So, you want to learn to fly a foot launch aircraft and your excited to start? However, have you considered how you will cope with the training as you learn new techniques all whilst being fatigued? Contrary to most new student's expectations (usually gained from watching a plethora of "YouTube" videos), foot launch aircraft is not an easy sport to learn, or at least not easy to master in a short period of time.
It should come as no surprise that to fly a foot launched aircraft there is a certain level of physical fitness required. If you’re a couch potato watching YouTube clips and have suddenly found your new hobby to fly foot launch aircraft, paying for a course and expecting to gain your licence within a short period of time without any fitness is an unrealistic idea and one which will ultimately lead to disappointment. Young and/or physically active students won’t find training too difficult, however Ground Handling training can be extremely difficult and may be a struggle in the beginning if you are not up for the physical demands that training can be. The fact in the matter is, during training, you will be expected to walk, jog, run and sometimes dance more than 10,000 steps for up to 4-6 hours per day. This can be a real struggle for an inactive student or a student who is limited by a pre-existing injury that prevents full range of motion or causes pain/discomfort when exercising.
Some fitness considerations to think of prior to commencing your course are:
Be honest with yourself, are you physically active?
Do you regularly achieve over 10,000 steps per day in a given fortnight?
Do you have any pre-existing injuries which may inhibit your training?
Do you have a medical condition that could prevent you applying 100% commitment to your training (Asthma, smoking, ect)?
How quickly do you recover from fatigue?
Can you carry extra weight while exercising, especially if you are wanting to fly Paramotors? The total flying weight of a fully fuelled Paramotor including wing, helmet, and flight gear can weigh more than 30kg.
If any of the above is a concern for you, we highly suggest organising an appointment to discuss different training options with our team. Wheelbase aircraft provide the same amazing experience of foot launching without the added drain of running. This way you can spend more time flying than struggling with foot launch operations.
Learning new techniques
You need to be in the right headspace when it comes to learning new skills. If someone is requesting or forcing you to learn new materials that you couldn’t care less about, then you are wasting your time. You cannot be forced to learn – no matter how great your teacher is!
All student / teacher relationships work on trust. If at any stage the instructor feels like the student is not trustworthy to follow directions to keep them safe or the student does not trust the instructor’s teaching methods, it is not the end of the world. This does not mean the student is not trainable or able to gain their pilots licence, just that they may require a different teaching method from a different instructor. If this is the case, Backpack Airsports can transfer your training progression to another qualified school to complete you pilot’s licence.
To gain your pilots licence, you need to be both mentally and physically healthy and have the aspiration to learn. When it comes to piloting, you need to have the desire to learn more than just how to fly. Learning to fly is only 30% of the knowledge required to be a pilot. There is much more to keep you flying safely once you leave your training environment including understanding the weather, density altitude, flight rules, airspace regulations, emergency procedures, as well as VHF communications protocols just to name a few subjects.
Learning to fly and being a proficient pilot away from your school is something that cannot be achieved within a short period of time. Think of the process it takes to gain a driver’s licence and how long it takes just to achieve an open licence. Gaining your pilots licence is similar! Realigning your expectations to be more realistic will allow your learning experience to be that much greater and positive.
Although the above might seem potentially more difficult than you first realize, this is not to say achieving your goal should be forgotten nor given up on. Backpack Airsports is here to step you through each learning phase to ensure you become the safest and competent pilot you can be, and we tailor each lesson to ensure each student can progress through the course and achieve their dream to fly.
Not sure which way you would like to go, why not take a Trial Instructional Flight in our wheelbase aircraft or try our one-day introductory course and see if foot launch aircraft are for you?
PILTOS CONSIDERATIONS TO FOOT LAUNCH AIRCRAFT