Where to go, What to do with a Pilot License

Things to do with a Pilot LicenseFlying opens up so many opportunities that some new pilots seem to have difficulty deciding where to fly once they earn their license.  Here are some ideas to get you up: 

  • Practice a new skill.  Even if you are not formally studying for a new certification, you can practice new techniques.  Ever flown into class B or the holding pattern around a neighboring airport VOR? 
  • Touch up some old skills.  See how close you can get to your exact touchdown aim point.  Visit a grass strip and put that soft field training to use.  Sharpen self-evaluation and judgment skills.  Upgrade your ability to judge and fly in four seasons weather.
  • Make it a date.  Take up your significant other just before dark and watch the beautiful sunset from the best place possible. If you are a morning person, the sunrise is just as spectacular. It is very romantic to see the sun’s colors in the sky.
  • Incorporate flying with other activities you love. Fly to an airport with a golf course nearby and play a round.  Fly to a new bike trail.  Fly to an out of the way fishing hole.  Take your friends, or make some new ones there.
  • Take pictures.  An airplane gives so many unique perspectives and views that it opens up a whole new world for a camera.  With a trimmed airplane, you will have enough time to get the perfect shot of clouds, mountains, buildings, or nature.  Or, take up a friend or professional photographer and give them a whole new set of subjects to capture.
  • Fly during the fall and see the changing leaves. There is no better perspective on peak leaves than from the air.
  • Fly in the winter after a snow storm to get a different perspective of common scenery.
  • If you don’t have a destination in mind, find a river and follow it to the mouth or a confluence. Follow the river route closely and you’ll get to make some good turns along the way.
  • Take a flying vacation.  Your plane is a great way to get to that perfect vacation spot.  Make it a long weekend, or couple of weeks.  Stay flexible and pack light.  Many airports will have hotels on or accessible by their vans for overnight stays.  Some even allow camping.
  • Get a good meal.  You may know of a great restaurant in the next state over. Or, just explore new airports with restaurants on their grounds. 
  • Find your house from the air. Once you locate it, see just how big or small it really is. You can also see what kind of property backs up to yours. You may find that you live near something that you had no idea was so close.
  • Visit a national park.  Remember to stay 2K feet above them, but you can flyover most parks and significant landmarks with your plane for an unique experience.
  • Visit friends and family. There are around 12,000 small airports in the United States. It is likely that your long distance friends live near an airport. Once you arrive, impress them with a flight over their own house or neighborhood.
  • Practice with your GPS or other navigation instruments you don’t normally use.  Combine GPS with precision flights like holding patterns and you can really track your performance.
  • Get a new certification.  Try a tail wheel or high performance aircraft.  Get instruction on a helicopter or seaplane.  Take acrobatic training. Get the instruction you need, but enjoy the experience even if you don’t get a new endorsement or rating.
  • Try a different plane. Test fly a plane you might buy or join a club that allows you to fly different aircraft.  Take a check ride in a new model. 

These are just a few ideas. Be creative and invent new ones if you like. In fact, please share your ideas and experiences in our Forum. The only rule is no matter what, have fun!

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