Have You Ever Tried to Fly an Airplane?

Has anyone here ever

  1. Gotten/tried to get a pilot certification (USA or anywhere else)?
  2. Worked on UX for general or commercial aviation?
  3. Been interested in doing either of these things?

I ask because I’m investigating/pitching a project at work to investigate the barriers to entry in General Aviation (where normal people fly small airplanes from/to small airports). Most people in aviation (engineers, that is) see the problem as they see all problems: to be solved by technology, and technology alone, but I would like to question this.

So have you?

The pilots that I know would not admit to being “normal” people - they can, after all, fly. :wink:

I messed around with it when I was in my twenties, but it is never ending, time intensive, commitment to stay current; I just didn’t have the time to pursue it.

Other than expense, having both hands and feet that can reach the controls, and have at least one functional eye that can see over the dash, the barriers to obtaining a license are not too much of a problem. One must be 16 years of age to be able to solo an aircraft and 17 is the age at which you may be awarded a Pilots Certificate.

Flight schools are everywhere in the United States; five alone the small California city were I live.

Read this > Your Freedom to Fly - AOPA

The barriers to entry in aviation occur much earlier than the interaction stage. Time, difficulty, and money are going to stop an non-committed potential pilot well before any difficulties with interaction. You can’t design away 40 - 80+ hours of flight experience.

When it comes to flying a heavy object through public airspace, I am actually pretty OK with the barrier of entry being a little complicated. I would not want to reproduce our “constitutional right to drive” highway system in the air, hah.

I think hatts nailed the big one: money. Heck, my company will pay for my ground school but maintaining that license isn’t cheap.

I already think the license age is too low, and the required flight time hours are comically low.