By Tajae Viaene
If you find yourself reading these articles through thick glasses, in between reruns of “The Andy Griffith Show,” this column may just be right up your alley. Maybe you have been an aviator all of your life, yet you still want to learn more. Or perhaps you are just pondering getting started in your later years. Have no fear, the young fledgling at your local flight school may be eager to fly, but the patience and maturity that comes with age are beneficial tools that will aid you in this journey. Let’s discuss a few tips regarding flight training as a vintage aviator.
Many times, I have initiated training for customers in their 70’s or 80’s. Quite often, at some moment during the first lessons, the question will be asked, “Do you think I can accomplish this at my age?” Well, I’m here to say that yes, you will likely not only succeed at this newfound endeavor, but feel younger and more vibrant every day you hop in the airplane, as you become that giddy little kid again!
The art of flying takes hard work, patience, persistence, and much practice. At this point in your life, if you are able to devote the time needed for studying and regular flight training lessons, the battle is already half won.
You have decided it’s time to start flying, so what’s next? Go ahead and take the first step by scheduling a meeting with a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). They will bring you up to speed on the ever-changing medical requirements and tailor flight training to your unique needs. Get yourself a quality headset, as hearing loss is a cruel but nearly inevitable joke played upon us as we age. Be sure to get the right study materials to match your learning style. For instance, if you learn best by reading textbooks and taking notes, an online course is probably not the most efficient way for you to soak in the required ground knowledge. And by all means, stick with a steady plan; sequential yet timely lessons help enormously as you progress through your training requirements.