Becoming a pilot takes time and dedication, and qualifying can be a challenging feat overall.
However, individuals who want to become a pilot or are simply curious might be wondering: is flight school difficult?
In this article, I cover the key bits of information that you need to know about flight school, from whether ground school is difficult to whether learning to fly is hard.
So, let’s get started.
How difficult is ground school?
The journey to becoming a pilot starts in the classroom, and ground school is designed to test your motivation and determination to become a pilot. How difficult an aspiring pilot finds ground school is largely subjective, but generally speaking, it is determined by a few factors.
Namely, an individual is much more likely to struggle throughout ground school if they don’t put in the work that it takes to pass with flying colors. Ground school isn’t a walk in the park, and you’re bound to have days that are harder than others.
That being said, if you don’t commit yourself to your studies, you will naturally struggle more than an individual that does and will find it challenging to make it through if you don’t take it seriously.
Alongside this, an individual’s success throughout ground school will also depend on the type of license that they are hoping to obtain. For instance, if you intend to get a commercial pilot license, your ground school syllabus will contain more advanced studies.
Generally, your training will include ground school and exams in a variety of different subjects, dual flying lessons with an instructor, solo flying training, and a flight test.
Although the early stage of a pilot’s flight training is pretty straightforward, it increases in difficulty as you progress into advanced flying procedures and maneuvers. That being said, it is not uncommon for individuals to drop out of grounding school as it is an intense experience that requires a lot of time, dedication, and focus.
When thinking of applying to become a pilot, it is important to remember that everyone is different and you may be stronger in different areas and weaker in others in comparison to your peers. As a general rule to follow, when training to become a pilot you shouldn’t compare yourself to others.
Over the time that you spend training to be a pilot, there's no doubt you’ll find a subject harder than some of your peers. However, this shouldn’t alarm you, as there is bound to be a time that will come when there is a task that you are better suited for.
The most important thing to remember is that you are there to learn, and it’s natural for you to feel out of your depth initially.
Is learning to fly hard?
When it comes to learning to fly, how hard you find it will again depend on you as an individual. To comprehend how flying can be confusing in the beginning, think back to what it was like learning to drive a car in the beginning. It’s a new and foreign skill, however, learning how to fly is one of the most rewarding feelings in the long run.
When training to be a pilot, you will have to master multiple different skills that you could find challenging. A few of these include:
- Multitasking - It’s not unusual for a pilot to have to handle five or six things at the same time, from communicating, checking for traffic, and setting auto-pilot controls simultaneously to name a few.
- Situational awareness - This refers to knowing exactly where you are over the ground and in the airspace, and it also includes airplane settings and systems.
- Mastering the weather - Pilots that are learning to fly are required to learn aviation meteorology. This is so that a pilot can predict, as best as possible, whether or not there will be any adverse weather issues during the flight.
So, is learning to fly hard? Yes, learning to fly can be difficult and challenging depending on the individual and will take time, effort, and dedication.
How hard you find it will largely depend on you as an individual and how much work you put into your studies. With that said, you must be willing to take your flight training seriously so you can pass your knowledge exams to become qualified.
If you’re considering becoming a pilot, you won’t know how difficult it is until you give it a try, but that isn’t to say you shouldn’t. Although ground school is a challenging experience, it is also an unforgettable one! Not only will you make friends, but also memories that will last a lifetime.
Once you’re flying around the world, flight school will seem like a distant memory and you will look back with fondness.