We asked the pilots here at Sporty’s what they thought student pilots should avoid. We’re talking about bad habits that can get in the way of your goal of earning your wings. Here are the six bad habits to avoid when you begin your flight training.
- Don’t be late for your lessons.
This is an obvious but a sure-fire way to get off on the wrong foot with your training. Not only will your instructor be annoyed, but you’ll soon realize how much money that wastes over time. Flight time isn’t free. The more delays you encounter, the more time you’ll spend relearning the material. Do yourself a favor and aim to there 30 minutes early for every lesson. You’ll have time to review your notes from the last session and get a head start on your preflight.
- Don’t go broke.
This is good advice for any endeavor, but it definitely rings true with flight training. Lack of continuity is a killer. Better to wait a couple of months to save up so you can take your lessons one after the other than to have long breaks in between your flying lessons. There are many options like flight simulators and online training courses that will help you save money on your training. Consider utilizing these resources to save you money for flight time.
- Don’t go it alone.
Find the pilot community, join an organization like EAA or AOPA and make an effort to make new friends at the airport that are either going through the same training or can mentor you. It’s a friendly group of people that can boost your encouragement on learning to fly.
- Don’t lose sight of the fun.
Taking the time to enjoy your flight training can be really helpful. You’ll be more confident if you’re enjoying your lessons. And the more confidence you have, the faster you’ll pick up the skills needed to become a great aviator. So what do you do to have more fun while flying? Add a breakfast or lunch run to your cross countries. The almighty hundred dollar hamburger is a perfect way to lift you and your instructor’s mood.
- Don’t get discouraged.
Just because your last landing wasn’t the best doesn’t mean your next one won’t be. Stay on the wagon – you’re building a skill set that takes time to acquire. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen with practice and study. Something that not every pilot will tell you is that learning plateaus are common and nothing to stress about. Talk with your instructor and start mixing up your lessons so you don’t stall in your training.
- Don’t rely on YouTube.
Everyone on YouTube thinks they’re an expert, but few of them are. Relying on these short videos to learn aerodynamics is a bad idea. The person on YouTube is probably not as good of a pilot as they say they are, just like people on Facebook aren’t actually as happy as they would have you believe. While there are plenty of online resources to aid your training, we recommend that you verify the source before taking their word for it. YouTube is great for sparking the passion for flying or getting ideas for new places to visit, but don’t depend on it for technical knowledge and in-flight instruction.