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Downtown Aviation

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Downtown Aviation

Cessna 172

(c)2007 Teresa R. Simpson, licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

Whether you want to give it a try once or go on to earn your pilot's license, Downtown Aviation offers everyday people the opportunity for adventure.


  • The staff and instructors at Downtown Aviation are friendly and professional.
  • Downtown Aviation offers a full range of aviation programs.


  • The airplanes used in instruction are not air conditioned.


  • Although my experience was with the discovery flight, Downtown Aviation offers flying lessons for students at all levels.
  • To take flying lessons you must: speak English, be 16 years old to fly solo, and be able to pass a basic medical exam.
  • Downtown Aviation is located at 2787 North Second Street in Memphis. Their phone number is 901-353-9151.

Guide Review - Downtown Aviation

My husband, being the adventurous type that he is, gave me a gift certificate last Christmas for a "discovery flight" at Downtown Aviation. A discovery flight is an introductory flying lesson, designed to let people experience the thrill of piloting a small plane. It is a brief lesson, but very affordable ($50 at the time of my lesson).

The discovery flight consists of two parts: a 45 minute interactive lesson taken on a computer and a 30 minute flying lesson. The computer program covered very general information such as the parts of the plane, the mechanics of taking off and steering, and a few basic safety tips.

After finishing the computer instruction, it is time to fly the plane. For my lesson, I was going to be flying a 2005 Cessna 172 and as the student, I got to fly from the pilot's seat. We climbed in and my flight instructor went over a few things with me and helped me to start the plane. With her guidance, I was then able to taxi the plane down to the runway. I was amazed by how much control my instructor let me have. Each time I found myself swerving one way or the other, it was clear who was piloting the plane!

When we finally took off, my instructor taught me how to turn, fly straight, ascend, and descend. What a rush! Being in control (or at least partial control) of the plane was an exhilarating experience. We flew around for a while and then my instructor showed me how to get back to the airport and line the plane up with the runway. She landed the plane herself, explaining to me each step of the process.

Back on the ground, the instructor asked me if I had enjoyed the flight. There was no sales pitch or pressure to sign up for additional flying lessons. She simply gave me her card and thanked me for coming.

All in all, it was a wonderful and exciting experience. I can't wait to do it again!

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