Take the Controls on an Ultralight Inroductory Flight Lesson
Fly 4 Fun (the company we went with) is no longer doing this tour. However a new company, Arecibo Light-Sport Club is. So the information in this article is all pertinent, it is just using a different company. Enjoy!
As many of you already know, we love the beauty of the north coast and we also like adventure. So when we found out you take a flight an ultralight plane over the north coast, we had to do it.
Fly 4 Fun Arecibo Light-Sport Club in Arecibo offers " Introductory Flight Lessons" in a totally open, ultralight plane. The idea of the training flight is to give you an idea of what it’s like to be an ultralight pilot.
But even if you are just along for the ride and the views, it is an amazing experience. While I never really thought about flying a plane before, all I can say is OMG! This was really thrilling and beautiful (just look at some of these pictures)!
They offer "Introductory Flight Lessons", which are short, 30-minute flights. During these flights, you will learn some of the basics of the plane and how to fly it. Their location- right near the most beautiful coastline — so you get great views during the trip. According to FAA regulations, the company cannot, and does not, say this is a great sightseeing tour … but believe me … it is!
I waited until the night before to book our flights, so I could check the most recent weather report. Weather is an issue, if it is too windy or raining, they can’t do the flights. Lucky for us, we had a beautiful day.
When we got to the tiny Antonio (Nery) Juarbe Pol Airport in Arecibo, had to sign-in at the desk, then we went out onto the tarmac to meet our pilot/teacher. Note that there are restrooms and vending machines in the main part of the airport … take advantage of these.
The morning we went, there were 2 other "test pilots" that arrived before us, so we watched as they went on their flights.
The ultralight looks like a go-cart with wings … but no windshield, no doors, and no floor. It has 2 seats — one for instructor and one for you. You buckle into your seat, don your helmet (which has a communication system) and off you go!
You will learn what each lever and pedal does, then you taxi down to the end of the runway, turn around, and then you start picking up speed on the runway. Once you hit 40mph, the pilot pulls back, and you start lifting off the ground and you’re up!
Once you’re airborne, your instructor reviews the instructions on how to use the controls, and then lets you take over flying the ultralight (if you want to). Of course, this is a training plane and it has dual controls, so he can take control quickly, should the need arise! It was easy and a really neat feeling — I can fly!
If you really decide that being the pilot is not for you, the instructor will take control and you can just enjoy the ride (and have 2 hands available for taking photos/videos!).
This was so cool — I wished the flight had lasted longer! The movements of the ultralight were very soft and calm, unlike helicopters or when you hit turbulence in a plane. There were no rapid rises or drops. So I was very pleased with that. Since Ray is prone to motion sickness, he did take Dramamine prior to the flight, though after the fact he felt he probably didn’t need it. But better safe than sorry!
When you’re up in the air, you are going 40-60mph, without a windshield, so you have quite a bit of air pressure pushing on you. It was an odd sensation (not at all painful, just force).
You need sunscreen and sunglasses. Wear an old shirt or at least a dark shirt — we both got some oil/grease spatter on us from the engine (which is over your head).
If you have a fear of heights, this is probably not the right trip for you! You can look straight down through the floor-less ultralight to the ground.
I think it is really reasonably priced for the fun you get, very much worth it!
The cost is $145/person for a 30-minute Introductory Flight Lesson.
If you're happy, let them know it — Don't forget to tip your your bartender, tour guide or trip operator if you enjoyed yourself. Gratuities are appreciated and typically aren't included in the price they charge you.
Introductory Flight Lessons are offered mainly on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from 10am to 5pm, subject to weather conditions. Call about doing flights during the week- they usually can fly Wednesday- Sunday. Reservations are needed for flights.
There is a weight limit of 230 pounds. Height requirement- at least 4.5 feet. Passengers must be over 16 years old to fly. Passengers under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Bring a bottle of water and sunscreen. You could be out on the tarmac awaiting your turn for a while.
The flight lasts about 25-30 minutes. So if you’re there with a family or group, allow 35-40 minutes per person (by the time you get in/out of the ultralight, taxi in and out, etc).
You can call 787-225-0586 or 787-903-1725 for more info or to make a reservation .
They don’t have a web site, but you can check out the Arecibo Light Sport Club Facebook group for more info.
The meeting spot is at the Antonio (Nery) Juarbe Pol Airport in Arecibo, which is on Route 2 at KM 69.5. See map below for directions.
It takes about 60 minutes to drive to Arecibo from the San Juan area.
We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...
- Antonio (Nery) Juarbe Pol Airport (ABO): (18.447706, -66.673012)
PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it!