Sunday, March 18, 2007
First Day At The Airfield
By Philipp Sigrist
It was a cold, grey Saturday afternoon, not really a nice day for flying. But the prospect of flying was not what brought us to Budaörs Airfield. Instead, my friend (?) Ferenc and I had come to meet my future instructor, Gergö Lajos, to discuss the details of my upcoming flying lessons. Gergö, a good friend of Ferenc, first took to the air as a pilot at age 22 and has been an instructor for 13 years.
Arriving at the airfield, Gergö happily greeted us with a smile and, with our full agreement, proceeded to show us around the airfield first before discussing my lessons. We encountered various types of old soviet AN2’s, and Czech Grob’s and Zlin’s . While walking along, an old DC3 made its final approach towards the runway, I was compelled to stop and witness it land. Nothing beats the sound of an old DC3 prop.
At the hangar, Gergö presented the plane we will use for our upcoming lessons, a great-looking Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Since I’d already flown in one of these with my godfather a while back, I couldn’t help but show off my expertise about it . On our way back to the cafeteria, I noticed a lovely old control tower.
“It is mostly unused,” Gergö said. “Only avionics engineers and gyro specialists still work in there.”
Back at the cafeteria we started discussing my lessons. Gergö explained that, before I can start, I will first need the blessings of the Civil Aviation Authority of Hungary (CAA); they will test me to determine whether I am medically fit to fly. The actual course will be split up into several smaller courses such as meteorology, aerodynamics, radio communication, basic mechanics, and so forth. If I make the courses intensively I might achieve it in less than 3 months, which surprised me. What surprised me even more was the price. It will cost me no more than 5000 euros to receive the Private Pilot License (PPL), which is a real bargain compared to other countries such as the United States. One might think that with such a low price quality might suffer, but from my point of view, everything seemed very professional.
“Both the instructor and the airfield personnel are highly qualified,” said Ferenc.
After our discussion was over, we thanked Gergö for his time and told him that we would contact him as soon as it is possible to begin my lessons. On our way home I was dreaming of my PPL already, a dream that might soon become reality.