Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By airfieldeats
#1677863
I had a student recently ask me, "If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself before starting flight school?"

I never thought about it until I had been asked. While there are several things I would advise, I would certainly have recommended that I finish ground training and written exam before starting my flight time. It can be hard to do both at the same time.

I'd love to hear what you wish you knew before starting your flight training.
By Gentoo
#1677876
My advice to myself would have been to book middle to late afternoon slots not mornings. Also avoid Saturday morning.

I think a lot of my initial progress was hampered by being tired from a long work week and an early start.

Also (and for later), when doing comms try to stick exactly with the phraseology as defined in CAP413 regardless of what other people (inc instructors, qualified pilots) are using. It slowly becomes automatic.
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By PaulB
#1677928
Gentoo wrote:Also (and for later), when doing comms try to stick exactly with the phraseology as defined in CAP413 regardless of what other people (inc instructors, qualified pilots) are using. It slowly becomes automatic.


Or at the very least, understand what the difference between local use and CAP413 is. The RT exams will (effectively) examine your knowledge of CAP413.
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By PaulB
#1677971
johnm wrote:See the training as an end in itself not a means to end. That way you can more easily pace yourself, relax and enjoy all the new experiences and skills as they develop.


Yes.... it may seem like it, but it's not a race nor is it a competition to see if you can pass in 45 hours exactly.
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By cadoganpier
#1678013
Having completed my PPL two weeks ago I guess a lot of this is fresh in my mind. I would 100% say do your exams as soon as you can. The sense of relief when they were out the way was immense, I felt all I had to focus on now was the fun bit.
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By johnm
#1678018
cadoganpier wrote:Having completed my PPL two weeks ago I guess a lot of this is fresh in my mind. I would 100% say do your exams as soon as you can. The sense of relief when they were out the way was immense, I felt all I had to focus on now was the fun bit.


As I said I would caution against this sort of thing. Flying is fundamentally procedural and engagement with the paperwork and systems is just as important as engagement with the flight controls throughout a flying career.
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By Jim Jones
#1678029
I enjoyed mine immensely. Did a lot of reading up, but sat exams as I progressed and theory had already been applied to actual flying. I also arrived well before my lesson, had a natter with other members, a good pre brief and after flight review. I had the same instructor for 95% of my lessons. I recommend that to all.
By CapnM
#1678136
I think three things in particular stand out for me and the experience I went through:

Don't compare yourself to other students - it's not a race.
I remember beating myself up a little because a fellow student went solo before I did, even though I started before them. Everyone's different.

Do your exams sooner rather than later. Perhaps aim to have most of them complete before you start your navigation sorties.
By the time I completed my QXC, I still had 6 to do. That's pressure you don't need when the only thing left is the skills test! :oops:

If you're not happy with your instruction, talk to someone about it and options available.
I found myself putting off having lessons every now and again (and even contemplated quitting/stopping) because my instructor did or said something which didn't sit right with me. Training to become an airline pilot (once these blasted ATPLs are complete!) was my childhood dream and your instructor shouldn't be the thing which stops you from achieving that.

:thumleft:
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By cadoganpier
#1678220
johnm wrote:
cadoganpier wrote:Having completed my PPL two weeks ago I guess a lot of this is fresh in my mind. I would 100% say do your exams as soon as you can. The sense of relief when they were out the way was immense, I felt all I had to focus on now was the fun bit.


As I said I would caution against this sort of thing. Flying is fundamentally procedural and engagement with the paperwork and systems is just as important as engagement with the flight controls throughout a flying career.



I think for some students your approach makes lots of sense but some people, like me, benefit from having thoroughly studied the theoretical aspects of nav, met, etc before they put them into practice, granted others find it easier to be shown the practical then learn the theoretical, I suspect it's just down to how you learn best.
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By Rob P
#1678850
johnm wrote:See the training as an end in itself not a means to end.


John shows wisdom beyond his years. And he has a huge number of years!

Seriously, you have to enjoy every last second of your training. You can never spool back, however much you would want to.

Rob P
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1678957
Rob P wrote:Seriously, you have to enjoy every last second of your training. You can never spool back, however much you would want to.


Are you seriously saying that when poling the RV around the sky, flying through the Alps or even on a nice day's cross channel jaunt with a load of good friends that you have the nostalgia to be back in a Cessna being shouted at to get your heading right or to be frustrated with your inability to be able to land while getting grief about it from the RHS?
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By Rob P
#1679971
There are times, yes.

In a way, because the combination of the RV and SkyDemon make flights so simple there is definitely less feeling of accomplishment.

Luckily I never had the Cessna experience starting off from scratch on the Tomahawk. But the challenge of learning, and the companionship of fellow students made it a very special period of my life.

Rob P