For many, the thought of flying a plane is a lifelong dream. The thought of looking down at the landscape of the world below as you fly along in a plane of your own is enough to make many people jealous of those who already have pilot's licenses - but those who don't need not worry. As private flying grows as a hobby, lessons are becoming more and more affordable; taking on flying as an interest of your own need no longer be a goal as far-off as the clouds. However, there are a few things you ought to consider first.
Risk is Involved
This goes without saying - but flying comes with its risks. While it is very safe to take flight, especially with an experienced instructor at your side, you should not commit to taking lessons unless you fully understand how serious it can be if a problem should occur during your flight. You must be absolutely committed to following the instructions of the professional that is teaching you and taking the process of learning to fly seriously. It's exhilarating and a lot of fun, but that doesn't mean it should be taken lightly.
It's Not All Flying
It may surprise you, but getting your pilot's license won't just be about proving that you can physically control an aeroplane. You will also need to be able to show understanding of maps and chart-plotting, as well as your ability to use and understand the radio system used by both private and professional pilots alike. These are complicated skills that will take time to learn - certainly not impossible, but you should be prepared to put the time in if you're serious about attaining your license.
You Don't Need to Purchase a Plane
Many hobbyist pilots simply hire planes by the hour whenever they wish to fly, eliminating the need to purchase their own aircraft and shoulder expensive hangar costs. It's a comfort to know that the hobby isn't closed to those who don't have the bank balance to support this level of investment! However, if you do choose to buy your own plane and feel that's something you can afford, you should ensure you are definitely taking that hangar hire into account, as well as any potential maintenance costs you may encounter along the way.
For all these considerations, learning to fly is a real thrill. If it's something you've always dreamed of, then nothing will stop you - and rest assured that you'll find it every bit as liberating, thrilling and satisfying as you imagine. There is truly no experience quite like it. Have fun, and good luck!