Deciding to become a pilot is a thrilling time in your life and a goal that virtually anyone can achieve when you set your mind to it. But knowing where to start with flight training can be tricky, especially if you don’t have any prior aviation or flying experience.
If you’re a flying novice and are wondering how to get started with fight training, there are a few things you can do before enrolling in a full aviation course to get the most out of each lesson and ensure the pilot’s life is right for you.
1. Get some experience
Flying in a small plane is vastly different from flying as a passenger in a huge airline jet. If you haven’t had any experience with aircraft or aviation, it’s a good idea to enrol in a Trial Introductory Flight to get a sense of what being a pilot in a small plane is really like.
This will help you determine whether you have an aptitude for flying and gauge the level of skill and knowledge that will be required of you when you’re sitting in the pilot’s seat. With a more thorough understanding of what it takes to pilot an aircraft, you’ll be in a much better position to know whether flying is the right path for you. It’ll also ensure there are no unexpected surprises on day one of your course.
2. Do your homework
We’re lucky to be living in a time when there is a vast amount of information available at our fingertips through the internet, so don’t be afraid to use it! A simple Google search can help you better understand the fundamentals of flying such as aerodynamics, weather and the basic physics that make flying an aircraft possible. This will give you a good introduction to the complexity and range of aviation concepts you will need to master to succeed as a pilot.
It can also be a good idea to read up on the journey to becoming a pilot including the types of licences available. You can start by researching the Recreational Pilot Licence, Private Pilot Licence and Commercial Pilot Licence. This will show you the range of training options available so you can decide whether you’d like to pursue a pilot licence as a career or hobby.
3. Plan your training path
Once you’ve made the decision to enrol in a flight training course, the next step is to decide whether you’d like to pursue an aviation career or just fly for fun. If it’s an aviation career you’re after, it’s a good idea to research the cadet pilot programs at different airlines and assess:
- Is the program available to you? - What kind of applicants do they accept? - Do you meet their criteria? - What other options do you have if you're not accepted?
You might also consider completing a Future Cadet Pilot Program to give yourself the best chance of acceptance into an airline cadet pilot program.
If you plan to fly for fun, do some research into the aviation schools in your local area and look into their Recreational Pilot Licence program. Designed for people with little to no flying experience, this is a great starting point for anyone wanting to fly for leisure. Check out what is included in the course, such as theory, simulation, hands-on training and types of aircraft, to ensure you choose the best option for your needs and budget.
Flying is an extremely exciting career and doing a bit of groundwork and getting to know things to do before you start flight training will ensure you get the most out of every single day!