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Out of the Blue training pinch hitter, light sport pilots
ARLINGTON Out of the Blue Aviation is aiming to cater to potential new pilots, whether theyre just looking to take the controls temporarily or if theyre interested in branching out into a relatively new field of aviation.
For those who fly as passengers but want to know more about what their pilots are doing, Out of the Blue will begin ground classroom instruction for its pinch hitter pilot course May 30 at 6 p.m. Out of the Blue flight instructor Mike Lynch believes that learning about flying not only makes many passengers feel safer when they fly, but it can also allow them to assist their pilots when necessary.
Theres a lot for one person to do in a cockpit, Lynch said. Passengers can help pilots by learning how to look out for other planes, navigate by landmarks and use the planes radio systems. If the pilot is incapacitated for some reason, it also avoids the passenger asking themselves, What the heck do I do now?
Lynch explained that the course includes four one-hour-long flight lessons and four hours of ground classroom instruction. The ground school covers Federal Aviation Administration regulations, meteorology, chart reading, electronic and global positioning system navigation, very high frequency omnirange stations, radio tuning, emergency communications, transponders, airport arrivals, and traffic patterns and landings. The flight syllabus includes aircraft control, ground operation, approach and landing procedures and practice, turns to specific headings, VOR radio navigation techniques and tuning practice, basic GPS operation, cruise descents and emergency procedures.
Many people think youve got to be an insider in this world to know how it works, Lynch said. Its actually not that different from riding a motorcycle or steering a boat across a lake, except that youve got another dimension to deal with. Piloting is all about managing risk safely. In that regard, its the same as driving a car. If you understand what the pilot is doing, even if youre not in control of the plane, it can help you manage your fears and make even a bumpy ride more enjoyable.
Lynch elaborated that Out of the Blues flight syllabus and ground school come from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations Air Safety Foundation. Costs for the pinch hitter pilot course run from $799, in aircraft provided by Out of the Blue, to $349, in aircraft provided by the students themselves. Lynch added that students who wish to split their costs can conduct their ground classroom instruction and flight lessons in groups.
Out of the Blue is now training potential pilots in the relatively new field of light sport aircraft aviation, as well, which the Experimental Aircraft Association hopes might make aviation more accessible and appealing.
Were going to be seriously short on pilots soon, Lynch said. In my opinion, part of that is economic, since it can be very expensive to learn how to fly. The military is also holding onto its pilots, and thats where most of our commercial pilots come from.
Under the light sport category of certification, aspiring pilots are only required 20 hours of flight time before they can apply for their licenses, which is half the flight time required for a private pilots license.
That means theyre only paying half, maybe even a third, of what they would otherwise, to obtain their pilots licenses, Lynch said. There are restrictions air space and speed, and they cant fly at night or with more than one passenger, but once we get them in the door, a lot of folks find it so enticing that they go on to learn more about flying and many even make it a career.
Out of the Blue has become the Pacific Northwest dealer for Light Sport Airplanes West, a distributor of eight different new light sport aircraft, which are available for rental rates starting at $89 an hour, and purchase prices of approximately $100,000, brand new.
Youd have to pay more than $100 to rent most other planes, said Lynch, standing next to a SportStar manufactured by Evektor. If you want to buy a Cessna, thats about $250,000. Weve got a good relationship with this supplier. If we were to sell this model, wed have another one here in two to three days. Light sport aircraft have had a lot of success stories on the East Coast, but theres not many of these types of planes in Washington state yet.
Out of the Blue Aviation is located at 18306 59th Drive NE in Arlington, and may be contacted by phone at 360-474-1060, by fax at 360-474-1012, and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.