Real Answers from Real Pilots

Pilot training question

(Kevin) #1

Any career pilots out there able to share about difficulties they may have had in the initial stages of flight training? I seem to have one difficulty after another. Whether it be perfecting a maneuver, or trying to understand a concept that’s been explained multiple times, very little comes easy or natural. Given the nature of flight training, being largely personal instruction rather than a classroom setting, it’s difficult to judge whether your peers are having similar difficulties. Are there any pilots that have had difficulties in flight training? What advice would you give for overcoming these adversities?



GREAT question and please don’t despair…yet. While I’m sure some people are “naturals” I think most people have some issues in the beginning. Flying is a skill like any other and it must be learned. I think part of the problem is it looks pretty easy until you try it. With me actually the maneuvers came pretty easy it was simply flying straight and level with reference to the horizon that I found most challenging. Try and relax and remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.

That said I have to be honest, there does seem to be this perception that EVERYONE can simply pay the price and be a pilot. The reality is it does take a fair amount of coordination as well as a certain type of thinking (I hesitate to say intelligence because it’s really not, that it’s more how you process information) and some people just don’t get it.

I don’t know how long you’ve been at it but have some patience and stick to it. There should come a point where things come together. I’d also discuss your concerns with your instructor. You don’t mention anything about your instructor and I’ll assume he’s fine but some aren’t. They may be great pilots but teaching is another skill. Everyone learns differently and some instructors have different approaches one of which may work better for you?




I struggled with the instrument portion of my training. I studied extra hard and spent as much time in the simulator as possible, eventually it clicked for me and I started to grasp the concepts and skills better. My suggestion would be that you try a new instructor, sometimes it is just not the right mix of people. If you continue to have problems with the new CFI then it might be time to dig deeper, but for now just try a new CFI. Also, remember that this is hard stuff and not to be too hard on yourself.