Top Tips to Prepare You for Solo Flight Training

Your first solo flight training experience is an incredibly exciting moment. It can also be quite nerve-wracking though. It’s natural that you might feel a little anxious about what’s about to happen. After all, you’ll be the one in complete control of the cockpit. If anything unexpected happens, it will be your skills and cool, calm head that needs to find a solution.

However, most people find that once they’re safely up in the air, that anxiety turns to complete exhilaration. You’ve been training for this moment for a while now. You know what you are doing, and you’ve finally achieved your dream of flying an aircraft solo!

Here at Learn to Fly, we’ve provided countless students with the skills and confidence they need to safely take to the skies in a solo capacity. In fact, we’ve built a whole course around it — our very popular Learn to Fly First Solo Flight Course. As part of your training, our experienced team will provide you with several strategies you can implement to make solo flight training as enjoyable as possible. Here are some of the top tips:

Be patient

Depending on your age, skills, background, and experience, getting to the point where you feel comfortable undertaking solo flight training may take some time. This is completely understandable; remember how strange it felt getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time without an instructor? And your feet were firmly planted on the ground!

Be patient with yourself and your instructor when preparing for your first solo flight. Flying is a difficult skill. It requires physical finesse and a certain level of theoretical knowledge. Building this skillset takes time. With patience though, along with passion, dedication, and support from the right flying school, you’ve got the best chance of getting there.

Ask questions

Learn to Fly’s First Solo Flight Course is specifically designed to develop your skills to the point where your instructor feels comfortable letting you take to the skies on your own. It involves 15 flight training hours, and these will be flown with an instructor by your side until you are ready.

You should aim to ask as many questions as possible about the plane you’re in, the role and responsibilities of a pilot, and how to handle unexpected, emergency situations. There is no such thing as a silly question. In fact, you’ll be left feeling pretty silly if you don’t ask something and are later left still wondering when you’re in control of the aircraft.

Learn to Fly’s team of experienced and dedicated instructors are as passionate about teaching as they are about flying. They’ll be more than happy to answer any and all of your questions, so ask away!

Don’t rush

Mistakes are usually made because we don’t give ourselves enough time to fully think through a situation. This is true in all contexts but is particularly important regarding solo flight training.

Your flight instructor will only okay you to fly solo if they truly believe you are ready. Once you’ve got that tick of approval, you can be confident that your skills and knowledge are up to the task of being in command of the cockpit.

The trick is to not let nerves get the better of you. Your instructor has confidence in you, so you should have confidence in yourself. Don’t allow anxiety to dictate how quickly you move through your pre-flight checklist. And don’t let nerves tell you that you’re going to have difficulty making the landing. Trust in your training and knowledge, and everything will go smoothly.

If you find yourself rushing, take a moment to look out the window, enjoy the view, and acknowledge that you’re a solo pilot. Not many people can say they’ve had that experience!

Enjoy yourself!

Finally, remember to enjoy yourself. You’ve put in a lot of time, effort, and study to get to this point. Maybe this is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Or perhaps it’s only the first step in going on to obtain your Recreational Pilot Licence, Private Pilot Licence, or Commercial Pilot Licence. Maybe one day you’ll be piloting a jet airliner, and you will look back and remember that very first time you took to the skies on your own!

Here at Learn to Fly, we are passionate about helping our students fulfil their dreams. We know that flying can be both exciting and overwhelming, which is why we recommend our First Solo Flight Course for those looking to commence solo flight training. The course is designed to provide you with all the practical and theoretical skills required to safely take-off, handle the aircraft in the air, and then safely touch down again. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are equally as passionate as you about achieving their aviation goals.

Solo Flight Training Student Pilot

Contact our friendly team today to find out more about our course options and programs.


4 Important Tips to Help You Prepare For Your First Solo Flight

The time is here! Your very first solo flight! Just like the time you first drove your car alone after getting your licence, the feeling of flying solo can be exhilarating, but very overwhelming. There’s also a higher margin of error, as your instructor will not be next to you to guide you. But, once you’ve read these few tips to help you prepare for your first solo flight and completed all the solo flight training requirements, you’re ready to feel the independence that comes from flying solo!

Go easy on yourself

Remember, you are still learning. Just as when you were first learning how to drive, your reflexes were much slower, you weren’t that good at changing lanes or braking smoothly or at the dreaded parallel parking. That first solo drive must have been nerve-wracking, and you might have wanted to stop the car in the middle of the road and take off running.

Learning how to fly is much the same. You might get frustrated at the time it is taking you to master a new skill or learning how to land safely. But it is important to remember that calm and collected pilots make safe pilots. Stress and anxiety can affect our decision-making powers, thus putting us at risk of making even more mistakes! Remember to take a deep breath before each lesson and remind yourself that you’ve got this, even if it seems like it is taking forever!

Listen to your instructor

Your first solo flight will typically involve successfully taking off, completing a circuit pattern and safely touching back down on the ground without the help of an instructor. To prepare for your first solo flight, you will complete this exact same flight many times with your instructor sitting next to you. Use that time to soak up as much information you can, and use your instructor’s experience.

It’s very important that you listen to everything your instructor tells you, and that you are open to their advice and suggestions. Flight instructors have seen many pilots before you, all with different learning styles and different strengths and weaknesses. When an instructor identifies a weakness in your flying, this is the best opportunity to listen, learn, and make it into a strength.

Mental rehearsal and practice on the ground

In the days leading up to your first solo flight, practice flying mentally. This involves sitting on a chair and visualising that you are flying the circuit and thinking of how to fly the plane. It’s not even a bad idea to do this after every flight lesson, in order to make your movements muscle memory. This will save you time trying to figure out what comes next when you actually fly solo when it comes to procedures, radio talk and check as these things will already have become automatic by then. This method of training is also known as “chair flying”.

You can also prepare for your first solo flight by using a flight simulator. A flight simulator allows you to understand the controls and mechanics of the cockpit and repetitively practise taking off, manoeuvring, and touching down without ever leaving the ground. This is a safe way to gain the skills and expertise required to be able to fly solo.

Trust yourself

Finally, once you have successfully completed your solo flight training and your instructor deems that you are ready to take the aircraft on your first solo flight, it is important to trust yourself and trust the skills you have been taught. Get some good sleep every time before a solo flight and don’t let the negative thoughts take over. You know what you are doing and you have practised hours upon hours for this, both physically and mentally.

It might seem daunting at first, but once you step into the cockpit, you are likely to remember everything you have been taught and you will successfully complete your first solo flight like a bird flying in the sky—naturally and effortlessly. You’ve got this!

As you prepare for your first solo flight, just remember… You got this!

Want to experience flying solo? We have a range of courses to get you there. Email [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. For more great flying tips and the latest flying videos, click below and subscribe to our YouTube channel!