Pilots are the cowboys of the air, roaming the wide-open skies and herding children's runaway balloons. Giddy up, up, and away with today's Groupon: for $99, you get a 75-minute flight lesson from Acadian Aviation Pilot Training Center in Lafayette (a $230 value).
Acadian Aviation Pilot Training Center's Gold Seal Certified flight instructor Raja Gharazeddine guides novices through practice steering a zippy Piper plane. After 30 minutes of ground instruction at Acadian’s pilot-training facility, aspiring aviators take to the skies for a 45-minute private lesson in flight basics such as steering the plane and resisting the urge to loop-to-loop through the open windows of the DMV. Flying aces have the opportunity to apply their new skills through the aviation academy’s recreational pilot-licensing program, which lets them set their own schedule with Raja. Call to schedule a lesson, or ask for the time of next open house—a free social that lets pilots and pilots-in-training chow on barbecue chicken or sausage while trading aerial tips.
Acadian Aviation Pilot Training Center
Though he wanted to fly ever since he was a young boy, life kept coming between Raja Gharazeddine and his dream. Finally, at age 30, he managed to earn his private-pilot’s license, despite juggling extra jobs and overtime hours. Today, the Gold Seal–certified flight instructor channels his lifelong love of aviation to guide students toward certifications such as recreational-pilot licenses, private-pilot licenses, and instrument ratings.
He and his team of dedicated instructors work with pupils on individual timelines, using comprehensive syllabi and a wealth of flight sources to carefully track every student's progress. Acadian Aviation’s resources also include a fleet of five Piper aircraft, suited for training and skill development before flyers operate larger aircraft. When not soaring skyward, Raja invites his students to open houses where aviators in all stages of training discuss aspects of flying such as tips for racing against pelicans.