If you want to be good at anything, it is a good idea to immerse yourself in it completely. Read about it, watch videos, chat to professionals and of course, do it as much as possible. Flying is no exception, but here are some tips that may help you make quicker progress through your flight training.
1. Spend time with experienced pilots at the club. Introduce yourself and explain that you want to absorb as much information as possible. Pilots are passionate about their sport and are usually more than happy to share it. You'll be surprised by the nuggets of wisdom that other pilots freely offer to you and they'll share their training experiences. In fact, they might even offer you a free flight in their aircraft.
2. Ask your club about a visit to the local ATC unit. In the UK, many ATC units are more than happy to host small groups of student pilots at a quiet time of day. Not only will this give you an invaluable insight into how they operate on the other side of the radio but it will also put a face to a voice and perhaps ease your anxiety about speaking to them. I've never met a pilot who didn't find an ATC visit helpful.
3. Take a copy of your checklist and practice your drills at home. The purpose is not to learn the checklists off-by-heart, but rather to familiarise yourself with them and develop a routine. Make sure you understand why you are performing each step.
4. Take a clear photograph of the cockpit and print it out at home. This can be very useful for orientating yourself in the cockpit and getting used to all of the switch positions.
5. Prepare for lessons by studying beforehand at home. You should read up on the planned flight exercise and have an idea of what to expect. This will save you money in the long run as you will make quicker progress if you have a prior understanding of what to expect. QuizAero's Learn to Fly Video Series and Bitesize Online Ground School can be a big help in preparing for lessons.
6. Take the course at your own pace and make sure that you are having fun. Remember that you are learning to fly for fun and the lessons should never feel like a chore. Don't set unrealistic goals or put yourself under pressure.
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