There are some experiences that no pilot should miss out on. Here are a few things to check off on your pilot bucket list. (Remember to ALWAYS fly with an instructor if you are not properly licensed, rated, trained, or comfortable with a flight activity!)

1) Aerobatic Flying

Straight-and-level flight is nice, but seeing the world upside-down is unforgettable.

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2) Complex Aircraft

While you may never need a complex aircraft rating, it’s a worthwhile experience nonetheless. Find a local instructor to try it out. But please, don’t forget to lower the landing gear!

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3) Gliding

Flying without an engine is not only peaceful and quiet, gliding teaches you some excellent flying skills. You’ll learn about using thermals and air currents to your advantage.

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4) Tailwheel Aircraft

A majority of newly minted pilots have never trained on tailwheel aircraft. Not only are they fun, but they’ll improve your rudder and overall aircraft handling skills.

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5) IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions)

We’re not just talking about “hood time,” this is the real deal. Flying into IMC is the greatest cause of death for private pilots. Try an IMC flight with an instrument instructor to see why getting your instrument rating is TOTALLY worth it.

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6) Oxygen Use

You’ll be getting pretty close to the flight levels if you’re using oxygen. Having an oxygen-required flight is a must for any pilot who wants to fly where the air is thin.

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7) Class B Airport

Are your radio skills ready for a Class B airport? Flying a light aircraft into the pattern with dozens commercial airliners isn’t easy, but it sure makes you feel like the captain of your aircraft.

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8) Seaplanes

Sure, we love airports, but sometimes it’s just more fun to land somewhere a little less crowded. Who’s ready for a beach trip?

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9) Mountain Flying

It’s as challenging as it is beautiful. Make sure you’re experienced and comfortable before a flight into and over mountains. Oh yeah… And don’t forget to enjoy those views!

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