Mentors and current students, what was the hardest skill for you to acquire?

Ive been reading the AFH and its really helping to recognize this is going to be no walk in the park (not that I ever expected it to be). For those of you studying now or current pilots, what was hardest for you to learn? Do you have any advice or tips regarding that skill that really helped you when you were struggling?

Cody,

The hardest part for me was the various instrument rules and procedures. Like anything, just buckle down and learn them. Of course, be sure to run questions by other students and your CFI.

I will say, if you are reading the AFH ahead of starting training, I would expect you to be totally overwhelmed. I wouldn’t worry about this too much right now, just focus on the tasks that are immediately ahead of you.

Chris

Thanks man. That is reassuring. I don’t let myself get too freaked out because I know I’m about to be learning this stuff 6-7 days a week for the next nine months. Just wanted to know what I should watch out for or allot extra time for when the time comes.

Landings! While the overall concept isn’t difficult it’s a skill that you can never take for granted (and frankly some pilots wrestle with their whole careers). There’s a certain amount of art to it and it really combines your skills and your knowledge. That and right or wrong, its how most pilots are judged.

Adam

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This is true. Haha I have a flight attendant friend and she was saying they always give the FO/Captain a hard time when they have a hard landing. Is it just a practice makes perfect kind of thing? The more you do it the better you get?

Cody,

Practice definitely helps and we all have our moments but you also have to want to get better. That might seem obvious but some pilots reach a level of competency that they’re satisfied with while others take every flight as an opportunity to improve. Those are the pilots you want to emulate.

Adam

Cody,

Just like not everybody excels in the same subjects in school, not everybody has the same strengths in aviation. What might be difficult for me, could be really easy for you. Just take it one subject at a time and you will be fine.

Chris

Landings are both an art and a science. It takes many years to get a good feel for landing a particular airplane. Most jets have radar altimeters that verbally call out the height of the main landing gear above the runway, which certainly adds to the situational awareness.

Or, as one USAir pilot once told me: “I get down really low to the ground, close my eyes and count one-potato, two-potato, etc until I feel an impact” :slight_smile:

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Currently I’m in cfi school… and right now the challenging thing for me is landing on centerline from right seat. lol

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Earv,

Crazy how that centerline seems to move ain’t it? :slight_smile:

Adam

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Right!!! Lol

Thanks for all the responses guys! I’m super excited and bit overwhelmed, but I’m just gonna take it day by day. And at least I know I’m learning in the right place.

Crosswind landings and steep turns​:expressionless:. I questioned my entire career choice while learning those​:joy::joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:

I think the most important skill is good study habits and maintaining that intensity from start to finish! (And beyond ATP)

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Thanks for the input. I’m hoping that graduating into bigger and better jets and getting better and better as a pilot will help maintain that intensity over the years.