Could You Fly a Plane?

Patrick Chovanec never imagined he could, until the Covid-19 pandemic pushed him in an unexpected direction. Climb into the cockpit with him and find out what it’s like to go, step by step, from passenger to pilot.

For aspiring pilots, Cleared for the Option is a roadmap to the adventure that lies ahead. For the curious, it’s an invitation to sit in the co-pilot’s seat and learn the answers to questions you never thought you had. For all of us, it’s a story about the vital importance of taking on new life challenges – and never letting a year go to waste.

Cleared for the Option is a must-read for anyone learning to fly. Chovanec blends stories from his personal adventure in becoming a pilot, while providing a comprehensive resource covering the major topics that every student pilot should care about. It’s fun, informative, and challenges conventional thinking.


Patrick Chovanec’s excitement sharing his journey and new-found knowledge is electric—and there’s much to learn for aspiring aviators and enthusiastic passengers alike.

—JON OSTROWER, aviation reporter and editor of The Air Current

Cleared for the Option is packed with both practical information and inspiration. It’s the perfect read for anyone who’s ever dreamed of taking flight.

—MARK VANHOENACKER, Boeing 787 pilot and author of Skyfaring and How to Land a Plane

Anyone who has been alone in the sky knows how different life, landscape, and the heavens look from 2,500 feet up. Patrick Chovanec offers a vivid, detailed, and realistic portrayal of what it takes to gain that aerial view. Aspiring pilots will want to read this book, and people who are not yet pilots should be inspired by it.

—JAMES FALLOWS, pilot, author of Free Flight, and longtime writer at The Atlantic.

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