Increase the frequency of your flights
It is much easier for a student to learn if he or
she is flying 2-3 times per week. If you only fly once a week or once every other week
you spend to much time recapping the previous flight and “relearning” an entire
While sitting at your desk or relaxing in your chair think about how you
would enter, maneuver, and recover from slow flight or a stall. Think about where
things are located in the cockpit and how you would use them.
Ask your instructor for a debrief
Hopefully most instructors will sit down with you and
explain what went well and what needs improvement. A through debrief can reveal
holes in your training and also hint at what to expect on the next lesson.
Make time to study
Unless your an aviation major at school this can be tough.
Finding the time to study is without a doubt one of the more difficult obstacles to
overcome. Instructors will feel more comfortable signing you off for solo flights if you
have command of the subject matter.
Set realistic goals with your instructor
Tentatively choose a date to take your written
test, and get your medical. Block a week to 2 week period for your solo and
checkride. (this ensures readiness and good weather)
Memorize emergency checklists
Memorizing the run-up and before takeoff checklist
are easy, you do them every flight. It is the emergency procedures and checklists that
are frequently forgotten. Know them by heart so you can be prepared for any real-life
or simulated situation.
Write down your questions
When I started flying my instructor would always end the
day with “Any questions?” Still caught up in the luster of flying I would say “Not that I
can think of.” Not until I got home and recapped our flight in my head could I think of
tons of questions to ask. Write these thoughts down! Better to ask your instructor now
then find out the day of your checkride.
Rehearse your radio calls
A common student pitfall is poor radio communication.
Practice in your head what you might say in certain situations. I always recommend
students visit LiveATC.net and listen to how the pros do it.
Being organized in the cockpit will save you tons of money
instead of fumbling around for a checklist or a pen. Buy a kneeboard, keep everything
in the same place every time.
Not too much and never too little. Instructors are looking for students
who can display their maneuvers with confidence and command the radios with
ease. Relax, do your best, and always be willing to learn.
Also view our 5 Tips for better flight maneuvers post for more advice on your flight training.