Can you become a pilot in a week?
Just ask Davin Coburn, a science editor at “Popular Mechanics,” who started his flying lessons at Mid-Atlantic Sports Planes (MASPL) in Alexandria, Va., with one objective in mind: to complete the Sport Pilot flight requirements and take his check ride in a week.
He succeeded. One week after the 26-year-old climbed into a Light Sport Aircraft for the first time, he took off with flight examiner Michael Price and earned his Sport Pilot license. He logged 22 hours prior to being signed off for his qualifying flight. He passed his written exam before traveling to Virginia.
“He was intensely focused, highly motivated and a quick study,” said Nathan Mayers, Coburn’s flight instructor. “Life would be easier with two weeks instead of one, but Davin proved that it can be done. He’s aware that he’s going to have to apply those skills soon so he doesn’t lose them, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. What he’s shown us all is that the Sport Pilot license is within reach of just about everyone.”
In daily blog postings for “Popular Mechanics,” Coburn noted it was a working vacation, albeit one without lounge chairs and drinks with umbrellas. “I flew when I could, and generally studied when I couldn’t,” he said. “The harder you work beforehand, the less your instructor will have to dwell on the basics.”