If you have a private pilot’s license, you’re probably passionate about flying. A private pilot license holder is able to fly a small aircraft, typically for leisure and not for remuneration. If you have this type of pilot’s license, the sky is your oyster, and there is a wide variety of activities you can take part in. From flying clubs to helping kids in need, here are a few great ways to make the most of your private pilot’s license.
Join A Flying Club
If planes are your passion, why not meet some people who share your love of being in the air? There are many types of flying clubs across the country and beyond. Becoming a member of one of these organizations is a great way to meet new people, learn about a number of aircrafts, and spend quality time with your friends and family. If this sounds like your kind of thing, look for a flight club in your area!
Help Fly Low-Income Medical Patients
Many people need health care, but cannot afford to travel to where that care is provided. If you have a pilot’s license there are a number of organizations for which you can volunteer to help fly patients in rural or low-income areas to their doctor’s appointments. Some of these include:
Learn A Few Tricks
Otherwise known as aerial-acrobatics, aerobatics is an advanced methodology of airplane flight (or not, depending on who you talk to). While its importance in crash avoidance theory is widely recognized, many pilots fly aerobatics for recreation or competition.
Entertainment is the main appeal of aerobatics, with air shows and flying circuses a regular event in most communities nationwide, but military pilots receive advanced training in aerobatics to gain tactical advantages over the enemy in air combat situations.
Helicopter pilots aren’t left out of aerobatics training. The British Army, Royal Navy, Spanish Air Force, and the Indian Air Force have helicopter teams that fly in formation and perform aerial maneuvers in concert with other aircraft. Some pilots are searching for opportunities to take their flying skills to the next level, and investigating opportunities in aerobatics might be the move for you!
Become a Tour Guide
Flying as a private tour guide in your area is a creative and beautiful way to share your love of flight with others. While you can’t charge for private flights (the FAA has pretty clear rules about that), that doesn’t mean your friends and family can’t chip in for gas money.
Even if your plane is cramped, the chance to take a look at the Earth from the air with your loved ones is an unparalleled experience – just be sure to take lots of photos!
Join the Civil Air Patrol
For pilots who would like to spend a bit more time training in order to contribute to a great cause, joining the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a great option. The CAP does a number of missions including search and rescue, disaster relief, humanitarian services and more. In order to join, check out the requirements to join their cause.
Pilot for Puppies
There are many ways to help humans with a pilot’s license, but fewer people know about opportunities to help animals as well. Pilots N Paws is an organization that transfers animals via air to move animals to new homes and shelters with open space, as well as provide medical flights when a veterinary specialist in another location is needed.
Environmentalists are another group who often need to access remote locations, but don’t always have the funds or access they need to save the planet. Organizations like LightHawk donate flights to conservation groups so they can gather samples, take photos, and a number of other operations.
Pilot an Unforgettable Date
If you have a special someone in your life, why not take them out for a unique aerial view of the city? Giving a loved one an aerial tour of the city is something they won’t soon forget!
Support Local Children
If you’d like to share your love of all things aviation related with the next generation, finding a children’s organization to volunteer with could be a great opportunity. A few noteworthy organizations include:
- Young Eagles, a program dedicated to inspiring kids to love flying through giving children their first rides in airplanes.
- Challenge Air, an organization to help children with special needs take flight
Take A Family Flight
Summer vacations, spring breaks, and other holidays are always great times to get in the air. If you have relatives that live far away, consider flying to see them if feasible!
Build a Plane, Then Fly It
Much like the enthusiast automotive market, DIY aircraft and classic restorations are a major point of interest for die-hard aviation lovers. There are plenty of ways to build your own plane, drone, or fixed-wing glider on even a modest budget – just don’t plan to take them further than your native airspace on your first several flights.
Classic, antique, and damaged aircraft are easy to find. For as low as a couple thousand dollars, you can own a so-called “project plane” to provide a safe test bed for young or inexperienced pilots to learn more about the internal workings of an aircraft. While most will require a lot of work, the potential reward of restoring a decrepit airplane to stunning, like-new condition is difficult to quantify – you’ll have to take on that adventure yourself to find out.
Of course, restoring a classic aircraft requires a lot of room in which to work and utilize tools and equipment. We’d recommend a decent-sized private airplane hangar to house and service your airplane (if you don’t already have one). If you’re unsure where to start, Alaska Structures has a great guide to buying your first aircraft hangar.
Get An Aerial View of Your City at Night
Night flying is an important skill to practice, and what better way than to get an aerial view of the city you call home? Getting a bird’s eye view from the night sky is a peaceful and rewarding way to spend an evening.
Explore Off the Beaten Path
Simply put, if you don’t have the adventurous spirit to explore and see the world from the sky, you’re likely pursuing the wrong hobby. Being a private pilot means you have the freedom to take to the skies and explore the wilderness of your immediate area and beyond. You’ll need to become a professional bush pilot to truly explore off the beaten path, but learning how to land in short runways, water, and snow are all perfectly legitimate skills for an aspiring pilot to learn anyway, so why not take up the challenge?
Learn About Classic Airplanes
Classic cars are relatively common, but classic airplanes are few and far between. Groups like the Vintage Aircraft Association bring people together in the spirit of retention and restoration of antique airplanes.
Continue Your Education
Earning your wings is only the first milestone in your journey as a pilot. Once you become a licensed private pilot, you’ll be able to operate most recreational aircraft and unmanned (drone) aircraft. As you advance in your skills and capabilities, becoming a commercial pilot can bring many benefits to individual pilots. You’ll be able to fly for hire, pilot more advanced types of aircraft, and reduce your insurance premiums due to higher degrees of safety training. From there, becoming an airline transport pilot is a mere 1,250 additional flight hours away – an imperceptible amount of time when you’re doing something you love.
J&K Connectors is committed to helping individual pilots achieve their dreams of owning and servicing their own aircraft, big or small. With a massive selection of parts, connectors, and accessories in stock, we can ensure your plane stays in working condition as long as you call it your own. Check out our inventory or give us a call to learn more about our hands-on process.
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