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Wed, Jun 02, 2004

What To Get Dad For Father's Day

Be A Pilot Has A Great Idea...

Let us carefully venture into the land of the general media, a place fraught with dangers and misunderstandings when it comes to aviation. Let us extend the hand of friendship to reporters across the land in hopes that they will have a better grasp of all things aeronautical.

Let us offer them a free flight lesson.

In that spirit, Be A Pilot is reaching out through the general media to moms who don't know what to get their husbands (besides a tie that doesn't match and an extra case of Bud), with a special invitation.

Here's the windup... and the pitch, in the form of a news release from Be A Pilot:

Instead of another tie or power tool this year, give Dad a Father's Day gift sure to give him a lift. It's a hands-on, introductory flying lesson offered through BE A PILOT, the national, nonprofit learn-to-fly program sponsored by the General Aviation community.
 
At just $49, it's affordable and so easy to give. Just call 1-888-BEAPILOT to register for a free Introductory Flight Certificate.

From the website, simply print the certificate and give it to Dad with a card. When he's ready, just present the certificate to one of the more than 2,000 participating BE A PILOT flight schools in North America to receive the lesson for just $49, or about half the typical cost.

Watch his eyes light up as he's escorted to "his" airplane, goes through the preflight safety inspection with an FAA-licensed instructor and climbs into the pilot's seat. With the flight instructor at his side, Dad will actually fly the plane. He'll taxi to the runway, throttle up and -- at just the right moment -- pull back on the controls and guide the plane skyward to get a breathtaking view from 2,500 feet or more. And if he's like most first- timers, he'll probably want to fly over the family homestead.

After this experience, good old Dad will never look at a circular saw the same way again.

"June is National Learn to Fly Month, and with perfect weather throughout most of the country, there's no better time to discover the advantages and fun of flying," says Drew Steketee, president and CEO of BE A PILOT. "Chances are, it's something he's always thought of doing."

So don't give another run-of-the-mill gift when you can help Dad fulfill a lifetime dream. He might even want to continue training for his Private pilot's license. That license can be earned in as little as 40 hours of training and practice flying (although 50-70 hours is more typical).

The cost ranges from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on where you live, the type of airplane you train in and how often you fly. Once licensed, it's not necessary to buy a plane. In fact, most pilots rent planes, starting as low as $60-$100 per flight hour.

"Flying is an exceptional way to escape the daily grind, get away from the congestion on the ground and clear your mind," says Steketee. "An introductory flying lesson is a gift Dad won't soon forget. And it can lead to a rewarding skill, whether he's interested in flying for recreation, personal and family travel, or business travel."

FMI: www.beapilot.com

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