Although each flight school operates differently, EAA encourages you to follow these ﬂight training best practices. This will help you expedite your training, save money, and make the whole experience more enjoyable.
Come prepared. Studying before you even climb into the airplane is the No. 1 way to save money. To help prepare for your next lesson, ask your CFI for the goals and desired outcomes for your next ﬂight.
Schedule at least three lessons per week. Consistency is the key to continued progress. This will help you stay proﬁcient and reduce the amount of money you spend in the end. Poor weather and aircraft maintenance may cause you to cancel a lesson here or there, but scheduling three lessons per week will help you keep up the momentum.
If you find yourself in a rut or not mastering an element of your training, take a rest and pick it back up in a day or two. You'll be surprised what a fresh mind and perspective will help you achieve.
Study aircraft checklists at home. Turning your checklists into habits will make your ﬂight lessons ﬂow (pun intended) more smoothly. This is also a great chance to become familiar with the layout of the cockpit. If there is a photo or poster of your aircraft’s cockpit, study your checklists with that image in front of you.
Do not delay that FAA Knowledge Exam (often times referred to as the FAA written). Ensure you are spending adequate time studying and preparing for the test. Getting this exam done will free up for time for ﬂying, and lift a huge burden off your shoulders. Also, make sure you understand what to focus on in studying, as that will help you make the most of your time. There are numerous guides and resources online to help focus your energy in the right places. Here are some tips on studying for the written exam.
Seek out others in aviation who can help you with concepts that may be more difficult to understand. Those at the airport, in EAA chapters, at your flight school, and in social media groups are a good start. Use various resources and books, because some may explain things in a way that will help you understand better than others.
Hang out at the airport. There is no better way to become comfortable with radio calls and airport operations than to sit near the ﬂightline with a handheld aviation radio. This will help you become familiar with typical radio calls, understand traffic ﬂow, and get you used to general aviation language.
Every CFI and student relationship will be a little bit different, and some students' learning styles don’t mesh with some CFIs' teaching styles. That is okay! Remember that you are the customer when it comes to the student and instructor relationship. It is okay to ask more of your instructor or seek a new instructor if you believe your learning style does not meet their teaching style.
Don't be afraid to ask your instructor for additional ground school. If you don't understand a concept or need more in-depth education on a topic, make sure you ask for what you need. Spend adequate time with your instructor on the ground, gaining the knowledge necessary for the written exam and to be a safe pilot. Be sure you understand the why and how of each aspect of your training.
Practice at Home
Desktop flight simulators like Microsoft Flight Simulator or X-Plane can be extremely valuable tools when you're training, giving you a way to practice everything from your instrument scan to cross-country flights to unfamiliar airports. It's important that you work with your instructor to get advice about how and when to use a simulator to ensure you don’t develop bad habits.
Enjoy the Ride
Have fun! While you are on your ﬂight training journey, you can sometimes become stuck in a rut. Be sure you are mixing in a little bit of fun ﬂying during your training. Consider a lesson to a local airport restaurant, or plan a ﬂight over a unique landmark. Always keep in mind why you decided to learn to ﬂy in the ﬁrst place.
Don't Give Up
Sometimes it may start to feel very difficult, or nearly impossible, to get to the finish line. Determination, perseverance and commitment will help you overcome these humps and help you get that certificate in your hand!