"Nothing is picture perfect"
Something striking that I have learned over the course of the past while is the fact that nothing is perfect. Wow! Shocker -I know. I tend to share the best moments of flight training and keep the bad ones to myself, but today I wanted to get a little personal with issues I have faced and explain to you how to combat them. See, the first thing that you need to understand before becoming a pilot is that it is not easy, it is hard. If you want something, you must chase it. Now that I am a private pilot it will be easier for me to teach you how to succeed even when problems arise throughout your training.
When going and training to become a pilot it is so easy to feel stuck in a rut. I feel as if sometimes training pilots can get their mind so set in stone about their own end goals. I want to really be an airline pilot, and a lot of times I cannot help but daydream of myself walking down the jet bridge in the slick airline pilot uniform holding my captain boyfriend's hand. While that may make a lot of people dumbfounded, it is true. As a pilot myself, I did this all throughout my private pilot training. Since I was focusing so much on my end goal of "I have to get to the airlines" (what I call 'I gotta get to the airlines syndrome') I was unable to really focus on the present moment, thus resulting in me feeling like I was completely stuck. Feeling stuck in training is totally normal because I have been there so many times -especially this semester. By focusing on one day at a time you will be able to see huge progress being thrown towards your end goal of being a first officer/captain on the Boeing 777 for Delta. The main goal is to get done with training before any further efforts need to be made.
It can seem as if bird availability is dwindling at times due to the inspections as well as precautionary issues with the planes. I know I have had many many flights canceled due to the planes being down. This can be so frustrating at times especially when you really wanted to fly and you felt good that day. You may feel like it is only your flight school that faces this issue. However, I have talked about this and explained my frustrations with several other pilots all across the United States and they all say the same thing. Somethings in training are just inevitable, and this is one of them. Maintenance is there for your safety as well as the safety of others. Do not fight maintenance because you can fly plenty of days ahead. Every little thing will be okay.
When a bird is down in the hangar you probably know what is coming... at least in the part 141 environment. That would be a ground. Sometimes, in fact a lot of times, grounds are super boring. I know that there has been quite a few times where I have really run out of questions to ask or topics to talk about. As a fast learner, this was frustrating at times because I felt like I was in the same place the entire time, especially when I would much rather be flying. I really want to emphasize to never stop expanding your knowledge as a pilot. Maybe try going to different grounds with some friends, or encourage group study sessions where you yourself can practice teaching. There are always different ways to go about things when it all totally seems drab.
Scheduling... My all time favorite (so not) is when I would have a flight one day at 6:00 am, the next day at 2:00 pm, and then just a mere 24 hours after that have a late night flight at 9:00 pm. It is quite hard to take the challenge of losing sleep in training, but it is going to happen at some point. This mainly affects part 141 students with the intention of getting their private or commercial licenses. Getting up at 4:00 in the morning just to finish a flight plan is not pleasurable at all. Losing sleep because I had to fly the 6:00 block constantly with no apparent choice. However, take it as you will see the reward way sooner if you take the schedule now. I can offer a nice tip for 141 students, and that is to take as many online classes as you can. If you can personally get all classes online, then that is perfect. That's how my schedule was this semester and it was the bomb diggity dog! Never be afraid to adjust somethings, and definitely leave the weekends to sleep.
The weekdays can be super rough, especially when all other factors listed above so happened to hit you at once, and you had a huge test that week too. Training can get pretty darn irritating, which opens a whole new can of worms when it comes to emotions. The schedule and stress of exams can get too much sometimes. In order to combat this, use your resources. Study here and there while taking a break to do something that you love. Being able to balance work and health is something so important. Whether or not it is a short break, a talk with a counselor, or even help from a friend, your mental and emotional wellbeing is so important.
When something goes awry it may seem peaceful and calm for the next little bit until something else happens. Do not let mistakes, failure, or even mocking get to you. When someone tells you that you cannot do something, then just relax and prove them wrong. In aviation there is a lot of jealousy that goes on between everyone, which makes it quite hard. As a female in aviation I can really vouch for this. The biggest tip I have for this issue is to just calm down and relax because they are most likely just jealous of something. Do everything with a smile and with a glisten in the eye.
All of these issues may cause an upheaval in your mind, but always remember that everyone faces issues not matter what career they choose. Every issue and problem faced is worth the amazing outcome. Everything I went through was worth it because I was able to receive and earn my private pilot's license. That was rewarding -it all has been. If you want something, you will do anything to get it, and I did. Nothing is handed to you -it is earned. Always remember that anything is possible! Cheers, and have an amazing week!