Steph's Advice on Flight Training
Updated: Jun 3
Flight training can be a lengthy, frustrating and enjoyable process. Let's hear from one of CHI’s own dispatchers and student pilots, Stephanie, on her flight training journey so far.
“Make yourself proud.” I saw this quote and immediately thought of the satisfaction of learning to fly.
My dad is my biggest inspiration when it comes to flying. He’s a commercial airline pilot and has been flying professionally for 40 years! We’ve always bonded over aviation and I’ve been fascinated with planes for as long as I can remember. When I finally decided to commit to lessons, I could imagine the end goal of having my license, and the sense of pride in reaching a personal accomplishment.
Flight training is an exciting and nerve wracking experience. It’s exciting because you can imagine the end goal of soaring through the skies at your leisure. It’s nerve wracking because of the time, money and obstacles you will encounter during the time it will take to get your license.
In my ongoing flight training journey, I’ve experienced feelings ranging from uncertainty and questioning why I’m even doing this, to days where I feel like I’m a confident and very capable pilot. Trust me when I say you are not alone and that it’s normal for this to be an emotional experience. You will have good days and bad days. I’ve noticed a ton of progress since my first day, especially regarding talking on the radio and learning more about airport operations. As long as you are trying your best and making an effort to learn the material, you are doing a great job. Here are my best tips to help you have an enjoyable flight training experience.
Tip #1 - Remember Why You Started
Don’t lose your focus. Why did you begin to start training? Has it always been a lifetime goal? Do you want to fly commercially? Or maybe you want to push yourself to do something you didn’t think you could do. You have already made the first step to achieving your goal by signing up for a lesson. Follow through with this even when times get tough. Every day, you are one step closer to reaching your goal. Take one day at a time, one lesson at a time. Remember why you started and use this as motivation to keep going.
Tip #2 - Make an Effort to Study Often
Studying several times a week will help you develop strong study habits that will keep the information fresh in your mind. Designate certain days out of the week as “study days,” for example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday you will plan to study from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. Carve out the time to study and promise yourself you will do it. Promises you make to yourself are just as important as promises you make to others. It may also be helpful to follow an agenda to keep accountable with studying. Each week can focus on a certain topic: one week you can focus on weather concepts, another week you can focus on how to read a sectional, another week will focus on pattern work, etc. Additionally, it’s important to have a space dedicated to your studies to help you stay on track in an organized manner. Keep your study area neat and clean. It will help you learn!
Tip #3 - Visit Your Local Airport for an Extra Motivational Boost
Check for arriving and departing flights on www.flightradar24.com then head on over to your local airport and see that 767 or A300 you’ve been waiting for! Plane watching is one of my favorite activities. Not only is it super fun and entertaining, but it can give you that extra motivation you need to keep studying. Just think that could be you one day!
Tip #4 - Use Your Resources
Your flight school is here to support you and your aviation goals. You have all these amazing resources at your fingertips - use them!
Meet with your flight instructor for a ground lesson to go over certain aviation concepts you are not quite understanding. Your flight instructor is there to help you and wants you to succeed. Talk to him or her with any questions you may have concerning your flight training.
Listen to www.liveATC.net for current and archived radio communication at any airport. This has personally helped me improve my radio skills immensely!
Access pilot resources, quizzes and worksheets at www.chiaerospace.com/pilotresources. Plan to go over them with your flight instructor during your lessons.
Visit www.boldmethods.com for more quizzes and aviation resources.
Check out www.flightradar24.com for live registered aircraft (excluding military aircraft) at any given moment across the globe. You can even check back on your lesson to view your flight path!
Communicate with any CHI Aerospace staff member for assistance or support. We are here for you!
I hope you find this information helpful! As we all know, flight training can be a difficult experience but try to remember why you started, study often, and take advantage of your resources. Head over to your local airport whenever you need that extra motivation. Don’t be too hard on yourself and celebrate the little victories such as needing minimal assistance on your landing, or maybe you nailed a maneuver you had been struggling with. Most importantly, keep going with your training and make yourself proud.