New Pilot

9 Replies

New Pilot

Posted by Katy Smith on Dec 18, 2018 5:28 pm

I just started Flight school. In general, does flying get easier as you go? Not just the practice makes perfect, but do things start to make sense eventually? If so, how long does said period tend to last??

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Ronald Levy on Dec 18, 2018 9:01 pm

Yes, it does get easier with time, but how long it takes varies from person to person.  For me, it really came together about seven years and 1500 hours into my flying career, which is now in its 50th year with more than 12,000 hours in my logbook.  So, my advice is to be patient and persistent.

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Jorge Martinez on Dec 19, 2018 7:58 am

Welcome! Yes, i'm a student pilot myself and as Ronald says it takes patience and persistence. Little pieces keep coming together for me as keep on going and some i still dont get.. but it varies with everyone. 1 of the biggest advises i would give is trust the instructors advise AND the plane. Oh, and STUDY, STUDY, STUDY. lol 

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Robert Gardner on Dec 19, 2018 1:46 pm

Practice makes permanent, An article in Science News for Students titled "Learning Rewires your Brain" tells us that actual physical changes take place in your brain as you encounter new experiences and practice them. If your instructor uses a syllabus, as s/he should, each new experience builds on what has been learned before. Get a copy of the Airman Certification Standard for Private Pilot (www.faa.gov): it sets forth the performance standard for each maneuver/evolution and gives you a target against which you can measure your progress, Read everything you can lay your hands on.

Bob Gardner

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Michael Walpole on Dec 20, 2018 10:16 am

Robert Gardner:
Practice makes permanent, An article in Science News for Students titled "Learning Rewires your Brain" tells us that actual physical changes take place in your brain as you encounter new experiences and practice them. If your instructor uses a syllabus, as s/he should, each new experience builds on what has been learned before. Get a copy of the Airman Certification Standard for Private Pilot (www.faa.gov): it sets forth the performance standard for each maneuver/evolution and gives you a target against which you can measure your progress, Read everything you can lay your hands on.

Bob Gardner

This is so true with any physical activity.  As an avid golfer at one point I changed my swing to go from having a high ball flight to a medium/low ball flight.  It took 2 years of lessons and 10,000 practice balls to affect the change.  Same thing with landings, if you are landing a little flat, it will take some practice to get the nose higher before touchdown while not ballooning.  Practice does make permanent, perfect practice should be the goal.
Mike W

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Ginger Jabour on Dec 24, 2018 8:57 am

Hi, Katy!

I earned my PPL in September 2017, so I'm a fairly new pilot as well.

It does get easier! I want to also suggest that you make sure your CFI is a good fit, especially if you feel as if you're drinking from a firehose. I think I'd have earned my certificate earlier and would be a more confident pilot today if I'd had a different instructor. I liked him, and he was very competent...but I think now his teaching style (big on criticism, low on praise) was not really compatible with the way I learn best.

Sorry I can't tell you how long it takes for everything to come together and make more sense. If it seems to be taking longer than it should, again, try a different CFI and see if a different style works better for you.

Good luck--you can do this!

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Billy Cesarano on Dec 24, 2018 10:42 am

Katy,
If there is one thing I can add it is to have the the big picture in your mind while learning and completely understanding the basic fundamentals thoroughly. Teaching a mechanic all about tools is useless if they never saw that thing the tools are used on. These are the building blocks that will determine how sound you are as a pilot both in skill and regulatory requirements. Many instructors are teaching as if the student was already a seasoned pilot. A great instructor identifies and understands a students lack of a fundamental that interferes with moving forward and has the knowledge and understanding themselves to present the learning from many differing perspectives until the student pieces it together.


 

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Robert Gardner on Dec 24, 2018 12:05 pm

I will just add to Billy's insightful comment from the perspective of a long-time instructor: It is  tough, but essential, that the instructor remember what it was like to be a student.

Bob Gardner

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Bruce Knight on Dec 24, 2018 6:53 pm

Hi Katy-  I recall when I started learning to fly and everything seemed to go wrong-  I even began to hate flying lessons, as I found them to be stressful.  I had a great CFI, a good friend and coworker (Bob), and he did push me-  when I look back now I see how good his work plan was and am pleased that he kept after me in making me do things right.  I recall a bad habit that I developed, where I would set up for final at about a 30 degree offset.  I knew it was wrong, but didn’t correct for it.  Bob would say “does this ‘picture’ look right to you?”, and I would reply “no”.  So he would say “then fix it”.  It’s a phrase that he repeated many times, whether it was on VFR approaches or setting up for minimum airspeed flight, and I use it even now (16 years later) in many situations (including other than flying) when I know something is not going right.
I can recall another pilot friend telling me that I will know when I’m confident when I want to throw Bob out the window of the plane, and sure enough I recall getting to that place and everything coming together. Then I soloed, and everything go better and better from then on.  So, keep at it-  I’m sure that we have all been where you are today.  Eventually you will feel like a bird- you dip your wings and everything happens just as you intended without having to think a lot about it- similar to driving a car and being able to look into the distance rather than watching your hands on the steering wheel.  The airplane will eventually feel like an extension of you.  

Re: New Pilot

Posted by Jorge Martinez on Dec 26, 2018 9:12 am

I'll piggy back off of Gingers comment as well, have to have a good CFI that fits. My first CFI was horrible, he would scream at me and the sad part is i thought this is how they were until he had me practice with another CFI to test how far along i was and it was completely different. His style fit for me, and as soon as i was done with that flight with him i asked for him to be my CFI moving forward and that went along fine until i changed flight schools for other reasons. No screaming, fun flights and i learned at the same time. Remember that its your money and your future in flying so take control of where you want to be and learn.