Learn To Fly
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If we are to believe the iconic American band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers then ‘coming down is the hardest thing’ when you’re learning to fly. He probably tried to learn on Malta because the rest of it – finding someone to teach you, perfect conditions, great views etc is dead easy!
Flying remains the most glamorous form of transport and who, at some stage in their life, has not dreamed about being able to soar among the clouds. We don’t necessarily mean in super hero mode a la Superman or even in plummeting, flappy-armed fashion like Wile E Coyote in the Roadrunner cartoons when he walks off a cliff. We mean being able to guide a plane effectively and smoothly to where you want it to go.
And if you are considering taking flying lessons, or have always dreamed of doing it but never managed to get around to sorting some out, then where better to start than the crystal clear blue skies of Malta. There are several Maltese flying clubs that can provide you with the necessary instruction and training you need to become a qualified pilot.
And there are also plenty of reasons why you might want to chose this island as the place to learn. Firstly, there’s the scenery. Valletta and its Grand Harbour for starters is a magnificent sight from the air and its grandeur has long been recorded by historians, writers, poets and painters from all over the world. However, those people all described, or depicted the city as seen when approached from the sea. That’s pretty special, admittedly, but not a patch on soaring over it in the air!
The islands are also attractive in that they offer trouble-free flying and top-class modern and efficient air traffic control. Add to that fantastic weather, with clear skies pretty much guaranteed for large parts of the year and very light winds, and you have near perfect flying conditions for the vast majority of the time without a cloud to spoil the view.
The schools on the island offer introductory courses with expert training given by experienced and qualified instructors using the latest light aircraft models. Your lessons can lead up to, or at the very least contribute towards your Private Pilot Licence, which requires a minimum of 45 flying hours.
If you already have a PPL then the island is your oyster as you can simply hire a plane and roam around this part of the Mediterranean. Sicily, Italy and North Africa are all just short hops away. It’s not unheard of to fly to Sicily or Tunisia in the morning for a nice lunch and then be back on Malta for dinner. Now that’s living!
But for those of you who remain ‘local’ you can spend the time zooming around above Malta, Gozo and Comino and try to spot all the different tourist attractions you might have visited already. Like the Mosta Dome, the hill-top city of Mdina, the ancient temples like Hagar Qim or even Popeye Village.
The island has just the one airport – at Luqa – tso it’ll come as no shock to learn that is where you’ll find the flying schools too. There are several to choose from so it’s best to go through them all and see which one has the package on offer that meets your requirements.
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