Jason, answer me honestly. How much longer till my checkride? That question easily makes the top 10 list of most frequently asked questions year after year. So how can we know our flight training is on track?
Transfer of Responsibility
In the beginning the instructor is solely responsible for the safety of the flight. He or She makes sure you have a safe, fun, flight and a smooth landing to keep you coming back for more. Eventually your instructor will start to transfer responsibility over to you. You’ll begin being the sole radio operator, making traffic pattern entries, and decisions all on your own without the help of another pilot. Each flight you should notice a gain in responsibility.
Types of Questions Asked
I don’t mean “If we touched down at 65 knots and there was 1.25 inches of standing water on the runway. At which speed would we hydroplane?”
Not even close. The types of questions you’re looking for are “How’s the studying for the written test going?” … “Did you finish that Pre-Solo Exam” … “Almost done with that book I asked you to read?” …
These are an instructors way of saying “Hey! Just do this then you can progress!” Your training can’t get ahead or stay on track if you’re not studying and preparing. Especially if your instructor asked you to.
The Post Flight
After each flight you should walk away feeling like you learned something. I remember early in my flying I would often leave flights frustrated because of my poor performance. It wasn’t until that evening where I had time to reflect and realize what I could have done better. If you feel challenged during your flight training it’s not because you’re a bad pilot. Nope! Flight training is tough and if your not walking away feeling that you could have done something better you’re not learning enough!
Apply these 3 aspects to your next few training flights and see what you come up with. Don’t be afraid to ask your instructor… In a nice way, “Could I work the radios today” or “Hold on let me figure this out.” They’ll be more than happy to see you excel!