Like anything, sometimes things don’t always go to plan and your time at a training school may through some curve balls at you. It could be something such as landing fees, exam retakes or needing extra hours but I would recommend putting some money aside as a contingency plan. Before starting the course ensure you know exactly what is included and not included in the cost to avoid any panic over finances. Similarly to the first point regarding finding the right program, ask students who have been at the training school already.
What to expect:
Your first day may be a little nerve wracking and make you feel like your first day at school all over again – but you have nothing to worry about! Everyone has been there and more than likely your peers will make you feel very welcome. As a modular student we do our PPL first before ATPLs so if you’re doing the same I recommend pre-reading the Pooley’s Flying Training book before you start which outlines the exercises you will be doing to get your PPL. Also I suggest downloading the PPL Tutor app which is a great way to revise the 9 subjects you’ll need to pass before getting your PPL. Avoid remembering the answers to the questions as I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to genuinely understand the content. I have been faced with all sorts when I’ve been solo from an alternator failure during my first solo Navigation to the affects of an updraft caused by surrounding Cumulonimbus Clouds when coming into land. In these sorts of situations it pays to know how to handle it!
On your first day, arrive a good hour or more before your flying lesson so your flying instructor can brief you on what you’ll be doing. Its also good practice to get into a habit of checking the NOTAMs, METAR/TAF, weather reports and airfield information before your flight so you get into a swing of it at the start of your course. Eventually you’ll be leading the briefs so it’s all good practise! I also recommend you keep your admin tight. This might sound a little basic but trust me you end up with stacks of paperwork so invest in a filing system of some description to keep everything organised.
Motion sickness and turbulence:
Flying in a small two or four seater isn’t quite the same as a commercial jet. It may be that you don’t get motion sickness on the way to Lanzarote but may start feeling a little queasy during your flying lesson. Ultimately these little planes do feel more lumps and bumps and sometimes you get days where you can get thrown around a bit – you’re not in any danger, they’re tough little things! Maybe buy a packet of travel sickness beforehand (speak to the pharmacist and ensure they know you’re going to be flying as you want to avoid the drowsy tablets) if you’re worried about it. If you do start to feel a little rough during your lesson be honest with your instructor as they’re professionals at the end of the day and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re not the first and certainly won’t be the last! He or she will do their best to alleviate your symptoms whether that’s to open the vents to cool the aircraft down, reduce the amount of manoeuvres or landing the aircraft back on the ground.
My last tip?
Just enjoy it! You’re about to experience one of the most incredible journeys so live every moment of your journey
I wish you all the best on your exciting journey you’re about to embark on and see you in the flightdeck soon! @pilotgeorgina