A Discovery Flight, often called an introductory flight, is approximately 30 minutes, intended to familiarize a prospective student with the airplane, the airport, and with the flying environment. During your Discovery Flight, you’ll sit in the pilot seat, and the FAA Certified Flight Instructor at your side will allow you to fly for the majority of the flight. A Discovery Flight is a great option if you’re considering a private Pilot Certificate, or makes a unique gift for anyone from 8 to 80. You can even bring a friend to ride along. If you decide to begin flight training, the Discovery Flight may be logged as your first flight lesson.
A Discovery Flight, tax included, costs $195.
Here are a few things to expect during a typical discovery flight with Black Hound Aviation.
It Will Be Casual
Your pilot will be friendly and relaxed. A flight school is an environment for learning, so you may see other student pilots and private pilots engaged in lessons, taking a ground school class, or just hanging out and chatting with other pilots. Your instructor will likely welcome you personally, might ask you a few personal questions to see what your level of interest is, and then will discuss the details of the flight with you.
It Will Be in a Small Airplane
Our Discovery flights are conducted in Cessna 172. This is a single-engine propeller-driven aircraft in which the instructor and student will sit side-by-side in the front. These airplanes are 180 horsepower and cruise at about 115 knots (132 MPH). These aircraft are meant for flight training and are safe, comfortable, reliable airplanes for discovery flights. The Discovery flights with Black Hound Aviation depart and return to the San Marcos Airport, San Marcos, Texas.
You’ll be allowed to fly the Plane
It’s voluntary, of course, but you will be encouraged to fly the aircraft on your own, with the instructor coaching you. After takeoff and when the instructor has maneuvered to a safe altitude above the ground to an area where you can practice, he or she will demonstrate how to do basic turns, climbs, and descents, and will let you control the aircraft. Depending on your level of interest, you might even be able to perform a private pilot maneuver or two. But it’s always dependent on your level of comfort, and the instructor will ask you before giving you control of the airplane. Some people would rather just enjoy the view without ever touching the controls, and that’s completely fine, too.
A Casual but Professional Preflight Briefing
Just like on a passenger jet, the pilot or instructor will spend a few minutes with you explaining what will occur, where you’ll fly, and a game plan for how the flight will go. You’ll learn how the flight controls work. You’ll also get a preflight safety briefing, including how to work the doors and seat belts and where to find the sick sack if you end up needing one.
There Might Be a Few (Small) Bumps
Turbulence is usually not an issue since instructors usually steer clear of choppy weather on discovery flights. It’s not enjoyable to get bounced around, even for experienced pilots, but much less so for someone who has never flown in a small airplane before. For the most part, discovery flights are conducted on calm days, but turbulence isn’t entirely predictable, so don’t be alarmed if there are a few small bumps. It may be more or less turbulent than you expect it to be, but your instructor wouldn’t take you up in an unsafe condition, and a small amount of turbulence is quite normal for light aircraft.
You Will Wear a Headset
Pilots wear headsets to reduce the cockpit noise and to clearly communicate with each other, as well as other pilots flying in the area and air traffic control, if necessary. You will be given a headset to wear. They’re comfortable, and they allow you to hear and speak to the pilot and other passengers. Don’t worry: Your voice won’t be heard over the radio by other pilots or Air Traffic Control - there’s a push-to-talk switch that the pilot uses for that. When you talk into your headset microphone, only the pilot and any other passengers will hear you.
Learn What it Takes to Become a Pilot
There won’t be any cheesy sales pitch, but do expect that your instructor will be eager to share the joy of flight with you. He or she might tell you more about what to expect during flight training, how to go about getting a pilot's license, and will gladly answer your questions about flying. Our instructors really are just excited to share the world of flying with others. At a minimum, your instructor will probably share with you the next steps if you decide that you do want to come back for more flying.
See the Local Area
Yes, you can probably fly over your house and even take a picture. It's a typical thing to do during a discovery flight. You may also see local landmarks, nearby lakes, towns, and cities. If you have a specific place you want to see from the air, just let your pilot know. If it’s within range and doesn’t violate any airspace restrictions, they’re usually happy to oblige.
Discovery Flights Usually Take 1-2 Hours
During a typical first flight, you'll brief for about 15-20 minutes, fly for about 30 minutes, and then you’ll want to allow time for photos in front of the airplane, and to chat with the pilot if you have any questions or if you decide to go to the next step and begin flight training. The entire experience usually takes between one and two hours. Longer flights up to an hour are permissible but at additional cost.
Most Importantly, Expect to Have Fun
Discovery flights should be fun. They're usually a low-key, relaxed flight in which you'll see the sights, take in the elements of flight and learn a thing or two about flying an airplane. Take time to enjoy it.
Call Us Today To Schedule Your Discovery Flight!