(Acknowledgements: John Zimmerman; AIR FACTS)


Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”:
Especially early on, this will be hard to do, since you want to fit in with the old pros. But there’s so much to learn, and a little humility will go a long way. Some of those old pros have a lot to share, if only you’ll listen to them.

Slow down on your first solo and enjoy the moment:

Perhaps the weather won’t cooperate for that solo date you planned, but the big day will come soon enough. You won’t feel ready for it, but nobody ever does. And while some people describe it as thrilling, surreal is probably a better description.

Try to step back for a second and take in the scene. After you land, don’t be so anxious to rush on to the next milestone – this is a red letter day, and you’ll be surprised how little you remember.

When will you become a “real pilot”? :  
Never. You may assume there’s some light switch moment when people go from kid to adult, or from anxious expecting mother to wise parent. But life doesn’t work that way, and neither does aviation.

There is no sudden upgrade to expert, no morning you wake up with all the answers. Instead, you just age into experience. When you pass 1000 hours and still feel like you have so much to learn, it’s because you do. But relax – the guy who just passed 10,000 hours feels the same way.

So have fun, work hard and try to tuck away a few memories along the way. It’s a wild ride but the ups will far outnumber the downs. Learning to fly definitely wasn’t what I thought it would be like - not even close.

It was much, much better!

Tony BirthComment