For those that don’t know yet, I fly ultralight aircrafts in my spare time. Or at least I try to do it as much as I can.
What are the ultralight or light-structured aircrafts I pilot? In Europe, ultralight aircrafts are small powered aircrafts of max two seats, with a multi-axis wing, with a weight of up to 600 kg, among other specifications. Essential restrictions apply: those can only fly in class G (Golf) airspace and VFR (Visual Flight Rules) mode, basically meaning you can’t fly if you can’t see the ground (you can’t use instrumentation exclusively to navigate). You need to have a license for flying those (and another for radio communication, which is optional).
Some of the flights I do are pure leisure, such as navigating through the Pyrenees when covered in snow, visiting other cool airfields and taking fresh air, or doing air sightseeing around. Some others are purely technical, so that I can improve my skills, such as repeating takeoffs and landings, emergency simulations, etc.
Why do I do that? I do it because I like it. The reasons are several, and I can’t reduce those into one. I love nature, especially the mountains (hiking, another of my passions), and watching them from the air makes you realize how small we are. At the same time, feeling you are in control of the course and having the power to go in one direction or another, considering the 3rd dimension, feels so good. I also think the continuous learning part is vital. Flying is hard; unless you practice, your body and brain lose facility very fast. It’s not only about spending hours flying but doing exercises like navigation that trains your eyes, visiting other airfields with different takeoff/landing configurations than your home base, etc.