Know your Goals
Think carefully about your motivations for beginning flight training. Perhaps your dream is to become an airline pilot or fly fighter jets in the military. Understanding what is driving you to sit in the pilot’s seat is an important step in determining the best way to achieve your dream. The journey to a pilot’s license is a commitment; you have to be willing to put in the time in the airplane and on the ground. Solidifying your goals early on will help you choose the most efficient way to earn your wings.
Don’t be Afraid of Air Traffic Control
Talking with ATC can be an intimidating experience for new pilots; proficient radio communication requires you to understand and articulate information as succinctly as possible. However, don’t fear the controllers, they’re there to help you! Never let the fear of annoying a controller stop you from confirming a clearance to land or asking for help in an emergency. That said, be considerate to your controller and sneak in a “thank you” every now and again in those radio calls.
Get Ready to Become Obsessed with Weather
Understanding weather is a key step to becoming a good pilot. Knowing how to interpret weather data as well as understanding weather trends and the deeper underlying causes of different weather phenomena is as important as learning your stick and rudder flying skills.
Being the PIC is a Huge Responsibility
Sure, the glory of telling all of your fiends and family that you can fly an airplane is pretty great. However, when your check pilot is shaking your hand after your checkride, you should also feel the tremendous weight of responsibility. A pilot’s license holds within it the trust that you’ll make good decisions and fly safely. Don’t let external pressures compromise your integrity as a pilot.
Being a pilot can’t always be flying to pancake breakfasts; sometimes you will have the task of telling a friend that you can’t make a flight due to weather. Just remember that the safety of you, your airplane, your passengers, and other aircraft are in your hands every time you sit in the pilot’s seat. Take the famous “with great power comes great responsibility” advice to heart. Not only is it true, but it also basically means that you’re a superhero.
A Good Pilot is Always Learning
No matter what stage of flight training you’re in, there is always more to learn!