The moment you first arrive into Kelowna, the surrounding environment is immediately confronting. Kelowna is a city nestled amongst the mountains of the Okanagan Valley on the shores of a beautiful, vast lake, making Kelowna International Airport (CYLW) one of the best places for you to invest in your flying potential.
Ever since I first knew that I wanted to become a pilot my ambitions were always drowned out by well-intentioned people informing me that "learning to fly is so expensive", "you need a degree in maths and science" or "you have to buy a plane first".
As I made my way to the float dock one morning, excited to head out in the Cessna 172 floatplane and explore the Okanagan valley, I saw, tied up and waiting patiently, a dazzling red DHC-2 Beaver floatplane in all its glory.
A quick interview with Air Hart Aviation owner, Richard Hanson, talking about what made him want to become a pilot (much less the owner of a flight school!), his training and his aviation ambitions.
I tentatively requested a floatplane lesson one day and the Chief Pilot took me up, showing me the ropes of float flying. Whether it was the fact that this flight was a brief escape from my focused learning of the landplane allowing me to loosen up for some fun or that flying floatplanes is ridiculously fun I don’t know. Perhaps a combination of the two. But I was hooked!
It was a cool spring day when I was invited along to experience the South Okanagan & High Country tour with Richard, owner of Air Hart. I had arrived early at the downtown docks because I was quite simply too excited to even think about or do anything else other than go for this flight.
The most important part of flying, being able to land safely, is finally within reach of my abilities. I never really thought this day would come, but those landings were bumpy enough for me to realise that it was definitely me in control!
Having just spent two flights working on spins and spiral dives I hope to convey how that feels into words. Unreal, exhilarating and exhausting would be my choice! The adrenaline rush was thrilling and it makes me so excited to one day complete my aerobatics licence!
It was months ago when I realised that this flying goal of mine was actually achievable and I applied and got accepted at the Air-Hart flight school out here in British Columbia. Ever since I received confirmation of my acceptance into the school I have been overwhelmed with excitement and the possibility of finally gaining my pilot's licence!