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Did anyone find training as hard as I do?

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Did anyone find training as hard as I do?

Old 30th Apr 2009, 18:37
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Did anyone find training as hard as I do?

Hi everyone,

This message goes out to anyone who is currently well established as a pilot within an airline, and who had a far harder than normal training experience. Basically im at a point in my training where im thinking the most horrendous thoughts about my abilities, but im not sure if I only feel this way because I somehow managed to get into a very saught after training organisation which surrounds me with very intelligent and able people, or because I am genuinely not very good at it all. Everyone else seems to be finding it so much easier than I do, and I am so fed up of having remedial training.

What I would really appreciate here is some stories of you fellas who have, like I said in the beginning, had a real tough time getting though, but who are happily doing the job without any real difficulty and who dont actually feel sick all the time with self doubt. Maybe I just want to make myself feel better, to know that im not the only one to struggle this much, and I know everyone finds it hard sometimes, but I really donít know how else to write this post without it sounding like I am just another person feeling sorry for myself.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from those of you who just cant believe that they managed to make it!!!


...Dboy
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 18:54
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I found driving hard at first! Now i consider myself one of the best drivers in the world!
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 20:48
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In my own personal experience, you have ups and downs. Your instructors will know of the training curve, where at some point in training, people take a step backwards, or don't progress as well as they have done in the past. It is a normal part of training.

However, this should not happen all the time. I would have a word with your CFI about it, and explain how you feel. Constant negativity is not productive, and the CFI should be able to work through the issues you have, which may mean changing instructors, changing the pattern of instruction, having a break, etc.

The more you progress, the tougher it can get, and self belief and confidence are essential to making it through - and these should be instilled within you by the training regime.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 21:36
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I can relate to that, I had a tough time too in training. But looking back on it. It was mostly in the head. I was my own worst enemy. Trying too hard. In part it was because I tried to maximise the training benefit from each flight because it was costing me a fortune. When I failed to make progress it made it worse. My Instructors were frustrated by my inconsistency and the doubts flooded in. I almost deliberately induced mistakes.

But once I learned to relax, it tended to fall into place. Also I changed Instructor. The other Instructor was excellent but I couldn't relax properly with him.

The problem with self doubt is that it reinforces itself. If you expect to fail, you will. Like I said it's as if you deliberately induce mistakes.


In the end I got through it. Once I was offered my first paid flying job. The doubts were still there. Clearly they had made a mistake. But strangely enough they hadn't. Leaving aside all modesty. I turns out I'm actually a damm good pilot and people have told me so based on their experience of other pilots. They didn't need to. I have become a typical pilot, with a gigantic albeit delicate ego.

In part, I believe the reason is at least in part because I struggled a bit and had to work harder to achieve a good standard. So it's well and truly imprinted on my brain. I've come across super confident pilots who obviously sailed through their training. Trouble was some of them couldn't even get the basics right. They must have had them at one stage but lost the skills without being aware. Basic things like maintaining straight and level flight or not climbing with stall warning blaring. Incredible but true.

My advice is to forget the negativity, try and relax but keep the concentration up. Work at it. If you make a mistake correct it and forget it. If you dwell on mistakes you'll repeat them or make new ones. Make sure you're comfortable with your Instructor. Start afresh, forget all the bad stuff and move on.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 21:44
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I don't want to dissappoint you,but have actually been trained many years ago and all the guys who were struggling actually didn't get far in their careers...But I can say that these people were not hard workers,the training is not so difficult to be honest,it's made for an AVERAGE person with AVERAGE abilities.I had this argument with some of my colleagues before and I'm going to say this one more time: What I don't understand is why nowadays anybody without any educational background can easily become a pilot?All you need is money,that's it,you can have 300 extra hours but you will still get the license.I feel like that's the main reason profession is becoming less and less prestigious with the average salary declining every year...Just think about it-not everybody can become a doctor,a lawyer,an engineer,because you need certain personal qualities and abilities to do those jobs,but many young pilots I work with nowadays are actually quite shocking...My point is there should be some kind of selection progress,probably govermental control,FTOs do not really care if you're going to kill 300 people the day after tommorrow,all they want is your money....And what do you want to hear?Something like-don't worry,everybody is been struggling throught the training,you'll be flying 737s anyway...No,that's not the case,I would say you should just take your training more seriously and WORK HARDER
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 21:59
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in my time, years ago, when i did my training in UK, I have seen 2 types of pilots, the one from UK , and train in UK. and pilots from USA, trained in the same school.

the guys from USA didn't struggle at all. The guys from UK, really struggle.Most failed their IR.

why? experience....

in resume, if you can not be soloed after 15h-20h, forget about this job!!!
some pilots need 30-40-or even 50h....
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 22:12
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Abagnale....doctor,a lawyer,an engineer.....somehow I don't put Airline Pilots in that group. Flying's a skilled based exercise. Those who have the money and perseverence usually succeed. But who cares about the prestige...ha ha. Is that what you went into flying for.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 22:28
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dartagnan-Every post i have ever read of yours seems to be complete ill founded nonsense.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 22:37
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I did my PPL in the states a few years ago, I went solo just shy of 31 hours.

I finished my ME IR in the south of England a couple of months back with a first time pass and in one hour over the minimum hours. CPL also in uk with no issue.

Once i got my head right, it all came along just fine.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 23:10
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I found the CPL and ME/IR to be the hardest part of the training. Type Rating and Line Training were, in my opinion, nowhere near as difficult as the single pilot flying.
Keep positive and keep working away at it. Take confidence from the positives in each flight you do, it might not seem like it but there are always positives no matter how badly you feel you have flown. Take note of the negatives and keep plugging away at them, perservance pays off! I know because it did for me.
Good luck to you!

Last edited by Option C; 30th Apr 2009 at 23:11. Reason: typo
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 23:33
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It is indeed hard at times and I think most of us are in the "average" area of the bell curve so don't be intimidated by the people who "appear" to breeze it. In reality, they are probably finding it tough too, however some are better at blagging it out and putting up a front than others. One lesson I learned in my teenage years is do not ever be intimidated by those who can talk the talk. I found out that bluster and a sharp suit means sod all when it came down to the business end of things, but that's a little digression.

The training is hard at times, can be quite laborious at times, and indeed requires alot of concentration in the early stages. My advice would be to talk to your instructors to identify the weak areas, and then, and this is the devil in the detail, analyse your weakness then work and work and work your backside off at the detail of where you are weak. If it's related to ATPL knowledge, get your head in the books and read and UNDERSTAND the point, even if it is scary! And if it's flying you're struggling on, have your dinner then sit in an armchair and fly the plane in your chair, again and again and again, even make the bloody noise of the engine if it helps When it's time to raise the gear, raise the gear with a simulated movement, get the checks in your head, always think ahead to "what's next???". If you can keep ahead of the game and the aeroplane, it makes life so much easier, and this comes with repitition repitition repitition, and you don't need and expensive hourly rate aeroplane for this, and armchair is sufficient, seriously.

I'm at my second airline now, and all through my career and initial training especially I have sat my arse in my chair and gone through the routes in my head, doing the checks when I need to, and ALWAYS ALWAYS , thinking "what do I need to do next?"

Best wishes to you old son, keep positive, but work work work, detail detail detail, and as the footy managers say, you concentrate on your game, sod what the others are doing, they will have their own problems dont worry about that.

Good luck.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 23:48
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basically, you just wanted virtual pat on the shoulder and bit of comforting..
You've got some.
Be happy you have means to train. Some of us had to take undesired break due to funding.

As for the topic, well, I can't talk about finishing of CPL etc, but there are always plateaux during training. One day you feel like on top of things, next lesson or two you screw up something or just feel you didn't improve at all.
It's easy to be rational. Not that easy to be in that position that specific moment.

Yeah, flying airplanes is not that hard handling wise for PPL level. Try helicopters and all the emergency training in those..
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 23:54
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Feeling a little bitter Martin?

I don't have much to add to Corsair's excellent post (or Ollie 23's for that matter ) except to reiterate that you might benefit from a different instructor.

Cheers

Whirls
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Old 1st May 2009, 07:42
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2 Delata Uniform:

Exactly,but before we used to be in the same pool with highly qualified professionals,I don't care what people actually think about my profession,because I just love every minute of it,but I've always worked hard to get where I am now and haven't actually failed ANYTHING in my life,nor I ever required any extra training,not a single minute...I'm not better than anybody else,in fact before going into training most people told me I would never succeed,I just didn't have the talent,there were guys hundred times more talented than me,but HARD WORK put me ahead of anybody else...And what happens nowadays?Guys just study question bank,trying to pass exams as soon as possible,not trying to understand the concepts , when it comes to flight training obviously they find it hard,because they haven't got a clue,all they need is a license and they're ready to pay for TR,line training and even to work for free for years and speaking frankly,most of them are not worth getting payed.
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Old 1st May 2009, 09:11
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dboyd,

From your post, it seems you are just having a bad day. Could you give a few more details so I could help you with something more specific. Like what aspect of the flying you are struggling with.

I see you have a PPL (did you do that in roughly min hours?). You mention you are in a saught (sic) after TO so are you in an integrated course. Are you struggling with ATPLs or the flying stage?

Honestly, lets have a few more details. PM me if you wish.
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Old 1st May 2009, 09:30
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DBoy,
I know you asked for replies from people who now fly the line -so perhaps my reply might not be welcome, as I've finished the training but no job as yet (suprise, suprise given current climate!). However, your note struck a chord with me, so hope you don't mind, but thought I'd offer a few words.

Firstly - other people "breezing through it". I was lucky - or unlucky, depending on your perspective - to have as flying partners two of the bery best pilots on my course. Both seemed to have no difficulty with any aspect of the stuff we were doing, both consistently being rated as '1' pilots. However, one of the things I subsequently discovered is that despite my perception that "EVERYone else was breezing it", actually, very few people found it as easy as these two. In particular this was illustrated by one other student [who was considered excellent] who I flew with once and on the particular (IR training - FNPT2) sortie missed altitude by 200ft about 7 times, 300ft about 3 times and 400ft once. Also came within 10 knots of Vne and busted Vno about 4 times. Oh, and also turned the wrong way for runway in use on the NPA.

At this point, I kinda realised I wasn't as bad as I thought I was. The point here being that very few people actually "breeze" the training. Hardly anyone likes to say "I'm a bit of a crap pilot, actually" so they bluster about and try to make it seem they're doing better than they are.

In response to the negative and self doubting feelings....one big thing for me, when i was first being taught holding, gates, entries etc it was just absolutely gobbledegook for me. But at some point and I don't know when, I actually became ok at it. And I look at the flight test I was asked to do at that point - that seemed like Everest at the time and now know how easy it would be to fly!

What you need is the ability to believe in your own ability again. So what I'd suggest, is ask for an extra lesson. It might cost you - and god knows I know you don't want to spend any extra - but just go back and do stuff you covered 10-15 hours ago in your training. You might be suprised by just how easy you find the stuff that you found very hard at the time....and this might just be the point that breaks the cycle of self doubt. i.e. If you're on the IR phase, just go fly and enter a hold and fly a visual NPA, without worrying too much about the instrument element etc. Go fly some steep turns, or a PFL...but when you realise you CAN do it, it might be the tonic you need.

The other thing, is I'm an old git in comparison to most in flight training. I thought I knew myself quite well going in to the training, but I actually learned so much about myself. For me, I work a lot on confidence and I had a spell where one of my instructors basically totally shot my confidence to pieces. And then - every flight, every little thing that went wrong became a big issue, which screwed the rest of the flight. And each "rubbish flight" became soul destroying, as another flight had come and gone and it got no better.... The key thing, I subsequently discovered (although not to say I completely worked out how to get over it!) is "if you make a mistake, correct it in the air and then forget about it until you're back on the ground". I actually got through my IR because I'd made a couple of little mistakes up front and thought I'd failed it - so just totally relaxed into the flight and did everything else well enough. Very suprised to be given the first time pass back on the ground, but it did drill it in!

My suggestions then:
  1. Go have a night out, get horribly drunk, forget it all and have a laugh, come back to it in a couple of days time relaxed
  2. ASK for an extra flight and revisit earlier skills - you'll be suprised by how much easier you find them than the stuff you're doing now.
  3. Ignore everyone else that says they're "breezing it". They'll have things they find hard that you find easy and vice versa.
  4. Be kinder to yourself. You're learning....you're expected to make mistakes. DON'T let them ruin your flight....a maxim learned from golf of all things....give yourself ten seconds to curse and shout and scream [internally, of course, or your instructor might ask for your medical... ] and then FORGET IT! Get on with the flight. Do the next thing right. analyse on the ground only.
Hope that helps in some ways. PM if you want..

Last edited by clanger32; 1st May 2009 at 11:42.
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Old 1st May 2009, 10:13
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hey dboy...
Im in the middle of my cpl training and have pretty much the same problem as you- a lack of self confidence.
I'v been told by every instructer that i have flown with that i put way too much pressure on myself which makes things worse. The key is not to lower the standard of flying you expect from yourself but to realise that you're not supposed to be flying like an Airline pilot yet (thats why they're training us)

Just enjoy every minute you have in the air and you'll find that with less pressure comes less disappointment which will boost your confidence.

Happy skies mate.

By the way...being an Airline Pilot is just as prestigious as being a Doctor or Lawyer. Besides, the ladies dig us more anyway
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Old 1st May 2009, 10:56
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And the ups and downs don't stop when you've finished training. Good days and bad will follow you through every type-rating, line training and your average day on the line. It's something you will get straight in your head with a bit more experience and confidence...

I think we've all been where you are now...
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Old 1st May 2009, 13:49
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Ok guys I'll also try to relax myself a little bit by subscribing to this thread. And see what you have for me. Ok I don't have any problem with my training and as said by instructors I'm good at it and even me I feel comfortable the way I handle the plane. The day before I have been sent for my solo check just before my 15 hours and even some of the maneuvers said by the check pilot were very good but while coming to show him some landings, while descending I couldn't reach the traffic pattern at 1000ft, although got stressed but made a right orbit and tried to enter downwing at 45degrees and 1000ft I just got fixated on altimeter and at one moment I noticed that I'm very close to runway so decided to extend downwind, but really got panic and then made a soon turn and then executed a go around (knowing the whole procedures, and have practices several times) not added full power even told by the check pilot that we need full power for go arounds I confirmed but still didn't add it and then everything was messed up and I couldn't do good landings as well. I know that all those things could be corrected but my problem is that I had always did good at first attempts throughout my life specially studies, and that day when I couldn't reach the pattern at 1000' I said whey couldn't I make it correctly first time and then getting close to runway and then going around and could not land the first time made me panic and messed up every thing. So now the problem is that after one flight with my insturctor doing landings I'm ganna be checked for it again by the check pilot, but now I'm afraid that I'll mess up again because I'm thinking that, that check pilot maybe thinking of me as second chance tryer, while I have always been a first time clearer student then how I messed up in first attempt of the field which I have been loving it crazly. So it really hurts me, I think there is no recover becuase first time passer of other aspects couldn't become first time passer of the thing he liked most in his life. Despite I have the motivation to do it good next time, but still hurts me a little bit.
PS: Although I think this shouldn't be excuse but I had never flown that kind of weather before (gusty for me but not the check pilot)
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Old 1st May 2009, 13:53
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By the way...being an Airline Pilot is just as prestigious as being a Doctor or Lawyer. Besides, the ladies dig us more anyway
Er ...no it isn't and er... no they don't

Cheers

Whirls
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