Monday, July 08, 2013

Pilots receive extensive training when learning to fly: Wendell H. Ford Airport (KCPF) Hazard, Kentucky

PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) --- Edward Thomas made a pit stop at Wendell Ford Airport Monday on his way to Oxford, Mississippi. 

 “Everything is exciting and takes my full concentration, so it hasn’t become second nature yet,” Thomas said.

He has been flying for nearly one year now and is still going through training.

“Once you get your pilot’s license, the first level of pilot’s license only allows you to fly in VFR conditions, which is Visual Flight Rules, which does not allow you to go into the clouds,” Thomas added.

Airport Manager Jeffrey Hylton says that is typical for someone new to the cockpit.

“It varies from individual to individual, but that’s one of the biggest things when becoming a pilot, you have to be able to manage those tasks. And if you can’t manage them, then you can’t meet the standard,” Hylton said.

When flying an aircraft, pilots are required to know all of the checklists needed to land it safely.

“Landing gear down, the flaps have to be in the correct position, you have to make sure you’re the correct distance from the airport, you’re at the correct altitude, and that you’re at the correct air speed. You go through the hole series of checklists,” Hylton added.

Despite the crash in San Francisco and another crash in Alaska that killed 10 people on board, some folks say traveling by air is still safer than traveling by car.

“I think they’ve come a long way for safety in crashes for the people inside the plane and the seats are better,” Thomas said.

And that is a reason to fly high. 

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