The human obsession with flight stems from a refusal to accept limitations and an intense desire to finally move out of gravity's basement. Claim your own airspace with today's Groupon: for $65, you get a 45-minute discovery flight (a $95 value), a 15-minute flight-simulator practice (a $25 value), and a log book (a $10 value) at Light Sport Aviation (a $130 total value) in Riverside.
The seasoned instructors at Light Sport Aviation take fledgling fliers up into virtual and actual skies to teach them the basics of piloting. The aerial adventure includes a 15-minute stint in the Redbird FMX flight simulator, which features all the trappings of a two-seater Cessna's cockpit, including a complete set of controls and instruments, panoramic visuals, motion feedback, and a simulated passenger that kicks the back of your seat the entire time. Students may be paired up with Chief Pilot Johan Backlund, who has more than 6,400 hours of flight time and 4,000 hours of instruction time, or Captain Manning, who is fully licensed and has his captain’s certification from United Airlines.
Instructors will escort skyward travelers into a Cessna Skycatcher for 10–15 minutes of ground training, where teachers will acquaint students with the aircraft’s parts and the basic tenets of flying. Once in the air, piloting pupils are free to take in high-altitude views of Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake during their 30-minute flight, all the while gently whispering to the plane about where it should go. Complete certification courses are available for those who wish to continue their aerial apprenticeship in light sport, private, or commercial flying.
Riverside Flight Academy
Based at the Riverside Municipal Airport, the instructors at Riverside Flight Academy produce nearly every kind of civilian aviator. The academy is able to quickly determine whether recreational or commercial pilot hopefuls have what it takes to fly using simulators and training aircraft. Student aviators can start into one of several career programs for commercial and airline transport pilots.