The bucket list! A list of all the goals and dreams you want to experience before you die. If you don’t have one, it’s time to start building it. To help you out, we’ve picked 10 things every pilot should have on their bucket list.
1. Do a night flight over a cityThere’s something quite romantic about flying over a city skyline lit up, below you. With thermals gone, the wind often calmer and traffic lighter, on a clear night, a pleasure flight will let you see the sky from a completely different perspective.
2. Fly an instrument flightEven if you don’t earn an instrument rating, a real approach in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) means you’ll fly through featureless gray clouds until you see the runway lights appear in the distance. Once you’ve experienced an instrument flight, you’ll find there’s something quite magical about it.
3. Go aerobatic flyingIf you want to get your adrenaline pumping while increasing your skills as a pilot, aerobatic flying is the way to go! Following an aerobatics course will make you better prepared for when something goes wrong, while the barrel rolls, loop the loops and other acrobatic manoeuvres will get get you hooked. This is one item on your bucket list, you may just end up wanting to do quite often!
4. Visit the world’s greatest airshow: EAA AirVenture OshkoshThis airshow is a once in a lifetime experience. Held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is an annual gathering of aviation enthusiasts held each summer at Wittman Regional Airport. The largest of it’s kind in the world, Oshkosh is seven days from sunrise to past sunset, full of dazzling displays of aerobatics, informative programs, hands-on workshops, diverse aircraft and concerts that go well into the night.
5. Take someone on their first flight
Remember the mix of emotions you felt on your first flight? The nerves, excitement and pure joy a first time flyer feels is inexpressible. Giving someone their first taste of flying is one of the most beautiful things a pilot can do. The sense of satisfaction and fulfilment you’ll feel is something every pilot should be able to experience. This is definitely one to tick off the bucket list!
6. SkydivingJumping out of an airplane is not for the faint of heart. In fact, may pilots will comfortably take to the skies in the safety of their airplane but would find it crazy to actually jump out of one. Why do it? You feel like Superman! The adrenaline rush you get flying across the sky is unparalleled to anything else. Skydiving is a way to experience the skies from a different perspective. Who needs super powers when you have a parachute, right?
7. Fly a fighter jetWhile flying itself is exciting, flying a jet is a whole new level of fun. You’ll experience extreme G-Forces, perform aerobatic manoeuvres and travel at speeds that will blow your mind and leave you wanting more. Before you jet off, make sure to grab that pair of aviators so you can do it ‘Top Gun style’.
8. Take part in a competitionCompetition can be a great thing! Taking part in a competition such as the Red Bull Air Race (or a small cross country navigating competition if you prefer) will give you the opportunity to measure yourself against other pilots. Participating in a competition can considerably improve your piloting, planning and other aviation skills. It’s not all about winning though, participating in a great experience lets you gain extra skills and have some fun, so why not do it?
9. Fly in a real warbirdThis once in a lifetime opportunity gives you the chance to ride in a powerful propeller-driven fighter aircraft, just like aviation experts of the past. Experience what it is like to fly real WW2 era aircraft, enjoy flight as a Fighter Pilot and feel the thrills of high G-Force, dogfighting manoeuvres.
10. Become a flight instructor
There’s nothing more beautiful than getting to share your passion and knowledge of aviation with those around you. Teaching someone to learn to fly is something to be proud of. The incredible feeling of accomplishment you’ll feel, when you see your student pilot go on their first solo flight is one of the greatest rewards.
Do you have an aviation bucket list but have to learn to fly first? Why not look into SAFT’s Commercial Pilot Licence and get one step closer to reaching your goals and ticking off those experiences on your bucket list.
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