Before airplanes were invented, flight could only be achieved using hot air balloons, giant kites, and tuxedos made of live sparrows. Take off without the formality with today's Groupon to Great Lakes Air Ventures, located in Charlotte. Choose from the following options:
• For $90, you get a 30-minute discovery flight for up to three people (up to a $180 value).
• For $97, you get a one-hour first flight lesson (a $195 value).
• For $300, you get enrollment in the private pilot ground school and textbook package (a $625 value).
At Great Lakes Air Ventures, fledgling flyers earn their wings through classes and instructor-assisted flights designed to prepare students for the FAA exam. Invite along up to two friends on a discovery flight, during which you'll man the reins of the metallic sky-stallion as it gallops through big blue pastures. An experienced flight instructor will be on board during the journey to help during lift-off and landing as well as to point out landmarks or clouds shaped like U.N. ambassadors. Alternatively, a one-hour first flight lesson allows students to guide a craft through the skies surrounding the Charlotte Airport after a session of ground instruction. Upon completion of the first flight lesson, which is based on the ASA private pilot syllabus, students will go through a post-flight briefing and have their logbooks endorsed by an instructor for their first hour of flight time.
The most ambitious aviators can stretch their brain-flaps by hitting the books in the private pilot ground school, where they’ll learn how to soar the skies and harvest cloud-cotton for making the world's lightest pajamas. The comprehensive 14-week course is offered in September and designed to prepare students for the FAA's private-pilot-license written exam. The tuition covers 35 hours of ground instruction, led by owner and half-eagle Patrick Retzer, in a classroom setting with three or more students.
Great Lakes Air Ventures
Great Lakes Air Ventures combines FAA-approved syllabi with a triad of aircraft and a quadrad of certified flight instructors to give nascent pilots their wings. In addition to their instructional acumen, the high-flying staff members have experience shuttling packages for UPS, serving as a jump pilot for skydiving excursions, and teaching newborn birds to flap their wings. Aerial greenhorns can grasp basic controls and acquire familiarity with aircraft during Great Lakes' sundry training programs.