Real Answers from Real Pilots

Training Rut

Hello pilots,

I’ve been flying since the end of August three times a week for over an hour each lesson. I was progressing really well according to my instructor. I’m at the first stage check and that means soloing. Problem is I’ve hit a wall in my training. My landings are terrible. And I’m unable to solo until I get them down every time.

So the question is back when you were learning to fly did you ever encounter a rough spot like this and if so what did you do to overcome it and regain your confidence?

Holly

Holly,

I struggled a bit in the instrument portion of training and again with my landings when I was new to ExpressJet. I would recommend that you go up with another instructor. It doesn’t need to be a permanent change, but just getting a new perspective for a few flights might help. That is what I did when I hit rough spots and it worked for me.

Chris

Holly,

Chris is 100% correct. A new set of eyes can often be incredibly helpful. Everyone learns differently and has a different perspective and they may just see something your current instructor hasn’t. Most pilots do encounter a obstacle at some point or another, the hardest part is shaking it off. By now you’ve probably been beating yourself up so when you every time you go up the nerves and anxiety sets in and you’re doomed. Cut yourself some slack, tell yourself you’re new and this is a process and YOU WILL BE SUCESSFUL and you will!

I also read years ago that chewing gum helps burn off the extra nervous energy? Maybe it’s psychological (or superstition) but ever since I always carry a pack and chew it on every checkride and I’ve never had a problem. Double Bubble is my favorite :slight_smile:

Adam

1 Like

Holly, hitting a plateau like this is fairly common,I remember running into this myself. I’ve found that taking a flight to do something else, like practicing manuevers again or going somewhere besides the same airport and traffic pattern can help. Just hang in there and remember that you’ve done it before and you can do it again. One day it will just “click” again and you can move forward. Best of luck.

Thanks for all your words Chris, Adam, and Robert! I think switching up instructors could be worth a shot as with the gum! My current instructor suggested chair flying while I’m at home and not around the plane. I thought it sounded silly, but doesn’t hurt to try that a little. We’re still moving along the syllabus with new maneuvers and keep returning to try landing. Hoping it was just an off week.

Holly

Holly,

DO NOT underestimate the benefit of chair flying. I’ve been an airline pilot for 13yrs. Been a Capt at a Regional as well as an instructor for both the airlines (Regional and Major) I’ve worked for. Next week I begin Capt upgrade training and I literally spent this entire afternoon “chair flying” the profiles. Nothing silly about it.

Adam