3 Flight Training Pitfalls

Flight Training Pitfalls

It’s a fact that sometime in your flight training you’ll fall victim to one or more of these pitfalls. Knowing them ahead of time is a surefire way to help you be on the look out and be ready to overcome them.

The Flying Pitfall

You may have the perfect flight instructor. Easy going, kind-hearted, and a great teacher. Although less likely with this type of instructor there are times when it seems as nothing can go right and your instructor let’s you know it. Maybe you’re agitated after a long day of work or just got off the receiving end of a bad telephone call. Either way you’re just not flying your best and your instructor let’s you know that. After all it’s his or her job to make you the best and safest pilot around.

Situations like these need to be avoided. Every time before flying you should conduct the IM SAFE checklist which is an acronym for.

I – Illness, how are you feeling today? Are you 100%?
M – Medication, are you taking any medication that may make flying hazardous?
S – Stress, are you under job or family pressures?
A – Alcohol, have you been drinking within 8 hours? 24 hours?
F – Fatigue, have you rested enough?
E – Eaten, have you eating lately? Are you adequately nourished?

Asking yourself this question each time before you fly is an easy way to avoid the flying pitfall.

The Instructor Pitfall

I was lucky, I had one instructor throughout my private and instrument pilot training. Yet when it came time to start my commercial pilot training I lost count with how many instructors I had.

95% of instructors became instructors to build time and move on to other jobs. It’s unfortunate but very true. If you find an instructor in the 5% bracket hang on and don’t let go. Nothing is worse than always changing instructors. A good instructor learns where you’re strong and where you lack. You build a relationship with the instructor. When you change you can feel like you’re starting over.

The Financial Pitfall

The number one killer of flight training dreams. Finances. However it doesn’t have to be. Getting an accurate quote and flying modestly within your means will help not only keep you on track but help you save a ton of money.

My first day at the flight school the instructor took me out on the ramp to show me their fleet of aircraft. They tried hard to sell me on their factory fresh Cessna 172’s although beautiful I settled for the faded (pre-loved) 1967 Cherokee 140. I was trying to fly within my means. Yes, the 172’s were beautiful but it wasn’t in the budget.

Plan, budget, and stick to it.

If you’re curious about how to really save some money I recommend my other article “How to Save Money on Your Flight Training

  • “Nothing is worse than always changing instructors” except when you have a bad one and you want to switch to a new, better one. I think that it's a huge mistake to struggle through training with someone you don't like, don't respect or simply don't gel with. On the other hand, if you find a good instructor, cling on for dear life. They're rarer than hen's teeth.

  • tenplushot

    Excellent website. Many thanks for your professionalism and warmth of character you demonstrate in the articles you write and materails you present. I am proud to be apart of your readership.

  • Jason:

    When I was active as a flight instructor I always seemed to get what other instructors called “problem students”, but I really enjoyed the challenge. Perhaps that was because by the time I became a flight instructor I had a fair bit of flying time and was flying for a living at an FBO.

    Finding and keeping a good instructor is important, but unfortunately too many cfis are just trying to build time. Its a shame they don't feel responsible to finish their students before they move on.

    JetAviator7 (John ATP)
    Entrepreneur and Internet Publisher

  • mzeroa


    You hit the nail on the head

    Good instructors are a gem!

    I try not to classify anyone as a “problem student” like your fellow instructors did. You're exactly right it's a challenge but totally worth it.

    I find the biggest “problem” is getting them to put their nose in a book 🙂


  • mzeroa

    Hen's teeth do sound awfully rare 🙂

    Is that some silly phrase you have across the pond that hasn't made it to the states yet? hehe 🙂


  • mzeroa


    Thanks for the kind words! Glad you're enjoying the website. I have some pretty cool stuff coming up once Sun n Fun is behind me. Stressful week! Speaking 3 times! GEEZ!


  • I found that by spending a little extra time and giving them so creative ground school with assignments worked well for me.

    They need to see the relationship between reading the material and what they are doing in the cockpit and not focusing on just passing the written.

    JetAviator7 (John)

  • mzeroa

    You couldn't be more correct!

    Too many students focus on “memorizing” their written test questions. Which in the long run doesn't really help them at all.

    Taking the question and applying it to a real life situation will do wonders for a budding student.

    How did you handle your students ground work? Did you give them “homework” or more formal ground school?


  • parul upadhyay

    Thanks for providing information about the flight pitfalls. I was unaware about the flight pitfalls; but after reading the above article now I understand about the various pitfalls comes  in a pilot training program. The information you have described in flight , instructor and financial pitfalls is very useful for those apprentices who are going to take admission in an aviation academy. 

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