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10 Mistakes Every Student Pilot Makes At Least Once

Did you make these mistakes during flight training? For the instructors out there, you've seen them over and over!

1) Forgetting an instrument hood.

It's hard to get your instrument flight lessons done without the view limiting device! We all know a CFI that's tried to make one from a spare sectional chart tucked under a student's headset to get the lesson done.


2) Sleeping through an early flight lesson.

If you have early morning flight lessons, you're bound to sleep through one eventually. It's not a big deal, just be apologetic and try to avoid it happening again!


3) Focusing too much attention inside vs. outside.

Especially common in airplanes with glass cockpits, students may have a tendency to focus on instruments vs. exterior visual indications to determine pitch, bank, and roll. Developing basic flight skills without instruments is important, so try covering them up!

Corey Komarec

4) Continuing an unstable approach.

Learning a safe go/no-go point for continuing an approach to landing is tough. Student pilots occasionally attempt to "save" bad approaches well past the point of a normal go-around. This is where the CFI comes in, teaching the student what's safe or recoverable vs. appropriate for a go-around.

5) Rushing (skipping) checklist items.

Have you ever seen a student miss checklist items because they're rushing? It happens all the time, and it's the perfect time to demonstrate the importance of being methodical and slowing down.

Swayne Martin

6) Exiting the runway just a little too fast.

Especially in cases when ATC requests an expedited exit from the runway, students may get a little over-confident with their speed control.


7) Over-controlling the airplane.

Over-correcting for mistakes further aggravates the situation. Over time, students usually get better at making small, correct inputs to fix their mistakes.

8) Not thinking BEFORE keying the mic on the radio.

Before you key the mic on the radio, think about what you need to say. When a new student forgets to think first, they may end up rambling or sounding completely unsure of themselves.

Corey Komarec

9) Showing up unprepared for a flight lesson.

It's easy to tell when a student shows up unprepared for a lesson. A few questions about the lesson's maneuvers or topics makes it quite clear. Sometimes, it's better to cancel the lesson and give the student another chance to come back more prepared so they don't waste their time or money.

Swayne Martin

10) Over-confidence.

Towards the end of training, students start to feel confident in their skills, which is great! The downside is that they can become over-confident and may begin to push the limits of their knowledge or skills, leading to unforeseen mistakes.


What mistakes did you make during training? What have you seen as a CFI? Tell us in the comments below.

Thinking about becoming a pilot? Get started with ATP Flight School, and find out how to start your aviation career here.

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