Enrolling in a flight training school is a very big step toward your future as a pilot. However, it is important to remember that it is only the first step.
Once you begin your program there are additional steps you are going to have to take in order to make sure you are getting the most out of it. You want to gain all of the tools and skills necessary while in training so that you will be equipped to handle your aircraft in any type of situation.
Below you will find 7 tips for success in flight training school that will help you to achieve your goals.
1. Be Ready to Learn
There is no doubt that learning to fly is a lot different than anything else you have ever encountered. Show up when you are supposed to and be ready to learn. Take your flight training seriously —- whether in the air or on the ground as both are very important.
Between lessons, be sure to study your material and do some mock flying simulations while seated at home. The more prepared you are for your training, the more you are going to absorb and grow as a future pilot.
Of course, having knowledge is one thing, but taking care of yourself is another. Studying and practicing hard won’t do you any good if you show up to your training tired and hungry. Be ready to learn when you arrive. That means getting a good night’s sleep, eating a good meal, and drinking plenty of water to remain hydrated.
This is all part of being prepared for your lesson of the day.
2. Set Achievable Goals
What goals do you have for yourself during and after flight training school? What are you looking to achieve?
As a student pilot, you should know what you want to do with your training in addition to your career choice. For instance, what do you want to achieve in your next lesson? What maneuver are you struggling with that you’d like to conquer? What instrument are you having a hard time getting comfortable with that you need to practice using?
Take time to answer all of these questions in order to determine your goals for flight training school. Then, make a plan to achieve them.
3. Go Above and Beyond
If you want to have the most success in flight training school, you need to go above and beyond. Don’t just take the word of your instructor or learn about something on the surface without asking questions or looking into it further.
Students may go all through their training program without ever fully understanding aerodynamics and how it impacts a flight. They may understand when they should or shouldn’t do something while in the air because of aerodynamics, but they may not necessarily take the time to find out why.
The best pilots are those who have a deeper understanding of flying. They know about the aircraft and why the atmosphere does what it does. They also know how to handle all types of situations that may arise because they understand the bigger picture.
4. Evaluate Your Progress
As with anything you are learning, it is always a good idea to evaluate your progress as you go through your flight training.
Take time to understand how you best learn and what you can do to ensure you are getting the most out of your flight training program. In other words, if you struggle with reading comprehension, consider finding alternate ways to gain the knowledge you need.
Evaluating your progress throughout flight training school can help you reach the greatest success in your future aviation endeavors.
5. Be Open with Your Instructors
If you don’t understand something, it is easy to ignore it and move on. Unfortunately, in order to be a skilled pilot, there are a lot of things you need to know — and you have to be proficient in them. Not understanding something is no excuse.
If you want to succeed in a flight training school, you are going to have to be open with your instructors when you are having difficulty with a concept or if you have any concerns or issues that need to be addressed.
It is perfectly normal for students to get a bit anxious and nervous, especially if it is their first few times flying or putting something new into practice. Your flight instructors don’t know how you feel unless you share with them. When you do, they can take steps to make sure you have what you need and encourage you as you go.
6. Immerse Yourself in the Experience
If you want to be a pilot, then you should immerse yourself in the experience of flight training school. Eat, sleep, and breathe flying. Mingle with others in your classes and join aviation organizations both in your community and on a larger scale. Stay on top of the news within the aviation industry and attend events when possible.
All of these things can make you a well-rounded pilot when training is over. The best part is that you may make some connections along the way that can benefit you in your career.
7. Find Your Confidence
It can be hard to have confidence when you are learning to fly face-to-face with a cockpit full of gadgets and switches. For some students, this can be very overwhelming.
Find your confidence, keep calm, and proceed using the tools you have learned up until now. When you study and remain engaged throughout flight training school, you will have everything you need to be successful when flying.
Should you mess up—- try again. Every flight student is going to make mistakes. It is all part of learning. Just don’t lose your confidence.
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Mr. Matthew A. Johnston has over 23 years of experience serving various roles in education and is currently serving as the President of California Aeronautical University. He maintains memberships and is a supporting participant with several aviation promoting and advocacy associations including University Aviation Association (UAA), Regional Airline Association (RAA), AOPA, NBAA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program. He is proud of his collaboration with airlines, aviation businesses and individual aviation professionals who are working with him to develop California Aeronautical University as a leader in educating aviation professionals.