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Seek Multiple Sources of Information


Don’t be afraid to look for and engage with information from different sources. This can help you understand concepts more fully.

Use your Flight Training Manuals and textbooks as a starting point.

Where they make reference to other materials, look them up.

Know where to find relevant CASA publications and how to navigate them.

Try YouTube for videos explaining concepts you aren’t understanding from readings and briefings. Check with your instructor to make sure the information is accurate and relevant for you. Be aware that some information will be specific to where it’s made.

Do your own research – there are plenty of aviation books in publication with varying degrees of technical detail. If you’re planning to work in aviation, the more you know about the industry as a whole, the better.

Use your instructor. If you’re struggling with something, they might be able to explain it to you in a different way that makes it click.

Finding multiple sources of information is particularly important because people learn differently. You might learn better from reading a textbook, or you might need a video to better understand a concept.

Some resources we like:

  • TVSA Flight Training Manuals
  • Bob Tait textbooks
  • Aviation Theory Centre textbooks
  • QF32 – Richard de Crespigny
  • No Man’s Land: The Untold Story of Automation on QF72 – Kevin Sullivan
  • Aerobatics Down Under – David Pilkington
  • Flight-Club on YouTube
  • Flight Safety Australia – CASA’s Safety Magazine
  • Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying – Wolfgang Langewiesche
  • The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die – Paul A. Craig
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Timetabling and Scheduling Study


Effective time management is crucial for study success.

How do you do that? Well, you could…

Break your time up into blocks. It might help to have a yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily planner/ schedule. This will help you keep on track with major deadlines but keep your day-to-day focus on manageable blocks.

Schedule specifically. Don’t just block out time for “study” – write in your schedule what you will do with that time. For example, it might be “read two chapters” or “review notes on meteorology.” This helps keep you focused and also helps you know how much time to allocate.

You’ll be able to achieve more with smaller blocks of time because you won’t have to spend time working out what to do. If it takes you longer than expected to complete the task, remember that for next time you need to do something similar.

Work out your personal prime time. Do you study better at night or in the morning? What commitments do you have outside of your flights and study that you need to schedule around?

A good idea is to create or find a weekly template. Block out times that you are otherwise engaged. This could be work or family commitments, sporting activities or other hobbies – and don’t forget to schedule time to sleep, eat, and relax!

See where you have space to fit in your study. Is it enough? Can you reschedule anything to give yourself more time to study? Or a better time to study? If you know you concentrate better at night, but all your nights are filled with other commitments, can anything be moved?

Find a routine and commit to it for at least a few weeks. If it’s not working for you, change it up.

Try different lengths of study time. Maybe spending half a day a couple of times a week works for you. Maybe you need short bursts every day. When you first start, try a few different things, and make note of how you felt and how well you took in information.

Communicate to the people in your life about your commitment to flight training and what that means. Enlist one or two key people to keep you accountable and motivated.

Learn to say no! Sometimes you will need to prioritise your study goals over a casual social engagement. Focus on the big picture in these moments and communicate your reasons. People will understand.

Self-directed learning requires discipline. Be honest with yourself about your commitment. Review your progress and how well you have stuck to your schedule.

Be prepared for life to happen. Allow yourself time to grasp trickier concepts, or to flow with distractions.

The biggest key is to find what works for you. There is no one size fits all approach.