Knowing the basics of flying could save your life - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Knowing the basics of flying could save your life

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A local pilot says learning how to fly could save your life after he and his flight school were named to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association honor roll.

Todd Shellnutt opened Skyline Columbus four and a half years ago to help locals learn to fly. He says not only is flying fun, but it could also be the difference between life and death one day.

Just last week an airplane passenger in the United Kingdom had to land his friend's plane when he became ill, and he had no training whatsoever. Shellnutt says the scenario is unlikely, but many people can fly the friendly skies with a little common sense.

"Most people can fly an airplane level in flight, simply because they're using the same techniques they've used while they're driving," he says. "Steering wheel goes to the left, we go left. Steering wheel goes to the right, we go right. But to add another dimension, which is the up and down motion, that's the challenge."

He says the hardest part is by far the landing. Novice landings usually turn into crash landings when put under pressure.

Shellnutt says, "Until a person does five or six lessons and gets their mind into seeing what they're supposed to be seeing, they're not going to be able to make the smoothest landings."

There's one thing that makes the difference, however, and that's trusting your abilities. "It's everything," says Shellnutt. "You don't want to try to do anything in life without the amount of confidence that you're going to be able to succeed."

If you don't plan on flying in private planes, the principles can still transfer to commercial jets. In these troubled times you never know when you could be called upon to land a plane and become a hero.

You can take your first flight lesson for $99 at Skyline Columbus. For more information, call them at (706) 322-6565 or visit www.skylinecolumbus.com.  

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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