May 8, 2011, at the Stevens Point Municipal Airport, Jason Draheim conducted his first demonstrated solo flight in a Piper Cherokee PA-28-160 airplane. Ready for takeoff on runway 03, Draheim accelerated to full power until the wind flowing over the wings produced just the right amount of upward force to lift the 2,300 pound flying vehicle off the runway and climb one thousand feet in the air. Jason then proceeded to return to Runway 03 for a landing by flying a series of predetermined transitional phases to position “1682Juliet” 500 feet above the ground-one half mile from the landing runway. On final approach, Jason managed the descent to runway 03 by decreasing power until the wheels touched the runway surface, maintaining center line control as the airplane rolled to a full stop. This completed one third of his required demonstrated solo flight. Jason Draheim successfully performed the FAA required three take offs and landings, and taxied back to the ramp where his family and friends were waiting to congratulate him.
How to Become a Private Pilot? Private pilots must be at least 17 years old (average age of active pilots in general aviation is 43.8 years). A minimum of 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours of instruction and 10 hours solo (flying alone) is required. Similar to getting your drivers license, learning to fly has three stages: 1. Pass the FAA Knowledge Test, 2. Take flight Training, 3. Pass the Flight Test.
- To put aviation safety in context, the odds are that you will:
- Undergo an IRS audit this year 1 in 100
- Be killed in an automobile accident 1 in 125
- Be a victim of violence in the suburbs 1 in 2,000
- Develop a brain tumor 1 in 25,000
- Be killed in a fire this year 1 in 40,000
- Be hit by a baseball at a major league game 1 in 300,000
- Win a state lottery jackpot 1 in 4 million
- Be killed in an airplane accident 1 in 4.6 million
- About 95% of the active civil aircraft in the United States are General Aviation aircraft. Just 4% are airliners.