A private certificate alone will likely take six months and 60-plus hours of flying time. It’s a long journey filled with ups and downs before you’re able to begin enjoying the fruits of your labor. Today we must consider the recreational or sport pilot the gateway certificate. Pilot candidates pursuing these certificates learn how to control the aircraft, master simple navigation techniques and safely take off and land on a nice afternoon. Once certified, they can show a friend their house from the air, look at the mountains, view the city or cruise over a beach. In other words, they can experience the simple pleasures of flight that likely attracted most of us to aviation in the first place.