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12 Ways To Prepare For Flight Training Today

Are you waiting to start flight training? Here's what you can do RIGHT NOW to get prepared.

1) Ride Along On Flight Lessons

One of the best things you can do right away is ask your flight school how you can begin shadowing a few flight lessons. Pay attention to the progression of each lesson. Keep a checklist in-hand, and learn what the student and instructor do from start to finish during a flight.

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2) Practice With Flight Simulators

Flight simulators will develop your hand-eye coordination skills and aviation knowledge. If you don't want to buy a full desktop simulator, try a flight simulator app on your phone. It's a great way to expose yourself to basic flight principles and aerodynamics tendencies.

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3) Network With Pilots You Know

Opportunities that come your way often rely on WHO you know NOT WHAT you know. Connect with family friends, relatives, and pilots you can contact online. Ask them what they'd recommend to get started. Take in every piece of advice they give you, and learn what their career track was like!

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4) Read A Private Pilot Textbook

There are plenty of private pilot textbooks out there. One of the best is by Jeppesen.

You can also find plenty of free resources from the FAA online, in PDF format: Airplane Flying Handbook, Pilots Handbook Of Aeronautical Knowledge, and the Aeronautical Information Manual.

5) Listen To "Live ATC"

Learning the language of pilots and air traffic controllers is tough for most students. Get started by listening to busy radio frequencies at general aviation airports like Van Nuys (KVNY), Teterboro (KTEB), or Denver's Centennial (KAPA).

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6) Take Our Quizzes!

We have hundreds of free quizzes to test your knowledge. New quizzes are posted weekly, and you can find a list of previously published quizzes on our dashboard above, or click the dashboard icon to the upper-left on mobile devices.

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7) Memorize The Phonetic Alphabet

The ICAO phonetic alphabet is used in aviation for almost everything. Memorize each letter and its corresponding name. Don't forget about special number pronunciations like: 3 ("Tree"), 5 ("Fife"), and 9 ("Niner").

One of the best ways you can learn quickly is by spelling out license plates or street signs aloud as you pass by them on the road. If you see the license plate BGY-367, say out loud "Bravo-Golf-Yankee-Tree-Six-Seven." You may want to do this one alone!

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8) Learn From Others Online

More and more pilots are sharing their experiences online. Search YouTube and personal blogs to learn how they trained, where they fly now, and what advice they have to offer.

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9) Get Your Medical Certificate

Depending on the privileges of flight and your age, a medical certificate may be valid for up to 5 years! Find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) near you and get the medical certificate out of the way. Make sure you don't have any medical history that will prevent you from becoming a certificated pilot!

If you're planning to follow a professional path in aviation, we recommend obtaining a first or second class medical. They have heightened requirements and the testing will ensure nothing will medically disqualify you when you're done training.

10) Read Our Articles!

For years, we've published free training articles to help you learn some of the most complex and challenging topics you'll face as a pilot. Start by reading our articles about aerodynamics, traffic patterns, weather, and systems if you're a new student.

11) Pass The FAA's Private Pilot Written Exam

Walking into private pilot training with the written exam completed will take a huge weight off your shoulders! There's no reason you can't take it early!

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12) We Have Plenty Of Training Courses On Some Of The Toughest Subjects You'll Face

From takeoffs and landings, to weather products and airspace, we write training courses that make things a lot easier as you begin flying. And better yet, we have a lot more new courses on the way. Check them out and let us know how we can help.

What do you recommend a new student does to prepare for training? Tell us in the comments below.

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