Now that you are a sport plane pilot

You are free to go where you want and do what you want to do as a pilot. However, you must understand you’ve entered into a completely new training realm. Now is where you really start to learn from your experiences. You do not have the wisdom and experience of your instructor to rely on, on a day to day basis.

A privilege and responsibility

You also have the privilege and responsibility of taking other people up to fly with you for fun. If you did scenario based training with your instructor, you will have a good start with “real world flying”. If you did basic “stick and rudder training”, to perfect the maneuvers to get through the checkride, you need to approach your first hours of flying with extreme caution.

Statistics show…

The greatest percentage of accidents occur in the first 500 hours after getting your license. THIS IS YOU. Why? Because of lack of experience to real world operation. After you get your license, this is where you really start learning.

What can you do to stay safe and out of trouble?

Here are some basic steps:

  1. Understand the situation. You are new to flying as a certificated Pilot In Command (PIC), and you must realize this is the most dangerous time. You must be very cautious and extra conservative in your decisions.
  2. Gain knowledge from other experienced local pilots. Make an effort to take them flying with you or go flying in their aircraft. Ask them questions. Try and get smarter each time you fly.
  3. Read articles about flying. From the wonder and amazement of flying to accident statistics with causes and solutions. There is so much knowledge and information out there you can gain that will help you.
  4. Join and participate in local clubs and national organizations. This provides new resources and opportunities to stay involved in flying.
  5. Continue learning.
  6. Use the Sport Pilot Locator to find a pilot or flying buddie near you.