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The song was primarily written by David Gilmour. It describes Gilmour's thoughts on flying, for which he has a passion (being a licensed pilot with multiple ratings), though it has also been interpreted as a metaphor for beginning something new, experiencing a radical change in life, or, more specifically, Gilmour's feelings about striking out as the new leader of Pink Floyd after the departure of Roger Waters. Gilmour confirmed the latter interpretation on the Pink Floyd 25th Anniversary Special in May 1992. Also an avid pilot, drummer Nick Mason's voice can be heard at around the middle of the song. "Learning to Fly" was included on Pink Floyd's greatest hits collection Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.

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