Flight Instructor Problems

I decided to start my flying lesson’s earlier than anticipated because of the extra time I have during the day due to the coronavirus and all of my classes going online for the rest of the semester. Need some advice on a difficult first lesson. On my first lesson, I felt my instructor was creating a negative work environment. For example, he had me taxi the airplane to the runaway and I have never controlled the rudder pedals. They were confusing to learn as someone who has never controlled an airplane and somehow I was able to make the first turn perfectly but coming down to the second turn I was going to fast and he had to slam on the breaks and just yelled at me instead of trying to teach me how to slow down and execute the turn. This kind of behavior went on for the whole flight. Overall, our personalities do not align as I am a kind and caring person and would never want to make anyone uncomfortable. I am willing to learn but I felt like I could not be free to make any mistakes without being yelled at during the whole lesson which makes it hard for me to learn and retain information.

Has anyone had any experiences with flight instructor’s that do not align with how you learn and am I going to run into this situation a lot? Does ATP let you switch flight instructors if this happens? I am glad that this happened at a local flight school and I was paying lesson by lesson. I would hate to pay 80k at ATP and be stuck with someone I can’t learn from.

Long story short it was a miserable first lesson and I am either going to try another instructor at this flight school or try to go to another flight school. If I going to quit and not do this, I want it to be because I do not like flying not because I can’t find an instructor I can learn from.

Hey Lucas,
If you are not pairing well with your instructor, I would definitely reach out to flight training support and address your concern. This is your investment and if you and your instructor are not collaborating well ask for a new instructor. I would try and wait a few more lessons instead of just the first day. Document everything in notebook so you have some kind of reference to fall back on. Hope this helps!


This should not be happening. Talk to your instructor about your comfortability working together in the airplane and see how they respond. Who knows? It may be their personality. It may be that everyone is going through stressful times. If you still feel like a negative environment is being created, get a new instructor.



I find that many people (particularly young adults) view their instructors in the same light as they saw their teachers in school, in a position of authority (and visa versa). While there should be mutual respect you are the customer. If you’re not satisfied with the instructor’s service you should seek another.

I instructed for ATP as well as for the airlines and I can’t recall ever raising my voice.


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This kind of behavior from your CFI is unprofessional and unacceptable. I would ask for a new CFI. I have never once yelled at a student. You are the customer, make a change.

At ATP you will likely fly with a few different instructors (just like in the airlines), but yes, if you have a problem with one, you can always ask to fly with somebody else. You will not be stuck with somebody you don’t mesh with.


Thanks you for all your feedback and insight.


Anytime. Let us know how else we can help you.