My Lessons Learned: Real World Flight Instruction

A brief summary of the lessons I’ve learned through my real-world flight training …

  1. Time away matters. When you are away from the simulator and real-world cockpits you can feel the regression. I’m assuming this will feel less pronounced as the routines of flying the airplane become more automatic (it was the ground work where I felt most behind the curve), but staying current clearly matters while I’m learning.
  2. Building new skills takes time, and when you’re really practicing deliberately, it feels like hard work. There’s a bunch of research about deliberate practice and how it builds expertise, and I’ve read a good portion of it, and flight instruction can definitely be deliberate. It can have many repetitions, be designed by a professional, have immediate feedback, and be difficult and tiring and frankly not a ton of fun in a traditional sense. But this is how you learn, and that’s the point.
  3. Trust your instincts when you think something’s not right with the airplane. And have redundant systems. And use the POH and practice all types of procedures. Read more about this lesson here.