.
The most helpful study materials are:
• For Computer based training, Oxford training software is good.
• For hard copy materials, Trevor Thom books will do.
(Feel free to contact us if you would like to purchase the above.)
It’s much easier going through the theory first and then going onto the practical part of it.
It’s one thing trying to grasp new terminologies and theories and at the same time learning how to fly.
Well it all depends with what works best for you.
As you start on the practical, you will find that there is a lot happening in a very short period of time while flying.
The instructor is talking; the aircraft seems to have a brain of its own and does not respond properly to your inputs, the tower guy never seems to shut up and so on
This phenomenon will quickly be corrected by your instructor as you learn to be ‘in front of the aircraft’ rather than ‘behind the aircraft’. This is in relation to your mental attitude.
A helpful hint is to acquire a simulator such as Flight simulator and Joy stick. You can practice on your laptop/PC different techniques at your pace.
You will be required to work your way to a solo.
What is a solo?
This is when you and the instructor feel that you are capable of flying without supervision.
The instructor therefore steps out of the aircraft and lets you fly alone for the first time.
This will probably be the most memorable flight of your life.
It’s better than your ‘individual solo’, you know, boyfriend/ girlfriend kind of thing.
From here you shall work to attain a Private pilot licence (PPL).
This is your second licence which allows you to fly for recreational purposes and no reward.
Basically it’s the foundation of all pilots.
The requirements you shall fulfil are:
• minimum 55hrs of which 15hrs are solo
• Pass required ground school exam
• 5 hrs solo cross country
• Pass a flight test (GFT) by a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority-appointed flight examiner.
Once you attain your PPL.
Life on the fast track begins in your aviation Journey.
Read more in part two.