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Considering quitting - A bit of talking and advice

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Considering quitting - A bit of talking and advice

Old 30th Jul 2016, 19:49
  #1 (permalink)  
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Unhappy Considering quitting - A bit of talking and advice

Good evening everyone!

Hope you won't mind me unloading my share of doubts in here. I have been training (ab initio Integrated) since September, and now I just feel stuck in the flight training itself, regressing and I am starting to seriously consider quitting altogether.

Flight training started very well, soloed at 9h, had a lot of fun and in general felt increasingly in control of the aircraft and of procedures. And then everything just tumbled down. I am currently doing ATPL theory on the side of flight training itself (have no problem with that) but when I get into the aircraft, every little bit of enjoyment/control/confidence is gone. I get lost when rejoining uncontrolled airfields, I've become sloppy in things as simple as traffic patterns, became slow just because I don't DARE doing things in the aircraft. Brain frozen, mushy, obviously very disappointed in myself and down. And dreading the next flight lesson.

And of course it keeps feeding itself. Question is: when shall I really call it quit. And how much might environment actually influence the training. The place where I am learning is quite remote, with nothing in terms of little distraction (not as much as a coffee place). Being from a different background and being quite far in age from my fellow classmates, I failed to properly integrate. Loneliness and feeling widely out-of-place are just fueling low-confidence. I am just wondering how you guys would approach the situation, and whether you had any, even the tiniest, piece of advice that could help.

Thanks pilots
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Old 31st Jul 2016, 00:29
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de minimus non curat lex
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Apitu

You comments are less than helpful, and in the main fall under the heading of "gibberish".
Probably best if you were to remove them. They serve no meaningful purpose. (Post now removed)

Qazx : see PMs

And as a matter of fact Integrated Courses can be day ON day OFF flying with groundschool on the alternate days.
Historically this was the standard pattern.

Last edited by parkfell; 1st Aug 2016 at 08:13. Reason: update
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Old 31st Jul 2016, 21:51
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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When you dread the next flight lesson, I think it is time to quit; in that frame of mind you cannot progress.
Thus you could decide to quit the present training/study facility; reorganise your personal circumstances. When the hunger to fly returns, you can restart.
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Old 31st Jul 2016, 23:05
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You should take time out from flying. Take a break. Step back. Continue when you feel your ready. Worse advise ever would be to quit.
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Old 31st Jul 2016, 23:56
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I have to disagree with Lokki. Sometimes the choice of quitting is the right one, but obviously it is never easy.

Some people don't start to enjoy flying until they get to fly commercially. Finally free from the constant pressure of the training environment, being pushed by instructors, all while bearing a financial burden. Others enjoy training, and get really disillusioned by the reality of airline flying, and dread waking up in the morning for another boring shift. Honestly, all of us (myself definitely included) jump into this industry with rose tinted glasses and all of us should have put more thought into it!

My advice: It is a great investment of time and money. If you're about to burn yourself out and really are not happy at the moment, you should give yourself a break. Go on a holiday, whatever, just get away from the aviation environment for a while. You have not committed yourself yet to the most expensive part of your training (IR, MCCJOC, TR) so you are not in a bad spot yet. If during your time off you find that you feel refreshed, are no longer stressed, and honestly don't miss the flying all that much, then you know what to do! If you do start missing it, you can always return. You do get rusty, but it never fades completely and comes back surprisingly quickly.

Take some personal time mate, it's not worth being miserable for!
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Old 1st Aug 2016, 10:06
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Join Date: Feb 2016
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What did you do as a job before?

Perhaps look into changing to a Modular course? The increased rest and mental distraction of another job could help you, then you may appreciate how much you love aviation and consider its way better than any other profession.

After all Einstein worked at a menial job at the patent office thus his mind was free to sort out special relativity 🤔
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Old 1st Aug 2016, 12:23
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I would discuss the opportunity to take a break with your training provider before considering quitting. They have absolutely nothing to gain from allowing you to quit so should be quite understanding, everyone is human.
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Old 1st Aug 2016, 21:56
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Originally Posted by jamesgrainge View Post
What did you do as a job before?

Perhaps look into changing to a Modular course? The increased rest and mental distraction of another job could help you, then you may appreciate how much you love aviation and consider its way better than any other profession.

After all Einstein worked at a menial job at the patent office thus his mind was free to sort out special relativity 🤔
then you may appreciate how much you love aviation and consider its way better than any other profession.

This is the best advice I've ever read on this forum. Too many young integrated pilots become frustrated captains... They haven't tried any bored job before...
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Old 2nd Aug 2016, 14:28
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Originally Posted by EC DKN View Post
then you may appreciate how much you love aviation and consider its way better than any other profession.

This is the best advice I've ever read on this forum. Too many young integrated pilots become frustrated captains... They haven't tried any bored job before...
Wow, Thankyou very much, I appreciate that comment particularly as I dont even hold a PPL yet. People often lose the bigger picture with aviation.

I currently work, away from home, for roughly 80 hours a week, in order to pay for my training over the next few years. Compared to sitting in a cockpit with the best view of any office, getting paid alot more and having much more free time, hell yeah its worth continuing.

Unless you have the dedication get on, move over and allow someone who REALLY wants it to sit in that Right Hand Seat.
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Old 4th Aug 2016, 17:55
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Thanks everyone for your advice and your help

Jamesgrainge, I was an academic before, physicist. I have been considering getting a job for a while and pursuing aviation at a slower pace. I know I would miss the opportunity to ever become a pilot if I just quit without looking back, but the lack of social life and just any distraction on the side is maddening to me. So modular might well be the answer, so would be the opportunity to get back a study/work/life balance.

Once again, thanks everyone
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Old 5th Aug 2016, 11:10
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Being from a different background and being quite far in age from my fellow classmates, I failed to properly integrate
I was an academic before, physicist
I feel you may have already identified an important part of the problem - aviation is by nature, a social activity and my experience of pilots who do not integrate with classmates (regardless of age disparity) and later, other members of their crew (team) is not positive. You mention that you soloed at 9 hours (which is good even by integrated standards), so you are clearly able, but that you are also undertaking theoretical knowledge on alternate days (which, although the original intent of integrated training at the inception of the JAA, is unusual in the EASA world unless you are preparing for retakes? (at least in my experience)) and that your location is remote; the reference to 'traffic patterns' and 'uncontrolled airfields' suggests that you are not in the UK (US perhaps?). May we know where you are as your training environment sounds as if it is having a highly negative impact on your progress.

Your comments concerning your loss of confidence are something that in the first instance, you should be discussing with your instructor - unless you feel that your instructor is not approachable or disinterested in which case the Chief Instructor or HoT should be consulted.

Good luck with your decision - I would think long and hard before transferring to modular though as if you seek airline employment, an uninterrupted training history with no indicators of possible psychological obstacles would be highly desirable following implementation of the Pilots' Psychological Evaluation that will soon be required prior to entering service.

Last edited by Reverserbucket; 5th Aug 2016 at 11:22.
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Old 14th Aug 2016, 18:56
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Maybe a bit late to the party here, but thought I'd just throw in my 2 pennies since I can definitely relate.

Four years ago I was in pretty much the same position except on a modular course at a tiny flying school where, for most of the time I was the only student.

I was slogging through the CPL/IR in what little spare time I had around working full time, with an instructor whose standards were borderline unobtainable, living in crappy apartment, flat broke, haemorrhaging money and completely miserable.

Eventually I made it through, and in fairness to my instructor, him being as harsh as he was made the CPL/IR tests and airline sim check seem a walk in the park.

I sit here now with a shade under 3000 hours awaiting the start date of my command upgrade on the 737. I just finished paying off the training loan and now feel like I'm finally reaping the benefits, and the job day to day could not be much better for me. It's fair to say that I'm very happy with my decision to push through and complete the training despite at many points every fibre of me wanting to give up.

I hope this can be a little inspiration to you. In terms of practical points to help you:

I wouldn't worry too much about the social aspect (what are you there for?). Get your head down at home and armchair fly every lesson, every procedure, every takeoff, landing, whatever. Fly it all at home in your head at least 10 times. And then do it all again. And again if you need. I really cannot over emphasize how much this helped me (and continues to for my recurrent sim checks). Hassle your instructors if there's something you're not understanding. Discuss with your class mates and 'jump seat' on their lessons if you can. Do whatever it takes but getting your knowledge up at home will increase your confidence no end.

If you're stressed before your lessons and you feel like it's affecting your performance (this was me), try a little meditation. You might roll your eyes at this one but this actually helped a lot to clear my mind, relax, and get 'in the zone'. I'm not going to explain any more about it here as there is plenty of information online, but 5 quiet minutes of meditation before a flight really helped me.

Keep the end goal in mind. Watch videos, seek out line pilots to speak to, hang around at the airport, whatever you want. But remember why you're putting yourself through this crap.

And finally, this is maybe not quite an encouraging point but it's at least the truth from my perspective - every stage of training will be the most difficult. It doesn't get easier. The requirement to give 100% effort at all times is relentless until you've been on the line a good six months.

Oh and one more. KEEP SCANNING!

Best of luck.
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 14:28
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The "Jump Seat" help me a lot on flight training , could see what i was learning in slow motion
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 14:57
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So, a question from my perspective. The actual flying of the aircraft does not trouble me one bit, all the physical aspects,I barely use 1% of my consciousness for the mechanics of flight, but my fear is in being able to learn all the theory, and that when it comes to my tests I wont do what they want to the standard they expect, and I fear making mistakes on the radio comms. does anyone have any tips in how to overcome these fears?
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 15:39
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It might sound harsh mate but, if you're dreading the next lesson when you're only at the stage of PPL and ATPL theory, then you need to know it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. The IR requires [email protected] like focus and it's much more brutally unforgiving than anything that's gone before, specially when you're spending multiple hundred quid per hour to sit in the aircraft, you put a hell of a lot more pressure on yourself.

Now I don't know you from Adam and I don't know if you're actually a good guy suffering from a confidence issue, or if you're actually really one of the people who won't make it due to basic shortcomings in ability. What I can say is that in my experience, with 90% of the people I taught, it was a mind game. Nobody "knows" if they're good enough to make it until they've actually made it. I had my doubts, and god knows I'm far far from a skilled natural pilot, my personal dread thing was throwing the aircraft round doing stalls / spins / aerobatics, they scared the shit out of me but I persevered and ultimately made the grade.

However, you've got to really really really really want it, and basically you've got to be the most pig headed or the most desperate, and be the last one to quit in the face of adversity. Who gets the job is ultimately a game of last man standing as much as it is who's got the natural ability.

I dunno what the answer is. Start by going and buying a pint for one or two of the instructors you respect - really respect - and airing your doubts to them, and ask them for some brutally honest feedback, that might help your decision making process
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Old 15th Aug 2016, 16:05
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[email protected] like focus for the IR?

And by extension, the TR as well?

Oh, and the ATPLs are hard stuff, equal to a degree?

Heard it all before - Sounds a lot like pilots overestimating the difficulty/talent required to meet the standard. Nobody cares; I know people that struggled throughout the entire course, failed IR and CPL multiple times, and they're now flying a big jet. Yes, even for Ryanair.

All it requires is a little perseverance and mostly personal enjoyment. Do you enjoy flying? Get your licenses and you'll probably make it. Don't enjoy it? No shame in it, you had an experience the majority of people never will.

@jamesgrainge - Everybody gets nervous before tests. It's a lot of money and overall a stressful experience. The examiner knows that, and they'll give you some leeway. They'll try to put you at east, and will overlook minor errors. Especially near the beginning of the flight. A test is almost never perfect and we all **** things up. They are mainly looking for coping skills and airmanship; Did you realise the error? Did you correct it? How far out of bounds were you? Of course, some examiners are total dickheads, but most of them are human too and might even chitchat about their own flying career during the test I know it's easy to say 'just relax, you'll be fine', I know I was never ever relaxed during any of my tests! But it really is never as tough as you might expect, we have higher standards for ourselves than the examiner expects!
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 01:53
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Actually I found the UK initial multi-engine IR training to be the hardest thing I've ever done.. It was certainly a damn sight harder than the subsequent turboprop, A320, A330 or command upgrade training. ATPL subjects and single engine VFR stuff weren't that bad. Maybe a personal thing but for me, that IR was the peak of the difficulty curve and the closest I've ever come to giving it all away.

Apart from that you're right seventhheaven, in my 5 years and couple thousand hours instructing I can think of honestly 2 people total who I thought just didn't have the situational awareness / motor skills to get there. The rest of them it was just all about the confidence and the pace of learning, they all got there in the end
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 16:59
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A lot of good advice here from some and some that I would also have to say is probably not all that helpful. As a somewhat experienced instructor I would have to agree with Luke and Seventhheaven. I have not come across many students that I would say are incapable of making the grade. It seems especially true in this case as some of the issues you are currently having seem to be things you did in the past without much difficulty (eg airfield rejoin etc).

This makes me think that it is just a mental block and with that viewpoint I feel the best advice has already been given, take some time away from aviation. Get away from it for a while and come back with some renewed passion and vigour!
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Old 8th Sep 2018, 00:04
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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Originally Posted by Qazx View Post
Thanks everyone for your advice and your help

Jamesgrainge, I was an academic before, physicist. I have been considering getting a job for a while and pursuing aviation at a slower pace. I know I would miss the opportunity to ever become a pilot if I just quit without looking back, but the lack of social life and just any distraction on the side is maddening to me. So modular might well be the answer, so would be the opportunity to get back a study/work/life balance.

Once again, thanks everyone
So it has been 2 years,how has it been for you?still in training or have u quit & not looked back since?
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Old 8th Sep 2018, 20:22
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Qazx, buddy...Im sure folks here have given ya their .02 cents so you much be a rich man by now. I started this year in Jan. from scratch after a 11 year hiatus, 4 deployments and 13 years service and i can tell you, i feel ya. The school had it share of problems and to make matters worse, the CAA in a certain Scandinavian country havent exactly been the greatest as far as deciding if they wanna be EASA or not. Taking a PPL exam and passing only to have to do it again because CAA-N aint happy with the school chosen. Long story short, i never thought id have a 2nd chance at this after all those wars and all the years away but sometimes, like most are saying, taking a pregnant pause and then getting back into the groove, you see the full picture. Dont quit and then spend time with 1 eye in the sky looking, wishing, wondering and then regretting it as they are lowering you in the dirt...give it all or get off the potty. Till you have known hardship, you will better appreciate success. You woke up this morning, most didnt. Make it happen bud.
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