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Tips and Tricks for being a Private Pilot

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Private Pilot

Tips and Tricks for Private Pilots – Check Ride Guides

Anytime one is completing a practical test in any subject the attitude of the examiner plays a part in how comfortable and confident you feel. Of course you are going to feel some form of intimidation, but make every effort to put this aside as it will interfere with your capabilities.

Completing your Private Pilot Check ride is a perfect example of the above scenario. This is your final practical test before achieving your Private Pilot License. You must remember that the examiner has a job to do. He/she must determine that you are knowledgeable enough and capable of flying a plane on your own.

There is a standard form that the examiner must follow but some will add a few twists of their own to see how you react. They go a little beyond the classic textbook knowledge.

A favored trick of some examiners is the pencil fallacy. Here they will drop their pencil at some point of time during your flying. Most often, it will occur when you are engaged in performing a task that requires your undivided attention such as doing a turn. Your first instinct is to want to impress the examiner, so you will immediately try to retrieve the pencil taking your attention away from your maneuver.

This act of kindness on your part could cause you the loss of the chance to obtain your license. In other word a failing mark. Be one-step ahead of these types of ploys. Keep extra pencils on your kneeboard. Then simply tell the examiner you cannot reach their pen as you must concentrate on what you are doing, but in fact, you do have an extra one.

Always be prepared for the unexpected. Dead batteries are one of the most common mishaps. Let’s assume you are being rerouted to another airport and your E6B that you rely so heavily on is suddenly flat. If you carry a good supply of extra batteries with you then there is not going to be a problem. If you don’t then you have to rely on the wheel that you have thought about since your initial training. Talk about extra stress this is it. The last thing you need is any more stress at this particular time.

There are not only instances where deviating from your concentration could be dangerous they could also be embarrassing. You can imagine how you would feel if you were in the take off mode only to discover that, you hadn’t removed the tie down rope? After all, isn’t this something you should have completed in your pre flight? The lesson to be learned here is taking nothing for granted and check everything.

The purpose of this test is to show you are capable of being the pilot in command. This includes viewing your examiner as your passenger. Ensure that your passenger has his seatbelt on. If you miss this simple step you could be missing your license.

Don’t forget about the pre flight briefing that is to be given your passenger as well. You are ultimately responsible for the safety of your passenger regardless if he happens to be the examiner. Also, remember to do your break check at your takeoff. You have to show that you are considering the flight as a whole. You need to know that you can land.

You must always be prepared. This means that if the examiner were to tell you that an engine was out you would have to be prepared for an emergency landing. In this case, you need to be constantly aware of your surroundings and always know the possible places you could put your plane down safely if you had to do so.

These are just a few of the unforeseen circumstances your examiner could put in your path. Just be prepared for anything.

Is Flying For Everyone?

As we at the beginning of a new year again a lot of people will want to do their private pilot license. Obviously there are many reasons for wanting to fly varying from achieving a long term goal, a life long dream, the start of a new career or maybe simply to be able to say:”I can fly”. Whatever the reasons are I often get asked by a new student “do you think I’ll be able to fly”.

Maybe firstly we must ask ourselves what does it take from an individual in order to fly an airplane or helicopter for that matter? A certain amount of co-ordination comes to mind. In my opinion most people has what it takes although some has to practice and exercise this particular skill.

Discipline I think plays an important roll as flying involves quite a bit of responsibility in some way or the other. My personal favorite is of course a person’s attitude. The willingness to study, the way an individual handles criticism and the ability to handle stress but to name a few. These are just some qualities amongst hundreds.

I think every student should and can answer the question: “will I be able to fly?” for themselves. For some it might take longer than the minimum requirement but determination and will pull them through.

Many a time students has told me that flying is not for them and I take my hat off to a person that can realize their own lack of ability or whatever reason they base their decision on.

Your personal motive for wanting to fly plays a very important roll. So I personally think that it’s not a simple black and white answer to be made by an instructor but rather a combined decision.

I think that in the beginning students base their abilities solely on the “stick and throttle” aspects of flying, rightly so because that’s all they know but I often tell students that a good stick and throttle pilot is not necessarily the best pilot and that they must consider their other strengths as well when they make a decision whether to continue flying or not. In a lot of cases all it takes is a bit of a mindset change.

I personally think that almost any person can be taught to fly but I think the real question should be whether any person can be a safe pilot not necessarily the world’s greatest pilot, and that’s maybe where the instructor or flight school for that matter plays a very important role.

If ever you face the decision to quite flying or not maybe think what is your motive for flying, ask yourself whether you enjoy it or not, can you financially afford it to carry on longer if need be, do you need to change your attitude?

Want To Be A Private Pilot? Discover the Joy of Flying

plane pilot room

Everyone in today’s age needs a get away. Meaning a place to go or something to do that helps you puts your cares, worries, woes and responsibilities aside just for a short time. It does not mean shirking your duties; it just means taking time out to enjoy all the great things in life.

It is ironic with the massive influx of technology that is all sectors of our life we rarely take the time out to enjoy. We use it as a means to generate income and a way to make like easier, but how much do we use technology as a means of pure enjoyment?

All one has to do is look at the advancements in flying an airplane. There are planes now that virtually fly themselves almost. In fact learning to fly is so basic that a sixteen year old is allowed to fly a plane before they are allowed to dry a car in most countries or areas. In many cases, they have not even reached the drinking age but they are capable of learning to fly a plan. It is true they cannot fly it alone at this age but they can still get behind the controls.

If you ask avid vacationers, why they like to travel so much, many of them will tell you it is because they love to fly. Of course, the destination of their trip is important too. The only reason they do not do more of it is the costs. If they were to look deeper into becoming their own pilot, they would soon find that obtaining a private pilot license would perhaps only mean giving up a few holiday trips to pay for the cost and allow the time to learn.

There is something magical about being up in the clouds leisurely flying in the endless blue sky. It is a place where one can observe the real beauty of the world by being above it instead of on it. Life seems to take on a different perspective when one is piloting their own plane.

Yes, it is true you get the same opportunity as a flying passenger, but then you are not in control. As a pilot you have total control and it is a feeling of satisfaction coupled with no stress and a sense of total freedom. It can be worth a year’s vacation to pilot a plane on even one cross-country trip.

Most any type of hobby has costs associated with it, but then so does any form of entertainment. Even if you sit at home and watch your TV as entertainment, it is costing you. There is the electricity and the costs of your environment to considered.

So really, nothing in life is free. Fortunately, the costs and time to become a private pilot is not all that expensive. It is not cheap either but in the long run, you only get what you pay for, and you want good training so it is well worth the money.

Once you have gotten your license and you are well versed in flying, the words I am bored or what should we do this weekend become almost extinct. You may not be able to afford to buy your own plane at least not yet. There are many opportunities to be able to rent small planes so that will not be an issue. So all in all anyone that has become a private pilot will tell you its one of the best decisions in life they made.

All the Hidden Costs of Becoming a Private Pilot


If you really have it in your heart that you want to become a private pilot then you must be ready to put up with some costs. Well, costs are relative, to some it might mean time, to others it might be money, and yet to many people, it is a mix of both.

In terms of time, be sure that you will need to put up with at least 40 hours of flight time if you wish to get you private pilot license. This article is not going to focus much on time, but rather on the issue of money. With the ever up-scaling difficult times, it is true that the cost of becoming a pilot can prove to be a little too much for a middle earning person to afford.

You also need to know that the cost of flying is also dependent on the cost of gas/fuel. The recent situation on fuel shortage is making it all worse. This has made the cost of flying to hike upwards and hence even flying schools are increasing their tuition money.

Many pilot students fall out of the flying institutions for they can barely cope up with the high tuition fees. So what is the trick to avoid dropping out? Well, there is no secret or trick as such, you just need to have a plan.

Having a plan means having a budget. Your budget should put up all the possibilities and costs that you may incur during your training. You may even overshoot your prices for this will be greatly helpful in case things do not go as you earlier speculated.

Most private pilot flying courses might see you part with something between $8,000-$12,000. Remember that, this is just an estimate and it might be higher or lower than this depending on your flight training school, or even you locality. At the end of the day, what matters most is living your dream and proper planning will surely help you attain this.

Is the License Capable of flying you safely?

It is true that a private pilot does not have the certification to fly a large passenger plane, or a cargo plane, simply because they lack that extensive knowledge that large airplanes and cockpits need. However, this does not mean that they lack in knowledge and skill to operate a smaller aircraft, in fact, a private pilot can comfortably fly a plane from one airport to another.

The media is always the first avenue that makes people lack confidence in private pilots. This is so because the media goes a long way in pointing out the misdeeds of the private pilots in case of an accident, or a near miss. They also focus so much on the lack of experience of the private pilots. What the media does not tell is the other side of the story.

The other side of the coin is the qualification process that the so-called incapable pilots undergo to achieve the certification of a private pilot. The media never tells you of the vast amounts of hours that a private pilot has to put as part of the learning program.

A private pilot is required to put in more than 40 hours of his/her time to learn the art of flying. Remember that this is just a minimum for some pilots may put up to 80 hours of their time in the learning process.

Many flight schools, if not all, request for medical examination certificates from the FAA certified physicians. People who fail the test cannot proceed on the journey of becoming a private pilot. You also need to know that a private pilot undergoes training that allows him/her to fly during the day, and at night. They also extensively learn the rules of flying, and more so, English language, because it is widely used in many airports.

To answer the earlier question, yes, a private pilot is qualified and capable to fly you safely from one place to another.

7 Tips to Getting Over Your Fears before Getting Your Private Pilot License

Private Pilot LicenseWe all have fears. Some of us won’t even admit to them, but we have them. Embarking on anything new, while being very exciting, can also be very scary. The reason, the main reason…fear of failure. You need to get over your fears not only of flying, if you have one. but of failing as well before you can be the proud owner of a private pilot license.

If you’ve taken a driver’s test and didn’t pass the first time, you remember what that was like when the instructor turned to you and said, “Sorry, you failed.” If you looked up the word “down” in the dictionary, you would have seen a photo of yourself right next to the definition.

Nobody likes to fail, and fear of failure is one of the worst fears in the world.

Okay, great… now that we’ve established that… how do we deal with it?

Here are a few great ways of overcoming the fear of failure.

1. Consider The Missed Opportunity.

Imagine that you decide that you’re too afraid to go through with learning how to fly and taking your exam. Now imagine what life is going to be like without being able to do this very thing that you love so much. I’m assuming that if you want to learn how to fly, there is a big reason for it. Focus on that instead of the fear and this will go a long way to alleviating that fear.

2. Research The Alternatives

Imagine what you will have to do without your PPL. You’ll have to rely on commercial airlines. You won’t be able to go where you want to go WHEN you want to go there. You’ll be at the mercy of others. The alternatives to flying your own plane, if you don’t want to rely on commercial airlines, are driving, train, bus and even boat. If that thought makes you sick to your stomach, focus on it. That’ll get you over your fear of failure.

3. Put The Worst Case Scenario Into Perspective

Let’s say you fail your PPL exam? What’s the worst thing that can happen? They can’t tell you that you can’t take it again. You can still take another shot at it. It’s not like this is a one time offer. If that were the case, there would be a ton of people not driving or flying planes. It’s not the end of the world if you fail. At worse, you have to wait a little longer to get your PPL.

4. Understand The Benefits Of Failure

Believe it or not, you learn something from failure. You learn what it is you did wrong and get a chance to improve it. Would you rather that you didn’t fail your exam only because some instructor took pity on you and ended up getting yourself killed because you really weren’t ready to fly? I think you know the answer to that.

5. Make A Contingency Plan

If you do fail, have a plan. You should already be planning in advance on taking more lessons, getting more flight time and rescheduling. Failing doesn’t mean that you give up.

6. Take Action

The best way to get rid of that fear is to just go ahead and do it. The more you procrastinate, the more afraid you’re going to become until you reach a point where you’re unable to take your exam at all.

7. Burn Your Boats

In ancient times, Greeks would burn their boats so that they had no choice but to move forward. They couldn’t turn back. I don’t know what you have to do in order to burn YOUR boat but do it. If that means picking up the phone and scheduling your exam, do it. Don’t look back.

Hopefully, the 7 items I’ve gone over will help you get over your fears of getting your private pilot license

Robby Davis

Robby Davis

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At CoastPrivate, we’re more than simply a jet charter company; we’re a full-service private aviation brokerage offering a wealth of solutions, from ad-hoc charter and elite jet card membership programs, to airliner charters, private jet leasing and private jet sales worldwide.

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