Learning To Fly
10 Useful Tips
Tip 1 -
Get a consistent routine when learning to fly. Fly every Tuesday and Saturday or something like that. If you have a set routine, already set up with your instructor it will be easier to be consistent with your learning. If you miss a lesson due to weather or some other reason, make it up as soon as possible, don't just skip it.
Tip 2 -
Read. If your instructor asks you to read a chapter or look at a chart, do it and do it thoroughly. I know you'll be going over it at your next lesson but if you are very familiar with the material the instructor will have to spend less time explaining it and can spend more time with you learning to fly.
Tip 3 -
Set up a time everyday to study. If you keep saying you are going to get around to looking at the material or reading the book, you will likely never get around to it. Other stuff will always get in the way.
Tip 4 -
Keep a journal. After every lesson or practice session, write your thoughts down. If its a lesson write down the important points made and the issues you need to work on. If its practice, write down what you did right, what you did wrong and what you could do better.
Tip 5 -
Fly in your head. If you've ever watched aerobatic pilots before they fly they do this funny little dance. What they are doing is going over the entire routine in their head. That helps them know the order of the routine, even though its in writing in front of them in the cockpit. Its a mental practice session, you just aren't in the airplane. You can practice landing in your head, takeoffs, crosswind landings, radio communications and other things. You'll be surprised at how much improvement this can give you while learning to fly.
Tip 6 -
Think about what you're doing and what you're learning. Its easy to get into the mode of just doing what your instructor tells you. He's telling you for a reason. Understand what that is and why it is not just do it because he said to. The more you understand the better you will get at doing the right thing at the right time.
Tip 7 -
Fly by feel. Learn what it feels like to be in a skidding turn. You shouldn't have to look at the bubble to keep it straight. You shouldn't have to hear a stall warning buzzer to know you're near a stall. I have actually covered the instruments with my students and they made some of the best landings ever. The instruments are there to back up what you are doing, not be the sole source of information.
Tip 8 -
Start working on your written on the first day. Working on your written early will make it easier for you to pass it when the time comes and you won't be rushed. The information you learn will also help you during your flying just by giving you more knowledge of how flying works.
Tip 9 -
Use a computer based software system to learn your written material. Most if not all, computer based systems will keep track of what you know and what you should be working on. That keeps you from working on stuff you already know and frees up time to work on what's important. Most of these will also give you tests to simulate the written when you take it. They can let you know what your odds are in passing.
Tip 10 -
Get a copy of the PTS or Practical Test Standards. This is the list that the DPE or Designated Pilot Examiner will be using to conduct your practical exam. You should go right down the list and know or have everything on the list. If you know those things, you will pass the test. Just like that!
Tip 11 - BONUS TIP!
When you practice, make sure you actually practice. Practice isn't just flying around. If you need to practice maneuvers make it very systematic and practice them. The more you practice correctly while learning to fly, the sooner you can get to that flying for enjoyment part!
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