Aviation for Girls

2018

Aviation for Girls is a special annual member publication of Women in Aviation International for Girls in Aviation Day. Articles feature young girls living their aviation dreams, career ideas, and education resources.

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A re you interested in becoming a pilot? Did you know you could fly solo in a glider at age 14 and in a motorized airplane at age 16? Here are 10 tips for helping you pursue your interest in aviation, even while you are waiting for your birthdays to catch up. 1 Visit an airport, preferably a smaller one that has a decent-sized population of general avia- tion operations. If you can, call one of the flight schools and arrange for a tour. 2 Take a discovery f light. These are one-hour events done by f light schools that consist of a half hour on the ground and a half hour in the air. With the help of an instructor, the aspiring pilot will be f lying the airplane. The discovery f light is also an excellent opportu- nity to get information about the process for becoming a pilot. Find out what the school has to offer. You don't need to train five days a week, eight hours a day to become a pilot. You can be flexible and fly two to three days a week, or once a month. Remember, the training will take longer the less you fly because of the amount of review that will need to be done. Try to avoid too much time in between lessons as dragging out the process increases the cost and can lead to frustration. 3 Read about aviation. Check out some of the books featured in Book Zone on pages 20–22. Some other suggestions include Cool Women Who Fly, a good book for middle school- ers. You may even want to get a couple of FAA-approved books that are used in ground school, such as the Pilots Handbook of Aero- nautical Knowledge and The Airplane Flying Handbook. Biographies about famous female aviators, including Amelia Earhart, Pancho Barnes, and Bessie Coleman, will also inspire you. You can also visit WAI's Pioneer Hall of Fame at www.WAI.org/pioneers and learn about all kinds of trailblazing women who are involved in many different kinds of avia- tion and aerospace careers. 4 Attend an air show or fly-in, or visit an aviation museum. 5 Build a model aircraft. You'll be amazed about how much you can learn about an aircraft by putting a small one together. How long does it take? There are two ways to go about training: Part 141 and Part 61. Part 141 is stricter, and aviation colleges use it. The minimum flight experience requirement for Part 141 is 35 hours. The other option is training under Part 61, which has more flexibility and requires a minimum of 40 hours of training. Training is done in three phases. First is pre- solo, where you learn the basics of controlling the aircraft on the ground and in the air and emergency procedures. Phase 2 covers cross- country flying. Cross-country flights are defined as flights to airports more than 50 miles away. Phase 3 prepares you for the flight test known as the checkride. Eyesight? To fly an airplane, you will need a third-class medical certificate obtained from an aviation medical examiner. It's okay if you wear contacts or glasses as long as your vision is correctable to 20/40 or better. Cost? The cost of obtaining a private pilot certificate can vary from $4,000 to upward of $8,000, depending on how quickly you learn and how much you retain. You don't have to pay it all up front. Find out if the school has a block rate for each flying hour. Some offer a discount if you buy 10 hours of flight time upfront. Make sure to inquire about any fees for block rate. There are some schools that require a certain deposit amount. 9

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