Today we are talking about Flight Levels. The segment of the show where I share tips about starting in aviation! What I wish I knew before I started flight training, there are a few topics that really stand out. When I started flying I was just a teenager. I actually started flight lessons before I had my driver’s license. Quite literally I had no idea what I was doing. But that ok because with the right people they can help steer you in the right direction. It all started with a phone call I made to Joe’s Flight School. If you guys don’t know who Joe’s flight school is go read my previous blog. I explain it all there! Joe from the flight school phone invited me to his ground school. He hosted a ground school twice a week. Once in the middle of the week, then on Saturdays as well. For those of you that don’t know, a ground school is a classroom. Probably my favorite class I ever took because all we talked about was airplanes. At the time I had no idea how important the ground school was going to be. Even more shocking, I was not prepared at all. What I liked about this ground school it was like a family. A giant aviation family. Everyone was welcoming and made you feel like you were in the right place.
Tip number one is ground school. Realize most of the work to become a pilot starts on the ground. Unfortunately for me, I found this out halfway through my private pilot license. Finding a good ground school is so important because it helps your foundation as a pilot. Typical topics in ground school are aircraft structure, aerodynamics, aircraft systems, flight controls, and weather to name a few. There are many different ground schools out today. Several of which are online. What I’ve seen in the age of digital media is the shift of going all online. Nothing wrong with that, but I will encourage you guys if you can find a ground school in person try it out!
Once you enroll in flight school start thinking, about the supplies you will need. Just like going to any other school. Tip number 2! Flight gear! Don’t sweat the small stuff. What I mean by this is do not go out there and think you must buy the most expensive flight gear. When you are new to flight training, there will be a few items you absolutely need to start. Books! Hopefully, the flight school you enroll in can help steer you in the right direction. The three books you need are Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical knowledge or also referred to as the (PHAK). Airplane flying handbook. Finally, the FAR AIM. Next, you will need a place to put all those books. Flight bag, find yourself a bag that fits your needs. Now over the time that I was training, this definitely changed. Don’t be afraid as you progress through the ratings and your experience grows to change your equipment as well. The next item is a headset! Now, this is something I strongly believe if you are to splurge. Spend it on a quality headset. The type of headset you wear can make or break the experience for you. There are hundreds of different headsets out there. I can make a whole separate episode on headsets if you guys are interested. Let me know.
Tip number three, never stop learning. Doesn’t matter how experienced you are, doesn’t matter how many hours you have. A pilot never stops to learn something new. The moment you do, you become dangerous.
Tip number four, everyone learns differently. Keep this in mind when you are looking for an instructor. At least have an idea of how you learn best. Everyone’s reality is perspective, and perspective is reality. Are you a very visual person? Are you hands-on? Or are you the person that can go home read the book and recite it the next day? Not every instructor will be a fit for you. And you won’t be a fit for every instructor. Keep this in mind when you start to best maximize your time and money.
Tip number five, people! Surround yourself with people that have the same goals as you. The same aspirations, and the same interests. Just doing that simple step you can grow a network of aviation friends and family.
Tip number six don’t stress yourself out. At least not too much. Remember flying is a skill that is totally different from a lot of industries. It takes time to really hone your skill. When you learn to fly it’s basically going to school. Lots of reading, and late nights. You may learn a few languages on the way. Never lose sight of what the goal is.
Tip number seven, the most important tip. Do not stop having fun. While you are training don’t forget why you are there. Don’t forget what got you into flying in the first place. Enjoy every minute of it.
Thank you guys for reading, if you have any questions about what's above. Send me a email at firstname.lastname@example.org.