Are you thinking about or waiting to start flight training, but want to get a head start? There are plenty of things you can start working on today before you step foot in an airplane for the first time. In this article, we’ll look at 10 things you can start getting familiar with that you will surely see again during your flight school training.
1. The Basics of Aerodynamics
One of the first things to start studying is the principles of how airplanes fly. Establishing a firm understanding of aerodynamics will give you confidence and must know knowledge as you begin your training. A great resource is the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge Chapter 5 (Aerodynamics). It’s a great free resource provided by the FAA.
2. Flight Simulator Practice
Flight simulators are a great way to practice your hand-eye coordination skills and aviation knowledge. If you don’t want to buy a full desktop simulator, try a flight simulator app on your phone. It’s an affordable and easy way to expose yourself to basic flight principles.
3. National Airspace System
The sky is segmented into invisible airspace boundaries, each with its own unique set of equipment and procedural requirements. Start learning about the airspace before you start using training to get ahead.
4. Understand Training Requirements for Your Private Pilot Certification
Knowing what requirements are ahead is always a good thing. Check out Federal Regulation Part 61.109 to learn about the aeronautical experience requirements for obtaining a private pilot certificate.
5. Weather Principles
First start studying the basics of weather, like the Coriolis effect, cold fronts, warm fronts, etc. Weather plays a major role in your flight training, so learning how weather forms is a great way to get ahead in your studies.
6. FAA Regulations
Start learning the basics of CFR Part 23,61, and 91. There are a lot of regulations you’ll need to familiarize yourself with during your flight training. These three are a great start.
7. Basic Maneuvers
The FAA’s Airplane Flying Handbook is a fantastic resource for aspiring pilots. Start by studying takeoffs, straight and level flight, turns, climbs, descents, and landings. That should keep you busy for a while.
8. The Phonetic Alphabet
The ICAO phonetic alphabet is used for almost everything in aviation. Memorize each letter and its corresponding name. One of the best ways you can learn quickly is by spelling out license plates or street signs aloud as you pass them on the road.
9. Aircraft Systems
Learning aircraft systems is difficult. The best way to learn is to study the Pilot’s Operating Handbook for your airplane and learn how the systems work. Start with the basic principles like how reciprocating engines work.
10. Take Your Written Exam
Starting your private pilot training with the written exam part finished will take a lot of weight off your shoulders. There’s no reason why you can’t take it early.
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