All pilots can agree that the best thing about becoming a pilot is the flying itself. After learning how to fly a plane and receiving a private pilot license, a pilot is granted the freedom to fly on their own agenda. Although the private pilot license doesn’t allow you to fly for compensation, it remains the second most coveted pilot certificate in the United States (after the student pilot certificate). The private pilot license holds this status mainly because of all the exciting things a pilot can do with it.
Here are 5 ways a pilot can have fun with their private pilot license:
Fly Anywhere—Anytime (Duh)
This seems obvious but think about it—becoming a pilot means that you aren’t limited to visiting places that are only reachable by car. When you can fly, you can get yourself anywhere in less than half the time. When you don’t have to deal with airline tickets, booking in advance, or the exhausting boarding process going wherever you want, whenever you want becomes so much simpler. When you get the sudden urge to visit your favorite spot on the beach, or a favorite restaurant in your hometown, you don’t need extensive planning and time when you have your private pilot license.
Share the Gift of Flying
The best things in life are meant to be shared, right? With your private pilot license, you can take a significant other on a date they’ll never forget, or share your love of flying with a little sibling who might be flying for the first time. Taking a loved on a flight with you can be just as exhilarating for you as it is for them. Seeing their joy and excitement as you take them further up in the sky will remind you of how lucky you are that you can fly and will reinforce the satisfaction of becoming a pilot.
Want to take your flying game to the next level? Take an aerobatics introductory course after you get your private pilot license. Learning aerobatics will make the maneuvers you learned in your PPL training when you were first learning how to fly a plane look like kid’s stuff. Get the adrenaline rush you’re looking for by learning how to do loops, spins, rolls, and even flying upside down.
Fly Yourself to an Aviation Festival
Yes—aviation festivals are a thing and they are incredibly fun events where pilots can immerse themselves in the amazing world of aviation. Most of these events give pilots the opportunity to fly in with their own planes which provides an opportunity to create flying communities where you can meet fellow pilots and share your flight enthusiasm. The biggest “fly-in” in the world is the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; it is a weeklong event that holds seminars, flight exhibits, and air shows—they even have a fly-in base for seaplane pilots.
Become a Member of a Flying Club
Flying clubs are a great way to have access to a plane if you can’t afford your own aircraft and equipment. Flying clubs spread out the cost of owning and maintaining airplanes among its members for their own use. Apart from making your flying more affordable, flying clubs are a great way to befriend fellow flight aficionados and become part of an aviation community, most clubs host fun events and activities to make flying a more social experience.