The Auburn University Department of Aviation Management and Logistics is offering an introductory flight lesson for $80.
Dale Watson, director of aviation education at Auburn, said the introductory lesson is to give people a chance to experience flying and learn about the program without having to make a huge financial commitment.
“Some people are a little anxious and aren’t sure if they’ll like it or not, so this is a really economical way to see if they enjoy it,” he said.
Watson also said it provides an opportunity for people who have always wanted to fly, but have not had the means or know-how to go about learning.
“A lot of times people go through life and never have the opportunity to give it a try,” he said.
The lesson includes learning about the airplane, pre-flight inspection, pre-takeoff engine checks and about 30 minutes of flight time.
Watson said learners are taught to pilot a Cessna 172 single-engine aircraft that takes off from the Auburn University Regional Airport.
He said the goal of the lesson is to give the learner the experience of being a pilot with instructors there to guide and assist, primarily during takeoff and landing.
“The person actually flies the airplane,” Watson said. “It’s not just riding along.”
David Petrovich, junior in aviation management, said the introductory flight lessons give him an opportunity to give back to the aviation community and to share the gift of flying with others.
“I’m taking benefits from people who want to give, and this is my chance to give back,” he said. “This is my opportunity to share my passion and love of flight.”
Petrovich said there is no specified route for the introductory lesson.
“It’s up to the individual,” he said. “Typically we’ll fly over campus and see the buildings, or if the person wants to fly over their house, we can do that. We’re at a high altitude, so there’s not a lot of noise or interference for neighbors.”
Petrovich said people usually have some safety concerns, and occasionally individuals are very nervous.
“It’s just a matter of calming them down and assuring them I’m a professional,” he said. “Flying is very safe. Safety is always the number one goal.”
Watson said those who really enjoy the introductory flight lesson can take additional lessons and work toward becoming certified pilots themselves.
“Most people are just turning flips they’re so happy,” he said. “They say it’s the most fun they’ve ever had and want to keep doing it.”
The introductory lesson is open to the public. Watson said University students can also take the flight orientation class which includes approximately six ground instruction classes and four flights.
Anyone wishing to book an introductory flight lesson can call 334-844-5766 for more information.