There is a singular thrill that surges through you the day get your first pilot's license. You feel as though suddenly you grew wings and stopped being a terrestrial creature and in a way became a cousin to the birds who were free to fly the skies at will. That little license says that you have the knowledge and the skills to take an aircraft and sour far above the rest of mankind, even if only for a little while.
So what next? The instinct most new pilots have is to get out there and show off this new skill. But the one thing you should have learned in flight school is to take it easy and be very cautious about every decision you make when it is you taking the controls of an airplane. Naturally you will want to gather your friends and family around and they will want you to take them on a flight to put your new pilot's license to use. And it's ok for you to be proud and to want to show your loved ones that you are capable of flying just like you always said you would one day be able to do.
But also let a certain amount of fear and trembling remind you of everything you learned. When you get in the pilots seat of that airplane and you have passengers back there, this is not the same as having that flight instructor sitting in the passenger's seat with dual controls ready to step in and correct your mistakes.
It's not pleasant to remind ourselves of this one fact but it's good for you to keep in mind that planes can crash and crashing a plane can kill you. Moreover, it would be a disaster if you had a mishap on one of those first flights out after you got your pilot's license and you lost or injured someone you love. That specter of danger which is also why flying is exciting, should help you approach these early flights with the greatest of caution and to make very conservative choices in when and where you take your "joy ride" to show off your talents to your family and friends.
They say that when you see a juggler juggle five balls in the air during a performance, he can probably juggle seven or nine in practice. But he only does what he knows he can do when it comes to involving other people. Well you should adopt that same caution because these are lives on the line, precious lives.
Schedule these early trips on the best possible days for flying. Pick days where there is a light breeze, bright blue skies above and that you feel great. Make sure the airplane has been inspected to the most precise detail and that every possible precaution has been taken. In the air, no hot dogging. Fly in simple, easy to execute patterns and don’t go far before you return to the airport and land safely. When you get off the airplane, your wife and kids and friends will be all totally impressed. And you can breathe a sigh of relief that you "pulled it off."
They often call the license to fly a plane a license to learn because you will keep learning more and more every year to stick with your passion for flying. Next you can take on learning to glide, learning to fly only by instruments and learning other aircraft. Each of them will be another skill to add to your resume. And each one will be exciting. So getting your pilot's license is not the peak of the mountain of flying. It is just the first step up the mountain to a vast world of aviation that you will never tire of exploring.
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