Every pilot’s story is unique, and so are their inspirations to start training for acquiring a PPL (Private Pilot Licence). One of the most enchanting responses to what is fascinating about PPL BAA Training has ever received sounds as follows: “It’s your key to forever 18.” The response comes from a Ukrainian pilot holding both PPL and CPL licences and having almost 50k Instagram followers who keep an eye on his aviation adventures. BAA Training has interviewed 2bepilot (his nickname on Instagram) to determine what actual PPL benefits are from the pilot’s point of view.
For many, becoming a pilot is a dream that one day they decide to fulfill. Was it the same in your case?
No, my case is actually different. At some point, my friends and I were brainstorming the plans for the upcoming year while snowboarding together. This was when one of them gave me the idea to go for a PPL licence. At first, it sounded crazy, given the fact that I was terrified of flying. But then I thought: “Why not, let’s do it! If I don’t beat my fears, they will beat me, after all!”
How did you find your first flight during the PPL training?
I can’t find words to describe how scared I was. My face must have turned green out of the nervousness I felt. All in all, it lasted for about 10-15 mins – the best I could handle back then. Nevertheless, beginnings are always hard, but persistence and purposefulness are what keep you going and conquering new summits. Now the fear has gone, and all I feel during the flight is pure joy and excitement (and adrenaline!).
How long have you been flying already, and what types of planes do you fly?
I’ve been flying for about 5 years now. I’m flying on ultralight and light aircraft, such as K10 Swift, Cessna, Jak-52, Extra, Aero AT-3. Also, Beechcraft multi-engine.
For what purposes do you usually fly using your PPL licence?
Getting positive emotions and running from the daily routine is the main purpose. When I fly, I feel that I live, and it is amazing! This is how I spend my leisure time alone or with friends. Periodically, I use a plane to get from point A to point B quickly, and I hope, in the future, there will be more of this type of flying. When I have to do the route Kyiv-Odesa or Kyiv-Lviv, I most definitely prefer flying 1-1.5h to traveling 6-7h by car.
What championships do you take part in, and how successful are you there?
I typically participate in championships for ultralight airplanes – the Ukrainian domestic Championship, which I’ve won two or three times, and the European Microlight Championship. The last time, it was in Lithuania on 7-17 of August 2019, Ignalina aerodrome.
The organizers distributed many different tasks over multiple days for which they were giving us scores. On the last day, the team with the highest summed up score became a winner. My co-pilot and I were in top-3 for a long time, but in the end, unfortunately, due to tension and stress, we fell to 8th place. Nevertheless, it was absolutely awesome! A competitive spirit, positive energy, and new connections – all make you feel happy as a child and start waiting for new challenges to begin. Hopefully, this year we will do great during the World Championship.
What was your most memorable flight?
The most memorable one was when I landed in an international airport in Poland and, obviously, each flight during the championships. I especially enjoy competitions where you have to fly with a limited amount of fuel. When you realize that you’ve got only 1-2l and there’s still a way to go, it’s important not to panic, obstruct emotions, and cool-mindedly trust your own calculations and intuition. In the end, you get rewarded with indescribable emotional fulfillment.
Please name three reasons why one should acquire a PPL.
First – it’s self-development, second – it’s a way to feel young, and third – it’s immense pleasure and fun! Even if somebody wants to get a CPL, but in the meantime, there’re no sufficient resources or the circumstances are not suitable, I always say it’s important to make the first step. You can start with a PPL and then gradually move towards your goal. Your life results from all the decisions you make and the steps you take, so as long as you are not at a standstill, everything will turn out your way eventually.