4 Tips for Getting Through Flight School
Becoming a pilot takes dedication, determination and vision. There are many great schools available that can help you fulfill your dream of getting your pilot's license, but getting through flight school can be challenging, overwhelming and intimidating. Here are some tips that can help you get through flight school and build the confidence you need for success.
1. Do the Prep Work
The adventure of becoming a pilot doesn't begin when you climb in the cockpit, but when you decide to apply for flight school. Researching schools and programs, financial aid options and application requirements are all steps along the way of choosing the right learning experience. Talking to working pilots about where they went to school, applying for private student loans and looking into admission packets will help you sort out the schools that are possible for you to attend and the ones that don't fit your situation. Decide what you are looking for in a school, what kind of time and money commitment you can make and what opportunities you wish to have available to you as an outcome of your studies.
2. Study, Study, Study
Putting in the hours with your books is just as important as putting in the hours in the air to be successful in flight school. Schedule enough study time to read and take notes on all assignments, and ask your instructors what you will be covering next so you can be prepared. Study enough so that the terms, the math and the explanations covered in the chapters you cover each week become committed to memory. Be sure to study in places and during times that will not have distractions so you can focus on learning. When you have learned a new concept, try explaining it to someone else to find out what parts you understand and what parts you still need to study further. Remember to balance study time and break time so your mind has a chance to digest what you are feeding it.
3. Use Your Voice
Especially during your individual instruction time, do not be afraid to ask questions and lead the learning time. You need to learn this information, not your instructor, so go ahead and squeeze him or her for all the insight you can when you have the scheduled time. Talk through what you know and what you still don't understand so that every minute you spend with your teacher, you are engaged in the education process. Ask for help with your bookwork from tutors if your program offers them, so you can fully grasp the concepts that challenge you. Another great way to use your voice in flight school is to ask other students to form a study group with you where you can all share ideas and discuss difficult assignments.
4. Be the First in Line
Show the initiative in your program and be the first in line to ask questions, volunteer for projects or lead a discussion. Being an active participant in your flight school will increase your knowledge, give you a better learning experience and build your confidence. This is not to create a competitive atmosphere but rather an environment of engagement and to show your instructors that you are present and paying attention. Being the first in line means you may also be the first to fail at an exercise, but don't be afraid to fail because you will learn a lot through your mistakes, which are better to make in school than later on in life. Everyone will make mistakes at some point in your program so you can all learn from each other by sharing the lessons.
Believing in your ability to become a pilot is half the battle of flight school, and the other half is conquering the bookwork. By making a solid plan for schooling, creating good study habits, asking questions and actively participating in training, you will not just get through flight school but will thrive there.
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