Student Spotlight: Haydn Fletcher (part 2)

Study tips, from someone who's been there

By Haydn Fletcher

If the thought of studying makes you break out in a sweat or worse, perhaps now isn’t the time. Learning to fly demands commitment.

Dare I say it? Flying is “easy”.

The more difficult and time-consuming part is theory. You should not underestimate the time and study commitment needed. I have heard some people say for every hour of flight, you should be doing 3-hours of theory. I disagree. Double it. At least to start with.

At the time of writing, I am undertaking lessons to gain the Recreation Pilot Licence with the hope to continue onto the Private Pilot Licence. Whilst I am still learning the fundamentals, perhaps the number of theory hours required may reduce. At this stage, however, there is a lot to take in and process so I am ensuring theory time is high.

There are several things I recommend which may assist and work for me.  Importantly, know how you learn. I am not one to simply read a book and know how something works. I also need to touch, listen or see something in action.

Leading up to starting with TVSA, I had already purchased and read the entire Aviation Theory Centre Basic Aeronautical Knowledge book, you could easily read the Bob Tait guides also which is what TVSA recommend. I also pre-purchased and read the TVSA Flight Training Manual (FTM) and completed the questions in the first five chapters before starting so I could be well prepared leading up to flying lessons.

I also watch countless YouTube videos; from pilots “doing stuff” to deep theory on particular topics. Whilst driving or walking the dog, I am listening to podcasts on aviation and using any of this spare time to pick up what I can. I had been watching and listening to these for months before starting and continue to do so, there is so much content available and you just don’t know where you will read, hear or see vital information!

You will get plenty of active learning in the sky and applying the theory so do as much as you can leading up to each lesson. I complete all the pre-reading and questions in the FTM leading up to each lesson and ensure I revisit the night before or morning of a lesson to know what to expect, and importantly any gaps in my knowledge. You will be expected to know in detail what you are in for. The instructor will be grateful you have studied, and you can utilise the time in the air rather than on the ground.

There will be challenging and frustrating times, however, I am enjoying every moment of it and can’t wait to continue learning so I can get out and about. Wherever. Whenever.

Commit to the experience and have fun!