Friday, March 12, 2010

Learn to Fly - towered or non-towered fields?

I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying

Finding an airport to learn at is not a choice most have to make. There is often just one general aviation airport near you and that and that is where you go. Where I live in San Jose California there are tons (SQL, PAO, RHV, E16, CVH, WVI, SNS) of  choices all within 45 min of each other. So which one? what are the advantages of  towered or non-towered airport?

Magnum Aviation at South County (E16) Airport in San Martin, California is where I work. The airport is non-towered but a 10-15 min flight to both Reid-Hillview and Salinas airport so the practice of speaking to towered fields is no problem. Another advantage is the practice area is a 5 min flight from E16, that is not true of the airports just north of E16 it can be from a 10-20 min flight  EACH way just to get to the practice area.  Yes it is a beautiful flight , but it starts to add up when you have 20-40 min in flying/aircraft rental time to get to where you can practice you flight manuevers each flight.

E16 is less congested so that means less time waiting for takeoff and landing.

There is so much to consider when you are thinking about learning to fly and if you have the luxury of picking an airport ask the instructors you interview their feelings about the airport you are at and see if it matches your learning style and how you will fly after you get your license.