What does it take to learn how to fly a plane?

Student pilot actually flies the plane during their first lesson

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A 31-year-old student pilot died and his instructor is in critical condition, after their plane crashed in East Haven, Connecticut, near Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport, Wednesday morning.

The single-engine training plane took off from the Connecticut Flight Academy. The victim has been identified as Pablo Campos Isona.

“You’re going to do some flying by yourself, as a solo student and some with an instructor as well.” Rich MacIsaac, the manager of the Northampton Aeronautics Flight School, told 22News a student pilot actually takes the controls and flies on their first day, and that’s just the beginning.

He said, “Initial pilots license are required to get at least 40 hours of flight time, and within that 40 hours, you’re going to learn lots of different maneuvers. You’re going to learn how to take off and land. You’re going to fly at night. You’re going to fly to other airports.”

While the minimum is 40 hours, MacIsaac said pilots usually require 65 hours to get their license.

Dan Bergeron, a licensed pilot from Chicopee, has flown for four decades and can’t even guess what happened in Connecticut. He said, “Sometimes it’s mechanical, sometimes its pilot error, but with a flight instructor, it must have been something entirely unexpected.”

According to our NBC Connecticut affiliate, WTNH, the man in the hospital is a flight instructor at Connecticut Flight Academy.