You already know about commercial flying, the big air companies, the enormous planes that take you to your dream destination or paradise, maybe you have already used one to go on holiday. They are big, comfortable planes and one of the best and most secure ways to travel.
We can also remember military aviation and the great professionals that make up the Air Force. They are always there to defend us against any threat. They pilot planes that fly at extravagantly high speeds and do incredible maneuvers.
But there is another very unknown part of aeronautics calle GENERAL AVIATION. The General Aviation isn’t “aviation in general” It’s all the small planes that we often see in the skies, its millions of tiny planes, helicopters, ultralight, hot-air balloons, paramotors, autogyros and everything you can think of that flies everyday for pleasure, transporting organs for a transplant, transporting people in charge of businesses, doing acrobatic exhibitions, fumigating fields, putting out fires… There are thousands of different uses! In fact, Most of the flights in the world fall under this category.
As you see a plane for the first time a lot of people think it’s something dangerous, only for the fearless or simply a toy for rich people but that couldn’t be further than the truth. These small planes are just as safe as the big ones. To be able to be sold they have to pass the same tests and security verifications as a huge passenger machine, moreover they have to have obligatory very strict revisions periodically. For example in a car, parts are changed if there is something wrong with them, but in a plane the parts are changed after a certain time even if they look new. Planes have a lot more revisions than cars and are obligated to a determined number of hours being on and if any planes don’t pass these tests its flight permissions are taken away and it stays on the ground. Aviation has zero tolerance with security. Planes are upgraded constantly, parts that only have a limited life span are changed so they are always up to date to fly for the maximum guarantee.
It’s obvious that aviation is not cheap but we would surprise ourselves with the amount of money it actually costs so that we can fly. You don’t need a private jet to be able to enjoy general aviation just as you don’t need a Lamborghini to go on a road trip. The best option is to learn all the options that are in your reach and in Alicante Real Aeroclub you will meet friends that will discover this new world with you. What’s more, the aeroclub was created for this, so that one person doesn’t have to be able to afford the costs of a plane. This cost is shared between the members and each one contributes as they fly, which makes aviation possible for everyone.
And what are these planes used for?
A pilot’s first steps are not in a huge aircraft with passengers or in a fighter aircraft, they are in smaller, lighter machines that are easier to maneuver. This permits people to learn how to control a plane, their reactions and how to control them. General Aviation is the school where future pilots train.
A lot of companies have small planes to transport their executives quickly, this is called corporative aviation. It’s more profitable than having them sat in an airport waiting for their plane to leave for hours on end.
Another important field of use is what’s called aerial work:
- Police and traffic control
- The fight against forest fires
- Emergencies and sanitary flights
- Civilian search, rescue and salvation
- Observation and patrolling flights
- Agricultural work like fumigation
- Other activities: touristic flights, air photography, air filming or air publicity
And we will leave the best for last, these small planes are not just used to teach or to go on trips or for work but we also use them simply for the pleasure of flying, flying around the sky, feel what the birds feel, do big or small trips. For example, it’s very common that pilots come to Alicante from countries in the north of Europe or for a holiday or to play golf and this is possible with a small plane.
Have you noticed that when a plane goes there is always someone looking at the sky?
Most people who fly, when they are on the ground, still think about getting back into the sky. Aviation has something special that can’t be spoken, you have to live it, but be careful because its addictive and it’s a hobby that will never abandon you. It might even turn into your way of life.
What’s the size of general aviation in Spain?
In 2021 in our country there are two thousand planes that fly a year, about 40 000 hours and about three thousand ultralight aircraft that spend 150 000 hours a year in the sky. There are 400 runways, aerodromes and all types of flying areas where planes or ultralight aircraft can be operated. General aviation is a lot bigger than you thought and in Europe it has an enormous importance even for economics.
How to start?
The most logical basic title to start with and is recognised in all of Europe is the PPL/A that permits you to pilot planes with one piston engine and it is private (not renumbered). It’s the base of your professional career as a pilot or a title that will permit you to fly for pleasure, limitless as you can add to this title what’s called “abilities” that will allow you to pilot at night time or in low visibility conditions, pilot planes with various engines or turbine thrusters or anything you can think of.
Moreover, this qualification will be needed to get a job as a commercial pilot CPL and the qualification to be a transport pilot for an air line ATPL if what you want is to be a professional pilot or dedicate your life to aviation.
In Alicante Real Aeroclub you can get the Private piloting of planes PPL, if you would like more information click here:
General Aviation is all that and more, an enormous rich world where you can not only find planes but also ultralight aircraft, glider planes, hot-air balloons, autogyros, airships and every type of aircraft that you can think of. If you come to the Alicante Real Aeroclub we will open the doors to that enormous universe that can be your profession, hobby or both at the same time.
Come and try a trial flight with us!