Should I change my flight instructor?

Sometimes training doesn’t work out like you think it should and you start to wonder, should I change my flight instructor?
Above all you need to keep in mind that this is a business transaction. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason with the instructor you have, then you do not have to fly with them. No matter what the reason, you have the right to pick and choose who you fly with.

climbing G-BLAC

Reasons I have come across as to why people change flight instructors include the following.

  1. They are too hands on! There is nothing worse than paying a three figure sum for someone else to do the majority of the flying. You should be flying the aircraft the majority of the time.
  2. Personality clash – You will not get on with everybody you meet, if you don’t really like someone the chances are you will probably dislike flying with them.
  3. They are too panicky – I once flew with a newly qualified flight instructor and I must say I didn’t enjoy it at all. He was so panicky and jumpy as well as a bit shouty. Even though I was flying EXACTLY how my other instructors had taught me, at my home airfield, in the circuit as I had done many times before, HE was making ME nervous. To top it of I wasn’t even a student, I had passed my skills test and was waiting for my licence to come back.
    Note – I know that passing the skills test doesn’t make me a perfect pilot.
  4. You don’t feel like you are progressing as you should – This again is a perfectly valid reason. Everybody learns at a different rate, however if you don’t feel like you are making the progress you should be, you should be prepared to try a new instructor. Maybe their methods may work better for you.
  5. They are never on time – There is nothing worse than being at the airfield at the agreed time only to have a last-minute cancellation or having to wait around half the day for the instructor to turn up. If you can make it there on time, then the least your instructor can do is do the same.
  6. They don’t make time for you – Following on from the last one if you fly every Saturday for instance, you expect your instructor to have tentative slots for you. If they don’t you may be left with no choice but to choose someone else.
  7. You start to question THEM – While I think this is rare I have read a few stories of people questioning the ability of their instructor, this is never a good place to be. You should have full confidence in your instructor.

The first thing to do before you change is to talk to your flight instructor. They may not be aware of what it is that is causing you the issue and you should really give them a chance to resolve it. Sometimes a quick chat is all that is needed to sort out issues and the ability to articulate a problem to your instructor can only bode well for any future airline flying you do.
At the end of the day, it’s your money and you need to get the best value for that money that you possibly can.

Thinking of training via the modular route? Or started and still have questions? Then read The Essential Modular Flight Training Guide.

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