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Thinking about quitting

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Thinking about quitting

Old 3rd Feb 2019, 17:01
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 3
Thinking about quitting

Hi all

This is my first time posting - I hope it's in the right place on the site.

I'm currently training for a PPL in the UK. I'm at close to 40 hours and just started navigation - and I really dislike it!

Whilst in the circuit I found myself questioning whether I was really enjoying this anymore, but persevered to first solo. I've now done three nav exercises (all dual), including two land-aways, and I'm close to packing it in. The first was back in September - after this I decided to take a break from flying, and didn't go again until December, and then again early in January. And to be honest, I haven't really missed it much. Since then I've come close to booking more lessons, but the thought of flying again fills me with anxiety.

I enjoyed the earlier lessons - when I could turn up, fly some handling exercises with the instructor for an hour and go home. But I'm finding navigation to be extremely stressful, and I'm asking myself whether I really need a stressful hobby when I've already got a stressful enough job. Coupled with this is the fact that this part of the course is time consuming, particularly when you factor in the pre-flight planning.

I'm now questioning what I'll do with my license if/when I get it. Based on current experience, I can't see myself ever wanting to hire a plan for half a day and go cross-country flying, so will probably just end up punching holes in the sky in the circuit to maintain currency.

So I'm wondering whether I should just cut my losses and stop now. But I also have a desire to "finish what I started", even if nothing comes of it afterwards. Grateful for any advice, particularly other people's experience of navigation/cross-country training. Perhaps I just need to stick with it and it'll all come together eventually? Would love to get to the point where I can look out the window and really appreciate what I'm doing, but this feels like a million miles away at the moment.

All the best,
Dan
Dan09 is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 17:55
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Age: 80
Posts: 685
Quit.
You can always start again another day.
Lots of things to spend your money on, drink, women, cars etc.
funfly is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 18:05
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 377
Hi Dan

Everyone has gone through doubts when learning to fly. But you've already shown that you can do it - by being sent solo. That's a big step, and somebody with good judgement has decided that you're very much good enough to cut it. Most people are pleased to get out of the circuit and do some nav, but also it is a bit of a come-down to be back dual again after the thrill of that solo flying. What I did for my students was to send them on longer and longer solo nav ex to build up their confidence for the bigger qualifying flights.

Don't worry too much about the planning. Yes, it is a big job to plan the whole nav ex out, with solving the triangles of velocity etc, but after a time it gets a whole lot easier. In any case, already you'll have found it is all a bit hit and miss, as you'll never know what the actual wind is, so before long, you'll become comfortable using guestimates. But of course, you need to do it all properly, fully, for the training and the test, in order to know the proper way to do things.

In some ways, you've answered you own question; if you don't enjoy planning and flying cross country, keeping within sight of the local airfield will quickly become boring. But I'm not sure you've given it a fair chance yet. As for the stress aspect, although rather time consuming at first, when it all seems very new and complicated, it should soon become easier and less stressful. In any case, if, as you say, you have a stressful job, isn't immersing yourself completely into a demanding but totally different environment rather therapeutic, especially when the responsibilities and the rewards are so high?

Good luck, whichever way you go.
pilotmike is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 18:22
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: France
Posts: 866
It's supposed to be fun. If it isn't, you are paying a lot of money to not enjoy yourself. Stop for now, you can always change your mind and start again.
Do something else that appeals to you, don't just sit around, and if you don't miss flying then don't start again. If it keeps nagging at you then no problem, go back to flying.
Piper.Classique is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 18:39
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 11 GROUP
Age: 72
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Stick with it sunbeam.
Getting a PPL nowadays is quite an achievement in itself,but does not really gear you up for 'going places'.
You may need to find a mentor (club or individual) that can make the x country thing enjoyable and then start building your confidence up.
Since 'clubs' started to become FTO's they started to loose that help others feature and in many cases nowadays there is little contact with other students/members.
You will only really start learning when you leave the initial student stage where you have to follow a set plan, and start to evolve a system that is in your comfort zone.
Either way it is a big step even to train to fly so give it some more time and try to enjoy it.
POBJOY is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 18:56
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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Training is not always supposed to be fun.
I can clearly recall my own days of being a solo student back in the early ‘90-ies.
Cross country navigation was stress full and frustrating to be told to replan after you’ve spend two days preflight planning your cross country.
Is your instructor trying to make this fun or is he the twirly mustache type that’s not happy until you’re not happy?
I would suggest you continue to fly local solo flights till you make up your mind or fly with a different instructor that may give you a different view of things.
Personally I’m thinking you’re having some trouble with the “unknown” part of things.
B2N2 is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 19:39
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: EBZH
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Bite the sour apple and work until you have the license. If you don't enjoy navigation right now, nobody will force it on you if once you pass the tests. You can fly the circuit as much as you like, leave it for some advanced exercises without getting in unknown airspace, enjoy yourself in the air in any (legal) way you like. Probably the taste for navigation flying will come upon you one day, perhaps not.

You should also beware that practical cross-country flying is a lot less demanding than what you do during training and exams: once you have the license, you will never to touch that "computer" thing again, except perhaps at renewals. If you fly in more or less familiar areas, say 50 NM or so around your base, you will soon know the visual cues, and feel at home while merrily bimbling around. If you go further afield, GPS is inexpensive and generally very reliable - though of course you should always have a plan B.

It has been stated above that you can stop for now and come back later if the mood comes upon you, That is not incorrect, but that way you would be throwing away a good deal of effort and money.
Jan Olieslagers is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 20:53
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
Posts: 1,290
I didn't enjoy getting my PPL. I was starting to enjoy flying when money became too tight. 21 years later I didn't enjoy the training to get my licence back in 1987. I enjoy flying, and have flown over 2,000 hours solo since then. I bought a Jodel share for £1600 29 years ago.
After getting your PPL you can start to find if flying is really for you.
I didn't enjoy learning to drive, ski, or sail either. I gave up skiing after 12 years, and boats after 20, mainly cruising.
I'd give up driving if I could only drive A to A for one hour, with a few 3-point turns.
Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 21:49
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Vienna
Age: 45
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I enjoyed the earlier lessons - when I could turn up, fly some handling exercises with the instructor for an hour and go home.
Know a chap at my airfield who has his PPL for several years now and regularly does just this (on his own), rarely going beyond visual distance from the airfield. As already observed in previous posts, when you have your PPL, a) you can decide whether you just want to be up in the air without actually going anywhere (with minimum preparation hassle except for the technical preflight checks), b) navigation will become much less of a stressful burden and even when going someplace, "looking out the window and really appreciating what you're doing" will soon become the usual state of affairs.
Armchairflyer is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 22:50
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
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Just remember that navigation cannot be difficult - otherwise navigators couldn't do it!

It's only "Maintaining straight and level balanced flight along a pre-planned route", when all's said and done...
BEagle is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 23:13
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 18
I think you first need to sort out exactly why you dislike navigation or why you've stopped enjoying flying and hopefully that will show you what you need to do to get back to the positive.

Is it self-doubt? Can I do it? Is this the correct way of doing it?
Is it a new instructor?
Is your job's stress creeping into your hobby? Perhaps it's time to take a few no-pressure flights doing just what you love about flying and slow it down a bit on the lessons?

Personally, I hate not knowing what to do but at the same time, I love the challenge of learning new things. I'm not on nav yet but I think I would love the problem-solving aspect of it not for the problem part but for getting the correct answer and showing the "problem" who is boss!

Good luck!
Nurse2Pilot is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 09:39
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: The World
Posts: 1,187
It needs passion to become an airmen. If you feel lack of it, quit.
Already too many out there just barely managing the controls.
If it comes back, start again.
ChickenHouse is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 10:40
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Just a thought, but have you figured out which aspect of the Nav exercises are causing your anxiety? You mention having encountered this before during pre-solo training, but you 'stuck with it'. Did the anxiety lessen as you passed the first solo hurdle? A bit of anxiety may be 'normal' when training for something like a PPL, but if its the flying itself that's causing it, there may be something else behind it.

I can understand you wanting to avoid another stressful occupation next to your job, but even though it does cause some sort of stress, being completely away from the job and focusing on something entirely different may be good for you in the long run. Something else you could try is finding someone with a PPL and going along for an expensive lunch at some other airfield. It might give you another view of what's possible as in contrast to the navigation training, bimbling along on a nice day, visiting another airfield and enjoying a decent lunch may provide a different perspective on the issue as its a completely different experience than sweating over courses and timings with an instructor breating down your neck.

I hope you manage to make a decision about this that suits you.
Jhieminga is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 11:40
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: EU
Posts: 38
Bite the bullet and finish it off. Once you get that license, you can always choose not to fly. But since you are so far into that, you are closer to getting it than not to. So less effort will be put into finish, than to quite and then restart again. If the latter one happens, you'll sorry for the time wasted.
Sporty123 is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 12:01
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Hadley's Hope, LV426
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Don't worry about your doubts. Nav is probably the most challenging part of learning to fly. My first couple of Navexes didn't go fantastically well and I remember feeling disheartened (especially when I misidentified my 2nd turning point and ended up 5 miles away from where I was supposed to be. Oops). But that's normal. I quickly got the hang of it and started really enjoying it!

Practice by planning out routes at home. If you have a flight simulator maybe try planning and flying a route. I did that and it helped me on the regular occasions when the Wx was rubbish and I couldn't fly.

Hang in there, it'll eventually become 2nd nature! Good luck.
TelsBoy is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 12:31
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Horsted Keynes, West Sussex.
Posts: 129
Dan09.
One thing that you haven't mentioned is your Instructor[s] . What sort of relationship do you have with him/her/them . Also , how do you find the school in which you are learning ? and would you be happy telling them your feelings ? and if you did , what sort of reaction would you anticipate ?
I am sure that many here , like myself , have flown with a whole raft of different Instructors during training , check flights, BFR renewals,,etc,,etc,,and believe you me , no two are the same . They can have quali's coming out of their ears and be the steely-eyed ace of the base . But if they cannot radiate their knowledge and enthusiasm to the person next to them , then they should be off the field . Unfortunately , they are all out there .
Whereabouts are you learning ? By that I mean which part of the UK. If you're on a busy field surrounded by lots of busy airspace , then maybe that is a contributory factor which you didn't realise was creating a negative impact on your enjoyment . And it is supposed to be enjoyment - not some mental torture that you endure just to show you can do it .

Finally : Have you ever heard of an organisation called the LAA ? If not , give 'em a 'google' , you may find there's a whole world of GA flying out there that you never knew existed.........
Chris Martyr is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 13:05
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hellfire Corner
Posts: 372
Sort of echoing what Chris Martyr has said, I am wondering if you have got to know any others where you fly. People who might have a spare seat can be very useful, just by showing how much fun it can all be, whether bimbling thirty miles for a bacon butty or showing you some parts of the countryside you've not had time to enjoy during lessons. Everyone has a different take on what makes it enjoyable and if you could share some flying with one or two people in different aeroplanes, without any pressure to perform, you might get more of an insight into what appeals to you. That might help your decision. The LAA world is an excellent place, but even I admit there are alternatives. It may depend a little on where you are training but moreso, I suggest, on whom you've met. If you've not found anything to keep you chatting after your lessons, I suggest you google your nearest LAA Strut.

Having gone solo, you've achieved a good deal already.
ChampChump is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2019, 13:47
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Northampton UK
Posts: 96
Dan

You mention navigation specifically. What you may not see from your present situation is that tablet based navigation apps have totally transformed cross country flying here, and in most other countries, in the last few years. Unfortunately there's still a culture that favours dead reckoning in flight training, a system of navigation that to be honest never really worked for PPL's. It seems to me that in those far off days that every flight involved some momentary 'uncertain of position' event, with quite a few people actually getting lost.

Today, with Foreflight, Sky Demon, et al., these events simply don't occur. You are never 'uncertain of position', although you may still have trouble spotting the airfield even when you know it's right under the nose. Just be sure to have a spare device (phone, etc) accessible.

I suggest you get a qualified PPL to show you how we navigate in the real world!

Victorian
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Old 4th Feb 2019, 21:06
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lechlade, Glos.UK
Posts: 621
Dan, I have been instructing since 1970 so I know a little about it. Flying is the opposite of sex... the less you do, the less you want to do. A few years ago, my wife started to learn to fly. For obvious reasons I did not teach her, but I did advise her from time to time. She had her ups & downs, mainly due to poor instructors, changes of clubs and airfields. She nearly gave up. Eventually she found exactly the right instructor for her and she gained her licence. Getting the right instructor for you is essential. He/she needs not only to be able to teach, but to make you feel at ease, to make you enthusiastic, to make you look forward to the next lesson. They should praise you when you deserve it. You can do it. In 1970. a senior Training command RAF officer said there are no bad students, there are only bad instructors. Not totally true, but there is truth in it. From what I have seen over the years, there are plenty of bad instructors and even some good ones who are not right for you.
sharpend is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2019, 16:59
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Join Date: Sep 2016
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Originally Posted by sharpend View Post
Dan, I have been instructing since 1970 so I know a little about it. Flying is the opposite of sex... the less you do, the less you want to do. A few years ago, my wife started to learn to fly. For obvious reasons I did not teach her, but I did advise her from time to time. She had her ups & downs, mainly due to poor instructors, changes of clubs and airfields. She nearly gave up. Eventually she found exactly the right instructor for her and she gained her licence. Getting the right instructor for you is essential. He/she needs not only to be able to teach, but to make you feel at ease, to make you enthusiastic, to make you look forward to the next lesson. They should praise you when you deserve it. You can do it. In 1970. a senior Training command RAF officer said there are no bad students, there are only bad instructors. Not totally true, but there is truth in it. From what I have seen over the years, there are plenty of bad instructors and even some good ones who are not right for you.
Amen!
Never heard anything more accurate in 23 years of flying.
Sporty123 is offline  

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