Learning to fly and the EAA
Learning to fly can be hard enough by yourself and groups like the EAA can help ease some of that hardship. Give yourself as much help as you can.
The Experimental Aircraft Association, is a group of about a quarter of a million pilots and aviation enthusiasts that come together to celebrate the joys of flight. While it does have to do with building, restoring and designing aircraft, it is also just as deeply involved in learning to fly.
When you first start to fly you have excitement and enthusiasm out the wazoo. You read everything, you talk flying, you love the smell of an airplane and you tell all of your friends about it. Somewhere down the line you run out of friends that want to hear about it anymore and you're starting to wonder if there will ever come a day that you can actually land an airplane and survive it. This is the time that others who share your craving for flight can help.
Discussing your flying progress with others who have been there can be a great way to talk yourself through various scenarios of flight and help you see what you're doing from a different perspective. Its sort of like free therapy for pilots. You will find pilots of all kinds in the EAA. There are high time commercial pilots, military pilots and guys with almost no time at all.
Getting the experience of these pilots is invaluable in your quest for learning to fly. At one time or another they were exactly where you are today. Free advice abounds.
Another aspect of the membership is the exposure to different kinds of aircraft. You will find ultralight pilots, sport planes, vintage and fast planes. Rarely will you find a place where the full gamut of flying is so accessible.
I encourage you to find an EAA chapter in your area that is active and join along with the national Experimental Aircraft Association. If you can't find one, click on one of the logos at the top of the page. The first is the chapter of which I am President. We would be more than happy to have you as a member and will get you a free six month national membership along with it, including the premier aviation magazine, Sport Aviation. Otherwise, at least join the national association, you'll be glad you did.
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