Updated: Jan 14
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Flight training is both a fun and a challenging experience. Unfortunately, the dropout rate of student pilots is fairly high in the industry. The successful students possess a few common traits and habits that allow them to persevere through the training process. If you want to increase your probability of completing your training and not fall into the 'quitter' bucket, here are some tips based on the students who complete their training at Skyview Ultralights.
Dedication to Studying and Lesson Preparation
By far, the students who prepare for the lesson prior to the flight and mentally review and remain engaged in-between flight lessons have a high completion rate. For every 1 hour of flight training, 1-2 hours of ground study is required over the course of the training period.
Besides preparing for the in-flight lessons, students must also study for Ground School, the Aeronautical Radio Licence, and the Student Pilot Permit. Eager students sign up for these lessons early and study to write the required tests.
Booking Frequent Lessons
Students who book 2-3 lessons per week have a high chance of completing their training. 2-3 lessons a week translates to about 6-10 lessons per month given some lessons will inevitably be cancelled due to weather, aircraft maintenance, or personal factors. If a typical student takes 30 lessons to complete their training for an Ultralight Permit, frequent bookings will allow the student to complete between 3-5 months.
If a student books 1 lesson per week, they may average about 3 lessons per month. Flying less frequently also increases the total number of lessons that will be needed to complete the training. At 3 lesson per month, and an infrequent flying student may need say 60 lessons, this would take almost 2 years to complete. Needless to say, these students drop out due to the progress feeling 'slow' and quickly lose interest.
Push Past The Learning Plateau
The is a phase of flight training where progress appears to stall. This is often related to learning and dealing with the circuit pattern and learning the landing phases of flight training. Learning to take-off and land in preparation for the first solo flight takes a lot of practice and goes through many ups and downs, however, there will be the moment where it all starts to click. Aircraft control and landing consistency builds to the point where your instructor will practically become a spectator. Grinding through the wind gusts, hard landings, circuit traffic and crosswinds will definitely be worth it!
Completed Log Books
Although completing your logbooks seems trivial, filling out your logbook after each lesson and recording your notes on what was covered will help you monitor and review where you are and what you have done. It is good practice to keep your log books up to date and not fall behind.
Getting a pilot permit or license is very rewarding, know the process will have challenging moments, push past them and you will not regret it. Good luck!