Some adventurers like to explore the world from the road, but increasing numbers of gearheads are looking to the skies for their next journey. Hobby flying is nothing new. People with the means have been doing it since airplanes became a regular transportation mode. However, not everyone can afford the luxury aircraft of the rich and famous.
Flying is an expensive hobby
Like any mode of transportation, there’s a large swatch of planes to choose from, from tiny planes meant for local travel to gigantic commercial airliners that fly the globe. Though people need a decent income to take up flying, they no longer need to be multimillionaires to follow their dreams.
Insider published an article about the best aircraft that people can buy. The list doesn’t feature only cheaper airplanes — the $65 million Gulfstream G650 appears — but it doesn’t cater to only the 1 percent either. Though everyone would love a luxury Learjet or a Dassault Falcon 7X, the vast majority of the population never gets the chance.
But fortunately, there’s the Cessna Skycatcher.
The Cessna Skycatcher is an affordable private airplane
Many experts view the two-seat Cessna 162 Skycatcher as a plane with training wheels, but that isn’t bad for the up-and-coming hobbyist. Insider notes the model’s history as a training vehicle for those who want to get behind the yoke. The reasoning behind this is simple. This single-piston-engine model is user-friendly for newcomers.
With a pair of displays giving pilots most of what they need to know and instruments that are functional and easy to use, it’s no wonder this airplane became a favorite among those who want to fly but don’t yet have the hours or the deep pockets. Priced at $149,900 when it was new in 2013, it’s not a plane for everyone, but it’s more attainable now that all models are used. Furthermore, with a reliable track record, it boasts the best reviews among more affordable models.
Planes might seem like a hobby that only those who can afford a 747 can obtain, but there’s an increasing number of options for the others, too. As such, anyone who wants to fly should know they don’t need to win the lottery first. It’s not quite a used car, but those who can afford to put the money down will like what the Cessna Skycatcher offers.
How do you become a private pilot?
Of course, no one should get behind an airplane’s controls like they’re a 15-year-old with a learner’s permit. However, just like someone needs the proper training to drive a car, there’s plenty of options when it comes to air travel, as well. Aero Affaires recently interviewed private pilot François-Valery Vannimenus about becoming a private pilot.
Recalling his days as a kid, Vannimenus said he always wanted to fly among the clouds. However, while many others got their training in the air force or other military branches, Vannimenus wanted to fly yet didn’t have the experience. However, many private pilots know how to fly commercial airliners, but the Vannimenus noted how different they are from private planes.
While training in his native France, he followed a similar process that American pilots follow to get his pilot license. Like a driver’s test, a written test gauged his knowledge, and a practical exam tested his actual skills. After a two-year process, Vannimenus became a private pilot. He ended his interview with a simple word of advice.
“For future pilots,” he said, “arm yourself with courage and never give up.”