Learning To Fly

While this article can’t actually teach you to fly an airplane, what it can do it help you get the most out of the lessons you are paying for. Well, the number one piece of advice for you is: LISTEN TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR!

Just see what you can do if you’ve earned your license. Check out the following video about flying Young Eagles in a Pilatus PC-12. Once you’ve got your license, you can get this off your Pilot Bucket List…

But now back to listening to your instructor: This seems like such an obvious point, but you’d be surprised at how many people really don’t listen. The instructor knows more than you do. His job is to teach you what he knows. A good instructor will not feed you more information until you have mastered what has already been presented. Remember, if you mess up, it is the school’s plane that you crashed. They want you to be the best pilot possible!

Besides listening to the instructor, staying motivated and focused seem to be the most difficult things to do. Here are some suggestions for doing just that.


When you were in school, did you ever have days when you just didn’t want to go to class? Maybe you cut class, or maybe you went to class but sat staring into space instead of listening. Even when the subject is something you really care about, sometimes it is difficult to stay with it over a long period of time.

It is easy to say, “Just do it anyway.” Doing that isn’t always as easy as it sounds. When you try to stay focused on something for a long period of time, it is possible to start losing interest, in spite of the investment of time and money you have made.

Getting a pilot’s license in most places requires a minimum of forty hours of flight training. Depending on how often you can fly, you may accomplish this in just a month or two. It is possible, however, that you need additional training – up to eighty hours. If you can’t fly very often, it may take a year or longer to log enough hours. How do you stay motivated for that long?

  • Why are you flying? When you feel discouraged, remind yourself why you started this project. The specific reasons don’t really matter; staying focused on them does!
  • Measure your progress. When you start to get tired of the process, take a look at how far you have come. Keep a chart, if you like. Even reward yourself at specific milestones.
  • Tricks of the trade. Everyone is different and is motivated by different things. You know yourself better than anyone else does, so figure out what works for you. Maybe something as simple as a poster of an airplane in flight will help you stay motivated. Don’t worry if it seems silly; if it works, it is just fine!


Showing up for class is only half the battle. Unlike lecture classes in school, if you fall asleep, you could be endangering your life! You have to be awake, aware and focused on what you are doing. A busy schedule or problems with work can distract you. Here are some suggestions to help you stay focused on the task at hand.

  • Sleep consistently. If your sleep schedule is erratic, getting up at different times every day, your body’s internal clock may get confused. You may have a difficult time staying focused on tasks. If your lifestyle will allow it, try to get up at the same time every morning and go to bed at the same time every night.
  • No cell phones! In this day of constant connection, leaving your cell phone behind may be difficult for some people, but removing the potential for distraction by leaving it behind is well worth it. Not only is it rude to answer your phone in the middle of a lesson, but it can also keep you from learning what you need to learn. If you absolutely must have your phone with you, make sure everyone knows not to call during lessons unless it’s an emergency.
  • Eat properly before flying. If you fly in the morning, make sure you have eaten breakfast, so you can maintain focus. Without the proper nutrients, your brain doesn’t function at peak capacity.