We all have doubts about being good enough for something we really really want to do. It doesn’t matter if it is approaching an attractive girl/guy at the party or a raise at our job, that insecurity haunts us to a certain point, and student pilots are no exception for this feeling.There are no “natural born pilots”. Flying is an without a doubt an unnatural act. That’s why humans are not born with wings, and for millions of years we have had our feet firmly planted on the ground. It is only in the last 100 years that we have been able to take flight. While no one is born a pilot, there are some character traits and talents that can help your efforts to join the elite that get to call flying their vocation.
1. You have friends & family in aviation (it's in the blood)
You’ve known it’s been all about aviation since you were a little baby. Surrounded by old pilots and their stories your whole life and you are passionate about it. First flight was in your father’s lap at age 8. Maybe even a family plane. You got your pilot’s license before you had a driver’s license. That’s a great sign you’re a good candidate.
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2. You always look up when you hear engines overhead
The noise of the engines above you is music to your ears and you cannot help but to look up searching for the source. How quick can you identify it? Sounds like a rotary engine or “that sounds too low.” Switch places and start making some noise.
3. You love to travel
How would you like to be in San Francisco today, tomorrow in Paris and the next day in Dubai, certainly that’s one of the perks. If you plan connections to ride the new Airbus or because you haven’t been to that country yet and a 24 hour layover will do, you might be a pilot. The desire for travel makes you a good candidate, because once you’re a pilot, you’ll be traveling a lot!
4. You can get into the details (math & systems) but still see the big picture
There are a lot of details in flight planning and learning aircraft system. It’s a lot of hard work but it comes together towards a beautiful flight from point A to point B. You not only daydream, but are willing to work on every single requirement to become a pilot. That includes working on the theory (math, physics, systems, software) to be able to make that transatlantic flight you’ve always thought of.
5. You have logged an absurd amount of time in Flight Simulator Pro
You’d be a pilot with seniority and decades of experience if all those hours in Flight Simulator Pro are taken in consideration. But that’s great, it shows the commitment you already have to becoming an actual pilot!
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I went to a big football university and I remember the coach saying the freshmen knew all the plays better than he did. They’d been playing Madden NFL since they 6 years old. Now they had to put on the gear and take the hits. Home PC simulators let you learn the instrument, flight routes, and airplane characteristics. Now it's time to burn some AvGas and log actual flight time.
6. Model Airplane or RC collection
You know all about models, specs, years of manufacturing and every single fact of those beloved airplanes you have in your collection. What’s more, you already pilot your own fleet of RC airplanes like a boss! The same aerodynamics that gets your foam Piper Cub in the air applies to regulation aircraft. If you like working on the engines a lot of the parts will be familiar, but a lot larger. That’s certainly a sign of being a good candidate.
7. You have a really good pair of aviator sunglasses
Because, you gotta have the looks, don’t you? The passion you have makes your daydreams jump into the air. Dress the part and fake it until you make it.
If you have checked all the points off this list, congratulations, you’re a good candidate to become a pilot! Don’t even hesitate anymore to run towards a flight school and enroll right away, you were born for this and that’s your calling.
Get ready and take off, the skies are waiting for you!