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Whether you want to learn to fly as a hobby or you’re looking to pick up a new type rating certification, everything begins at flight school. This is where every student learns the basics of flying and builds the foundation of the skills that they need to successfully pilot an aircraft. Thus, it’s imperative to take your pilot training seriously during the learning stage of your journey.

Being a student pilot has its own share of challenges as you work your way towards completing your course or getting your certification. To help you out with this, we’ve compiled a small list of essential tips that should help you out while in pilot school. Read on to learn more about them.

Be a Proactive Student

It always pays to be proactive if you want to get a leg up on your pilot training progress. You can expect to receive a lot of assignments, exercises, and review materials over the course of your training, and you should always make an effort to complete these ahead of time. Doing so will allow you to familiarize yourself with many of the step-by-step maneuvers in the cockpit and to try out some armchair flying before going on an actual flight.

Get Advice from Experienced Pilots and Instructors

Don’t be afraid to approach any of your instructors if you’re having difficulty grasping any of the concepts you’re currently trying to learn. You can also gain some valuable insight by simply talking to any of the senior pilots that you happen to meet and connect with at flight school. The stories that they share regarding their own experiences can be used to guide your training, especially if you happen to encounter something similar while completing your course.

Take Advantage of Flight Simulators

Many people tend to underestimate the value that a flight simulator can contribute to their training. However, many modern flight simulators can afford the same bracing experience to students as they learn the basics of flying. What’s more, any mistakes that novice pilots are expected to make can be easily and safely corrected in the controlled environment that flight simulators offer. Simulators can also help build confidence in budding pilots as they slowly learn the ropes and navigate various flight scenarios while safely on the ground.

Don’t Forget Your Ground Training

Not everything you learn in flight school is tied to an aircraft’s cockpit. Many of the valuable lessons that a pilot learns are tied to tasks and duties while on the ground. These include doing various pre-flight routines, checking the condition of the aircraft, studying the weather, and planning the flight path. Every student has to familiarize themselves with these important ground duties before even getting into the cockpit.

Similarly, student pilots need to have a good grasp of the various aviation concepts that they learn during classes. This is true for just about any course in any industry—whether you’re taking a web design course or working towards an engineering degree. As such, you need to be able to pass all the written exams to show that you have a sufficient understanding of the theoretical side of being a pilot.

Keep an Organized Cockpit

Maintaining an orderly cockpit is the sign of a disciplined and organized pilot. Keeping everything in the cockpit organized will not only give you easy access to the controls and instrument data, but it will also minimize any distractions that can compromise the flight. Therefore, make sure to check all the essentials well before the flight, including flight plans, navigational charts, your kneeboard, and others.

Study the Ins and Outs of ATC

Take the time to learn everything you can about Air Traffic Control (ATC). The controllers stationed here will become an intrinsic part of your piloting career as you communicate with them constantly once you’re in the cockpit. It wouldn’t hurt to talk with the people here as well while you’re on the ground. They can share some invaluable tips and offer a broader perspective of the airspace systems that they’re in charge of.

Always Review Your Post-Flight Instructions

The post-flight briefing is an important part of every flying lesson. This is where you’ll be able to gauge your overall performance as a pilot after each flight. The insights and lessons that you’ll learn here will be invaluable towards your advancement, so it’s imperative that you take careful notes of your briefing and see how you can improve.

Completing your flight training course or certification is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor that requires a lot of dedication and hard work on your part. Regardless of whether you’re getting a private pilot license or working towards a commercial pilot license, as long as you know how to take initiative and open yourself up to the lessons and advice from your instructors, then you should have no problems passing with flying colors.