Most conversations I have that involve mentioning being a pilot inevitably turn towards the airlines. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for airline pilots, but thinking that the only facet of aviation are the airlines is like thinking that the only flavor of ice cream is vanilla – there are so many types to choose from (and I have nothing against vanilla – it’s delicious). The mission of Clayviation is to inspire tomorrow’s pilot. Every pilot has a story of what sparked their love of flying. For some, it was an actual airplane ride. For others, perhaps simply being around airplanes. For me, it was a flight simulator that a family friend had. Nowadays, many people who have not had aviation exposure are looking to get their drone rating and seeking out specific pilot information on airspace, opening the door to aviation. Let’s explore the three different cornerstones of flight that you’ll find here at Clayviation.
1. Manned Flight
Flying airplanes is a joy that has only been realized by a few generations of human beings. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot made famous for successfully ditching an Airbus in the Hudson River, said that “Aviation is so young that I’ve been involved with it for almost half of its history.” I meet so many people who have always wanted to fly, and my goal is to show these people that learning to fly is attainable – all it takes is that passion and a first step. The rest is a snowball effect of igniting and expressing that passion. If you are curious looking to step into the world of aviation, start with this blog on becoming a pilot.
2. Unmanned Flight
Many pilots had their love for aviation sparked by flying remote controlled airplanes. The RC airplanes and helicopters of the past that tend to fly below the tree lines haven’t been a concern to pilots, but advances in technology have produced the drones of today that can easily make it into the highways in the sky. As a result, these drones are considered to be aircraft. Sound extreme? Well, if you got your hands on a remote controlled car fast enough to keep up with traffic, you couldn’t just take it out on the highway. Any vehicle driving on the roads have to be street legal, and so it is with drones – there are processes and rules for integrating them into the airspace system, making them “street legal,” with the primary goal to keep drones away from manned aircraft. Understanding the new rules and connecting the perspectives of both pilots and drone pilots is an important part of Clayviation. After all, flying a drone up to 400 feet and looking around with a first person view screen is a pretty good second best to really being up there.
3. Simulated Flight
Flight simulators have come a long way. What was once a novelty can now be used for real world flight training or simply ultra realistic flight gaming. As I pilot, I spend some of my time on the simulator working on things like instrument approaches, and some of my time just having some fun and doing things I’d never be able to really do in the air – like flying upside down at 250 knots just feet off the ground. There is also a culture of “Flight Simulator Pilots” who don’t fly airplanes, but immerse themselves in flight simulation with a respectable level of skill and professionalism. Using this system are pilots and air traffic controllers that connect in a virtual world to fly passengers from one city to the next, talking to each other in real time as they fly. Take a look at a clip of what it’s like.
Find Your Place
Maybe you’re learning to fly. Maybe you’re curious about it. Maybe you’re into drones and curious about aviation. Maybe you have a simulator and want to learn more. Wherever your particular passion for aviation lies, my hope is that you’ll find a comfy place here at Clayviation. When you visit the Blog tab of the website, you’ll notice that all of the blogs are categorized by the type of flight being discussed – either Manned Flight, Unmanned Flight or Simulated Flight. You can click on one of the links to show only blogs of that type. Hopefully this helps you get right to the room in the Clayviation house that you like to spend the most time in. Stay a while – I’ll put some coffee on to brew. Cream or sugar?
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