Where To Meet Pilots

If a career as a pilot interests you, then you'll most certainly want to go to the source. Who's better to answer your questions than a pilot? Even if you would like to become an airline pilot, it's safe to assume that the tour guide from your last Hawaiian vacation that flew you around the islands can give you some valuable information. If you happen to live in very rural areas with large farms, why not ask the person who does your crop dusting?

No matter what type of aircraft you want to fly - planes all work the same way which is why you can ask just about any pilot any questions about flying and chances are good that they will know what to tell you; and in the event that they cannot answer your question they'll more than likely be glad to point you in the right direction. In this article, I'm going to show you where to look if you want to talk to a pilot.

The most obvious place to find a pilot is at the airport and hotels near the airport. Use good judgment - don't be rude or intrusive as this will get you an undesirable response. Pilots at the airport tend to sit in restaurants between flights so they can eat and relax, or even catch part of a game before their next flight. Another good time to catch a pilot is right after you've landed and the plane you're on is emptying. Usually if you can manage to be the last person off you can get in a question or two with the pilot. I also always see pilots waiting for their spouses to pick them up after they've finished their flights. This is another good time because they've had a radio headset in their ears for the last few hours so chances are they won't be on the phone.

If you live near a military base that has an airfield, you'll see quite a few pilots. Military bases are usually pretty good communities, so ask around - someone always knows someone who's a pilot and will usually talk to them. When I was a kid I had the same questions. I asked around and as it turned out I had six airline pilots that lived in the neighborhood. My mother had one of the neighbors come to the house to talk to me about flying (I just happened to live near a major airline's hub).

Another great source is the internet. Use a search engine to find major flight schools, and then call the contact number. Flight schools are almost always staffed completely by instructors, which increases the odds that the person who answers the phone is also a pilot and not a receptionist. If, in fact, you do only reach a receptionist - give them your contact information. Flight schools are always looking for more business so a return call is guaranteed. Then you can ask your questions to a pilot who's very eager to answer them.

The internet is a very valuable resource. Any search engine will point you in the right direction. If there's one thing I've noticed, pilots are proud to be pilots. A simple search query that will yield thousands of results is "ask a pilot". Type those words into the search bar and you will see page after page of pilots who have posted websites dedicated to answering your questions. Remember - you're probably not the first person to ask your questions too. You'll see forums where many questions have been answered along with a host of other questions. An even better suggestion is to actually type your question into the search bar. Nine times out of ten you'll see that question (with its answer) on a link near the top. However, if you really want to talk face-to-face with a pilot, then try the above suggestions. If you can't find one right away, then keep trying. I promise you that there are plenty of pilots that would be willing to not only give you a few minutes of their time, but hours.

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