Tips for getting your PPL licence

Now that I have finished my PPL training I thought I would put together some tips for getting your PPL licence.
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I remember clearly the first day I turned up to the airfield excited about what I was about to embark on. However throughout my time I picked up some tips that will help you when you are doing your licence.

  1. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – I found that when I was at the school, I was looking at everyone else’s progress and then judging myself by it. “Oh that guy has gone solo in 12 hours I’m at 14, I must not be doing as good”
    Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, worry about what you are doing! If you go solo in 10, 15, 20, or 25 hours it really doesn’t matter. Everybody learns at a different rate and you will hit your milestones when you are ready.
    Furthermore you do not know everything about that person, they may have a background in aviation, be flying more often than you etc.
    Just take your time and focus on what you need to do.
  2. If you don’t like your instructor / school then change them / it! – I am lucky that my school and instructor(s) were all great! However if you are not getting on with where you are, then go somewhere else. This is your training and you have to be fully happy!
  3. Fly as often as you can – You will learn faster and pick things up if you are flying consistently, I would say you should fly at a minimum 2 times a week and ideally more if you can afford it.
  4. Get your medical early – After your first few lessons once you have decided it is something you want to do get your medical sorted out! Make sure you get a class 1 if you have any intentions of going commercial just so you know that you can get it.
  5. Hit the books – You need your air law exam done before you can fly solo so that is the first thing you should be studying. I personally think as soon as you sign up you should be studying for your exams, you will need them all done to send of for your licence.
  6. Make notes – Make sure that when you are told something you make notes, this will be good when you need to reference it later in your training.
  7. Chair fly / practice There is nothing wrong with practising at home in a chair as if you are in a plane. On top of this use any resources you can find online such as blogs (hint: this one), forums & YouTube.
  8. Don’t pay up front – Never, ever, ever, ever pay for an entire course up front. If you choose to ignore this advice then make sure you pay on a credit card.
  9. Don’t be afraid to speak up – If you are not happy with something or have forgotten, tell your instructor so he can go back over it with you. If you do not understand something then ask! I guarantee he would rather you ask then pretend you understand.
  10. Commit – I was working full-time and spent EVERY weekend at the airfield. It was a full on 7 months but I feel it helped to consolidate my learning.
  11. A cancelled lesson doesn’t mean a day off – Use the time wisely, study, go over manoeuvres, prepare for the next lesson.
  12. Network – Speak to the other students, they are going through the same thing as you and can understand more than anyone else your issues.
  13. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need – I am not a fan of the starter kits you get, especially if you are planning to go commercial. For instance why buy a kit with a CRP 1 when for your ATPL’s you need a CRP 5?
    Why buy a fuel tester and measure when you are renting the plane? Furthermore look for bargains, eBay and Amazon Marketplace saved me quite a few quid.

I hope this has helped and that you find these tips for getting your PPL licence useful!

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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