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Home > Blog > How To Fly Your Own Plane

How to fly your own plane

Posted 25 Apr 2022

How to fly your own plane

Do you dream of flying your own aeroplane You’d be glad to know that with a little bit of time, money, and dedication, you can achieve your dream of piloting your own aircraft with ease.

Do you dream of flying your own aeroplane You’d be glad to know that with a little bit of time, money, and dedication, you can achieve your dream of piloting your own aircraft with ease.

If you're new to the world of aviation, it’s understandable if you’re confused about where to start. There is quite a bit of information available online about flying and owning aircraft, and it is possible that you may end up feeling overwhelmed and unsure about what your initial steps should be.

The absolute first thing before you kick-start your aviation journey is to ensure you have the determination to succeed. Flying, while exceedingly rewarding, does require hard work. You will need to dedicate time and effort to your aviation dreams, not to mention financial resources. Once you have mentally prepped yourself for the investment that flying requires, you’re all set to begin your journey to flying your own aeroplane!

If you wish to become a pilot, chances are you’re looking for ways to quickly get into the cockpit of your own aeroplane and take off, but there are a few steps you’ll need to take before jetting off.

In order to make things easier for aviation enthusiasts just starting to dip their feet into the exciting world of flying, here’s a complete step-by-step breakdown of what you need to do before you can fly your own aircraft:



If you have your mind set on becoming a pilot, it is best to know what to expect from aviation. There are a certain set of skills that every pilot must master. However, do not feel disheartened if you feel you lack any of the skills mentioned below.

Aviation is all about learning new things, and everything that has been cited as a necessary skill can easily be acquired, so long as you are dedicated to being the best pilot you can be. 


Good with numbers:

When you’re a pilot, you have to make numbers your best friend. Data analysis is a key part of the job, with maths and physics being integral tools in a pilot's arsenal.  

It is best to practice basic arithmetic, geometry, and trigonometry if you wish to fly your own plane.

While you won’t be expected to perform complex equations on the go, understanding concepts behind basic formulations will be of great assistance to you when flying.

Weight, speed and fuel calculations will all require you to be adept in quick mental math. However, most complex calculations are handled by computers nowadays. Regardless, it's best to be able to manage on your own in case of power issues.

Technical aptitude:

Aeroplanes are complicated machines and operating them requires a certain level of technological prowess. Aircraft controls are also relatively complex and will require some learning to operate.

A pilot should be open to learning new technologies as the world of aviation is constantly evolving.

Also, pilots who wish to obtain Instrument Ratings (IR) on top of their pilot licence will benefit from an affinity for technology.

Confidence and quick-thinking:

This is perhaps one of the most important skills a pilot should have. Being able to make decisions under pressure is something all pilots must master, as certain situations may demand them to act fast with logic and decisiveness.  

Maintaining your cool regardless of any danger may make a massive difference when caught in a risky situation. If a pilot remains confident in their decision when flying, the crew and passengers are bound to follow suit. It is for this reason that confidence in your ability and skill as a pilot is indispensable.

However, it’s best to not let the confidence get to your head and be adaptable and admit mistakes when the situation requires. The ability to learn from errors is equally important as confidence when piloting an aircraft.

Ability to communicate:

Flying is a team effort. The ground control team is as important to the flight as the pilot themselves. For this reason, it is necessary for a pilot to be able to communicate in a clear and concise manner.

Radio communication is a huge part of flying, and relaying information at the right time can make all the difference when caught in a risky situation. Apart from ground control, when co-piloting a flight with a crew, clear and respectful communication between crew members is also imperative. A pilot that is closed off and unwilling to communicate or listen may suffer immense drawbacks when flying an aircraft.

Love of aviation:
While the aforementioned skills may feel like a lot, there’s one thing that will make acquiring them absolutely worth it, and that is a love for flying!

As they say, if you love the work you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. If you are committed to becoming a pilot, all else will automatically fall into place, making for a smooth and exceedingly rewarding aviation journey!


Once you are sure that you want to become a pilot, the first order of business must be to begin training, which requires you to put in the hours to ensure that you are fit to take off. Training is an indispensable part of your aviation journey. If you put in hard work at the very start of your flying career, you are bound to reap the benefits of it in the long run.

You’ll need certified trainers to help you become a pro at flying, with aviation clubs such as Sherburn being a great resource for pilots.


Pilot medicals

The first step in training to become a pilot is to schedule a medical exam. There are certain health evaluations that all aspiring pilots must undergo to ensure that they are fit to fly without becoming a danger to themselves or those on the ground.

Pilot medicals involve a full-body exam. Once a successful medical exam is performed, you can apply for a Class 1 or Class 2 medical certificate.

A medical certificate is necessary if a pilot wishes to apply for a licence, with the less stringent of the two, the Class 2 certificate, being required for the Private Pilot Licence (PPL).

It is best to sort out the medical exam at the very beginning of your aviation journey so that any issues that may hinder your ability to fly can come to light sooner.

Finding out that you are unfit to fly after investing financial resources and time into learning to fly is an unpleasant experience, so it is best to put your mind at ease at the onset of your flying career.


Private Pilot Training

Most pilots start their aviation journey with private pilot training. This is the training that a pilot undergoes in order to apply for the PPL, which is a general aviation licence. Several private pilots go on to own their own aircraft, starting their training through dual instruction in an aeroplane such as those in Sherburn’s fleet.

Once a pilot has mastered dual instruction, they can graduate to solo flights, which is when owning their own aircraft truly comes in handy.

Simulator training

For the absolute beginner who is not ready to climb into the cockpit of an actual aircraft, simulator training is a great way to get familiar with the technicalities of flying.

This is usually the step taken before actual aircraft training begins, with pilots also using simulators to acquaint themselves with unknown airfields and practice handling risky situations which would be too dangerous to mimic during an actual flight.



 Not all those who wish to fly an aeroplane have plans to pursue aviation as a regular hobby or career. Many individuals just wish to get into the pilot’s seat to experience the thrill of flying so that they can check it off their bucket list.

 For such individuals, experience flights are a great way to fly an aircraft without the training. These are also a great way to find out if you wish to pursue a career in aviation.

Certified professionals at Sherburn can help make anyone’s dreams of flying an aeroplane come true, with no long-term dedication required!


When it comes to aircraft, there are several varieties. A simple web search may leave one overwhelmed due to the wide array of options available. While aircraft vary in size, seating capacity, and the number of engines, a beginner pilot is most likely to start their aviation journey with a smaller, fixed-wing aircraft.

 There are many types of fixed-wing aircraft which can be divided into two broad categories. The first is the single-engine variety. These aircraft are usually smaller in size, which is why they require a single engine to operate.

Most light aircraft fall into this category, which are much smaller compared to commercial airliners and have a seating capacity of no more than two to three people. Beginner pilots and hobbyists are most likely to fly light aircraft. The second category is the multi-engine aircraft. These are normally bigger than the single-engine variety and are more powerful. 

Commercial airliners usually fall into this category, with multi-engine aeroplanes commonly having a greater seating capacity as compared to their smaller counterparts.


Light aircraft

Light aircraft are most often the aircraft of choice for beginners as well as hobbyists due to their smaller size and relatively less complicated nature, as compared to larger varieties. Younger pilots can easily make use of light aircraft, with the minimum age for the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) being no more than 17.

Light aircraft are also used for recreational pursuits such as sightseeing, as well as for purposes of surveillance and security. Here at Sherburn Aero Club, we have a fleet of aircraft available for both recreational purposes, as well as for pilots wishing to train.

It includes the Piper PA-28 Cadet, Piper PA-28 Warrior, Aero AT-3, and Robin 2160. All of these aeroplanes are light aircraft, save for the Aero AT-3, which is a Very Light Aircraft (VLA). The Piper PA-28 aircraft is widely considered one of the best aeroplanes for learning how to fly, thanks to its comfortability as well as low costs.



A sub-type of light aircraft is known as a microlight. The microlight is smaller in size, the traditional variety of which seats no more than two people at once. These are a great option for pilots looking for a safe, affordable and modern form of aviation.

Breeze Aviation, the microlight training facility at Sherburn, houses the EuroFox 560 kg microlight, which is a safe and affordable option for pilots looking to train on smaller aircraft, especially for recreational purposes.



There are many different ways you can own an aeroplane. If you are a member of a flying club such as Sherburn, you have the option to buy an aircraft through the club’s marketplace.

You can purchase an aircraft privately, but if you do not wish to invest too much money into owning an aircraft, you can also buy shares of an aeroplane.

For those who do not wish to own an aeroplane but have the freedom to use one whenever they wish, the option to rent out an aircraft is also available.

At Sherburn, aeroplanes are rented out on an hourly basis, which means you only pay for the time that you use the aircraft, which in turn ends up saving you a hefty sum of money.



 This is the final step to flying your own aeroplane! Much like a driver's licence, a pilot is expected to have the necessary certification before taking to the skies in an aeroplane.  There are different types of pilot licences such as the PPL, LAPL, and CPL. The first is the Private Pilot Licence (PPL), which is ideal for hobbyists and beginners looking to work their way up to becoming professionals.

The Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) is a general aviation licence that is easier to obtain as compared to the PPL, with the number of flight hours required being no more than 12, as opposed to the PPL’s 45. However, with a LAPL, you are limited to flying only light aircraft.

The Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is required if a pilot wishes to receive monetary compensation in return for flying. It is also necessary if a pilot wishes to pursue a career in aviation. All of these licences require applicants to pass medical evaluations as well as theoretical exams, with the CPL having stricter requirements. The minimum age to apply for a CPL is also 18.

A LAPL can be upgraded to a PPL, which in turn can be upgraded to a CPL by logging in the added flight hours and obtaining the Class 1 medical certificate, with the PPL and LAPL only requiring Class 2.


Sherburn Aero Club, which has been operational since 1964, is the ideal place for most of your training and flying needs. It is one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country.

With a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse, we cater to brand new flyers who have just started their journey to the skies, as well as seasoned flyers who have been operating aircraft for decades.

We offer dedicated CPL training as well as comprehensive PPL (A) training and the required experience for operating aircraft at night. In addition to this, the club also offers simulators for various training needs and to help new pilots gain confidence before the real deal.

If you wish to begin your career in aviation or wish to take to the skies as a hobby, Sherburn’s flight training school offers private and commercial licences, along with pilot medicals to ensure a smooth journey going forward.


Call us on 01977 682 674​​​, email us at flightdesk@sherburnaeroclub.com, or message us via our online contact form for more information on how you can fly your own plane!

Photo by Franz Harvin Aceituna on Unsplash 



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