3. Fly as often as you can.
During flight training, it is best to fly as often as you can. Piloting skills are perishable, especially in the beginning, and long breaks from flying are likely to degrade your knowledge of the concepts and the skills you’ve developed at significant cost. As a result, you end up spending more time and money re-learning concepts, procedures and aircraft handling skills. Make sure that you minimize interruptions to your training schedule and that you have more than enough money available to complete all the required training before you start.
4. Research your instructor.
Before you commit to a flight instructor, ask yourself or your CFI the following questions: Is this a person I want to spend an absolute minimum of 15 hours with, shoulder-to-shoulder, and many additional hours face-to-face in a classroom? Does this person appear knowledgeable? What syllabus is being used? Will the instructor still be working at the flight school in six months? Is he or she applying for airline jobs? Is this person committed to my success as an aviator or more concerned with building time? These are questions that can have a major impact on the final price tag of your flight training. Trust and compatibility between the student and the instructor are essential for productivity in the cockpit and in the classroom.
With a poorly matched CFI you won’t be motivated to go to the flight school and you won’t be motivated to study. And while switching to another instructor is the right answer, you will initially waste more time getting to know your new CFI. So do your due diligence before committing to the person who will get you through the hard but satisfying work of becoming a pilot.
5. Buy a flight simulator game.
For about the same amount of money as a single flight lesson, you can buy the complete setup for a flight simulator game for use on your home based computer system. And you don’t need a sophisticated computer to do this. You can connect the rudder pedals and yoke, and load the flight simulator software into a simple laptop. While you won’t get the physical sensation of flying, you can use this valuable tool to fine-tune your motor skills and to develop your scan of the instruments.