Amateur Pilots is a group who want to do one thing: fly. They also encourage others to join in, facilitating the way for any novice amateur. We talked to Yasser Menaissy, who is in charge of the group, and an amateur pilot.
Menaissy is actually a cardiovascular surgeon at Kasr Al-Eini Hospital and took up flying as a hobby. “In the 90s, I went to Imbaba airport to try out flying. I found it to be very interesting, and so I started my paperwork to become a pilot,” he said.
To be a student-pilot, you have to be physically fit, explained Menaissy. “You have to pass a medical checkup similar to the one EgyptAir pilots go through. Also, the maximum weight on the [type of plan I fly] is 110kg.”
The first step is obtaining a student pilot’s licence from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which costs EGP 2,400. “Once you get your student licence, you can start flying with an instructor,” he explained. “There is a theoretical course, and then you start to fly with an instructor for 15 hours until the instructor is sure that you can handle any situation or emergency.”
Menaissy stressed on the fact that there is no outline or map for learning; it all depends on the student. People should not expect a course like that of diving, for instance. “It’s not a fixed course. The 15 hours differ from one person to another, and it depends on the learning curve of each person. If you learn fast and you are keen, the 15 hours can be done in six months,” he explained.
After the 15 hours, students start to learn everything included in cross-country flying, so that they can communicate with the air-traffic controller, and be able to fly on their own.
Amateur pilots meet every Friday and Saturday at 6th of October Airport, where you can do an introductory flight and meet the instructors.