What if a passenger become a pilot?

Text: Toomas Uibo, Nordica's Communication Manager Photos: Unsplash, Adobe.stock Published: 01/08/2019

WHEN YOU ASK THAT QUESTION, many of us automatically envision a scene from a Hollywood action film, where the real pilots have been injured by a villain and are unable to fly the plane. A heroic volunteer rushes to help fly the plane and saves the lives of 300 passengers on board. In such circumstances, there has unfortunately been no situation in aviation history in which the passengers have been able to save the day. Exactly how difficult is it for a passenger to become a pilot?

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Pilots are divided into different categories. In board terms, we can divide them into professional and private pilots, then helicopter and aeroplane pilots, then line pilots, and so on. Professional pilots have undergone training that makes them eligible to fly aircrafts for a living. Private pilots have the right to fly themselves and take passengers on board, but they cannot charge you for it. In general, private pilots fly smaller aeroplanes but it is not forbidden to operate a larger passenger aircraft if they have the right training for the particular model. Additionally, in this case, tickets for such flight cannot be sold and all costs must be covered by the pilot. Thus, a private pilot's aircraft have to meet their own needs and finances.

"In recent decades, a number of new manufacturers have also come on the market, and one of the most notable models is the American-made Cirrus. This aircraft is also equipped with a parachute that can carry the entire aircraft in an emergency."

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The most common private pilot aircraft are four-to-six- seater aircraft. One of the most popular makes is Cessna, which is produced in America. In recent decades, a number of new manufacturers have also come on the market, and one of the most notable models is the American-made Cirrus. This aircraft is also equipped with a parachute that can carry the entire aircraft in an emergency. Cirrus is promoted as one of the safest small aeroplanes, suitable for businessmen who need to get to important meetings fast, and for family holidays. When purchased from a factory, it can cost about 500 000 dollars, but second-hand, well-maintained aircraft can be purchased off the secondary market for 50 000 dollars. If you do not plan on buying an aeroplane yourself, there is always someone who is ready to rent it.

"You can take private pilot courses starting from the age 15-16 years. The maximum age depends on the health of the person."

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If you do not have the ambition to become a professional pilot but have a great interest in flying, the solution may be taking a private pilot course. You can take private pilot courses starting from the age of 15-16 years. The maximum age depends on the health of the person. Theory training can be conducted and examined online, and done at a comfortable pace with a suitable payment plan. There are several instructors in Estonia to choose from. They can be found on the website of NGO Estonian Private Pilots Association www.pilots.ee.

Article was published in Nordica´s in-flight magazine Time Flies (winter-spring 2019)