Have you always felt an innate pull and sense of belonging toward the skies?
Do you often lose time imagining what it would be like to soar through those rolling blue plains?
Have you ever had the inkling that maybe you should have been up there, flying?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, you were born to be a pilot! The job of a pilot is full of adventure and excitement. Most pilots truly love flying, which makes their job more of an enjoyable experience than an occupation. Additionally, the extensive traveling, lucrative benefits, and high salaries are just the icing on the cake. If you’re considering becoming a pilot, the first step is to go to flight school.
Flight schools are professional academies accredited to award pilot licenses. In essence, a flight school teaches you how to operate an airplane. However, there are other things you learn as a student at a flight school, all of which are essential for anyone aiming to become a good pilot. Read on to find out what you can expect to learn in flight school.
- Federal Aviation Rules & Regulations
The first and foremost things a good flight school will teach you in your academic studies are the federal aviation rules and regulations (i.e., FARs). Before stepping foot into an aircraft, you must be well aware of the applicable legislation and regulations to become a qualified pilot.
While all flight schools cover FARs during their ground school, you must ensure that the syllabus being followed at your flight school of choice is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The best flight schools in the USA all highlight being a “Part 141” school on their official brochures/websites. This means that they are certified as a structured flight school by the FAA under the FARs. While choosing where to go for your flight training, pay special attention to the school’s syllabus and its status as a Part 141 school.
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- Aerodynamic Principles
By understanding the fundamentals of aerodynamics and technicalities that make it possible for an airplane to take off and fly, students better understand how external factors affect an airplane during a flight.
The laws of aerodynamics determine the way an aircraft flies and the path it takes. A solid grasp of concepts such as atmospheric pressure, and the four key principles of aerodynamics, i.e., thrust, drag, lift, and weight, make one a more efficient pilot. With increased knowledge and improved efficiency, flying students become more capable and efficient pilots.
- Flight Planning
A large part of a pilot’s job is developing flight plans. With technological advancements, aircrafts can now largely get programmed automatically based on information received from their sensors and detectors. However, as a pilot, you cannot rely solely on autopilot, as it is a machine that may fail at any given time.
Pilots must be capable of navigating manually by reading radar and computer signals and other navigational instruments. You will also be taught how to handle the flight radio, read flight charts, and communicate with the Air Traffic Controller (ATC). As a flight school student, you will be taught all about navigation starting with the Visual Flight Rules (VFR) to the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). A pilot’s job is one of immense responsibility as the lives of every passenger aboard are in your hands. Therefore, you need to learn everything from the grassroots level to be ready for any situation.
- Weather & Meteorology
Flying depends largely on good weather. Hence, to be a good pilot, you must have a thorough knowledge of meteorology. The most common panic-causing phenomenon in airplane passengers, turbulence, is caused solely due to weather. As a trainee pilot, you will learn about the weather and how you can safely plan your flight to avoid any weather-related issues
Flight schools teach you all about the weather, including cloud formations, air masses, wind, humidity, storms, etc. How different weather conditions affect an aircraft’s flight is essential knowledge for a pilot. By knowing how to use the available weather information properly, you can plan and complete your flights safely.
- The Aircraft
Another important thing you will learn as a flight school student is all about your aircraft. Obviously, as a pilot, it is important to know the aircraft inside out. Flight schools help cover this during ground school as well.
Your training concerning the aircraft will include learning about all its different components, including external parts such as landing gear, instruments such as an altimeter, and systems such as fuel. You will also learn more details, including how airplanes are made and their composition. This will allow you to understand how all the different parts work together and help you spot problems with the aircraft that may arise.
- Flight Maneuvers
The last and final thing you will learn as a flying student is flight maneuvers, during which you will get to implement all the principles you learned in ground school practically. During flight training, you will learn how to operate the aircraft, how to take off and land, how to proceed in an emergency, etc.
As a pilot, regardless of how much theoretical knowledge you acquire, your make or break will always be your competency as a practical aircraft operator. To earn your certification/license as a pilot, you will need to undergo a practical flight exam. With the flight maneuver training at your flight school, you will learn all the necessary skills and be able to perform them easily.
Flight schools are an essential rite of passage for aspiring pilots. With years of experience under their belts, the instructors at these schools teach you all the essential skills you will need as a pilot. In addition, these schools also teach you the confidence and attitude required in a pilot. As a pilot, you will face many difficult and dangerous situations, and to handle such situations, you will need to have faith in yourself and the ability to work under pressure without panicking. A good flight school will train you in a way that will allow you to develop these skills as well, so you can be a competent pilot.
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