Story by Staff Writer Josh Rabinowitz
Two Godwin Eagles are flying high in one of their particular activities.
Freshman Wesley Barbara and sophomore James Sommers are both on the path to become an aviator, because of their interest in flying. Flying a plane calls for a need a few basic skills as well as some time actually flying in the air.
“Ever since I was little, flying and being at the airport has amused me and eventually turned into an interest of mine,” said Barbara “I would describe flying the plane as thrilling, exciting, and an adventure all rolled into one.”
“I’ve always held an interest in flying and obtaining the license will be the first step in the journey to becoming a paid pilot,” said Sommers.
There are different types of flying licenses, in different categories such as: sports piloting license, recreational licenses, and more. Each license also has different ratings, which allows the pilot to fly different types of planes. For example, if a pilot had a license with a multi-engine rating, they’d be allowed to fly a plane that had more than one engine. This is all monitored by the Federal Aviation Administration, whose requirements are followed by most countries outside of the U.S.
“Each country differs with requirements,” said Barbara. “However, most FAA and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Authority) requirements and guidelines allow a pilot with a certificate to fly in other countries.”
In order to get a license, one must have 40 hours of flying, including time at night. There is also a Ground School, which can vary based on well the pilot understands the topics and can go from 40 hours to seven weeks’ worth of training on the ground. The pilots had to be 14 years old to get what counts as a learner’s permit for flying and 17 to get their official solo licenses.
“You need to understand meteorology to know how to fly as well as basic common sense. Flying isn’t just about the plane, it’s also about what’s around you,” said Sommers. “You need to know what you’re flying into. Also, a basic understanding about the inner workings of the plane you want to fly can be extremely beneficial. My father always taught me that flying the plane is the easiest part. Once this is done, you can get your license at 17, which at 16, means I’ll have to wait another year.”