Top 10 Differences Between Driving A Car and Flying A Plane

19 Mar

I have about an hour-long commute to and from work each day. On the way home the other day, I was getting onto the highway. As I stepped on the gas,  I caught myself pulling the steering wheel toward me, as if I was trying to take off.

I’m having a ball learning how to fly, and when I told my flight instructor, she got a good laugh. But it gave me the idea for this blog post. So here goes!

  1. With a plane, you steer with your feet using rudders. In a car, you steer with the steering wheel.
  2. To get your car to go fast, you press the gas pedal. To get your plane to go fast, you push in the throttle.
  3. In a car, you keep your eyes on the road in front of you. In a plane, that’s called looking through a straw, and it’s bad. You have to look around, up and down to see what’s going on as you fly.
  4. With a car, you just hop in and go. In a plane you do a check list to inspect the plane thoroughly before you hop in and fly. The check takes at least 15 minutes for me.
  5. With a car, you look at your gas gauge, trust it and drive off. With a plane, you check your fuel in 13 different spots for water and sediment. You also use a gauge to check the fuel levels in each wing tank.
  6. With a plane, you check the oil every time you fly. In a car, you do it every 3,000 miles then take it to Jiffy Lube.
  7. In a car, you don’t look in the engine unless something is wrong. With a plane, you check the engine every time — for bird nests and other dangerous items.
  8. Once you start a car, you start immediately driving. Once you start a plane, you still have to do a final check (run-up) before actually taking off.
  9. The plane’s yoke (it looks kind of like a steering wheel) is used to lift the plane off the ground when you take off, and to do banking turns. You just steer with the car steering wheel.
  10. In a car, you drive between the lines. In a plane, you drive on them.

So a shout out to my pilot friends — what else did I miss?

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6 Responses to “Top 10 Differences Between Driving A Car and Flying A Plane”

  1. Rony Camille March 19, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    “As I stepped on the gas, I caught myself pulling the steering wheel toward me, as if I was trying to take off.” Funny I do that as well.

  2. Elliott Francis March 23, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    An instructor told me this on my 2nd lesson; “if you’re in a car and something goes wrong, you just pull over to the side of the road. If you’re in a plane and something goes wrong, you must land…and find a safe place to do it.”

  3. Jim Goudy April 2, 2012 at 3:55 am #

    Most important – driving is boring. Flying is fun!!

  4. Myrtonos May 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    What about compraring aeroplanes to boats. With a boat, you steer with the steering wheel, like a car or any other road vehicle. With a boat, you also keep your eyes on the water ahead of you.

    • Aviation Queen May 25, 2012 at 6:37 am #

      Myrtonos – I’m focused on learning to fly right now. I can only afford one new hobby at a time! :)

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