It is easy for new pilots to get wrapped up in the daunting nature of their dream to fly. There are so many inherent dangers in the world of aviation that it becomes easy to forget how awesome flying is.
Sure, it is serious business. I’m certainly not suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and create a dangerous experience for yourself and other aviators. Instead, I suggest that you become so comfortable with the art of flying safely that you can have fun while you do it.
My dad, a lifelong aviator, likes to remind me that beginner aviators like myself, “Don’t know what we don’t know until we know.” Take a second to think about it. It’s confusing but it’s also true. The world of aviation is ever-expanding and achieving your private pilot license signifies that you have only scratched the surface.
The quote from my dad is enough to put a drop of fear into the back of any intelligent aviator’s mind. But that is not necessarily bad. As a student pilot, you should have been taught to respect the greater knowledge-base of aviation that you have not yet been introduced to. The best way to approach this vast compilation of tried and true rules and regulations is to remember that you will never know everything about aviation and that you should never skip a chance to learn.
Here’s the less common knowledge: the only way to overcome the anxieties of the many what if’s is to become a master of what you do know. Wrap you arms around the small bundle of information that you have learned and analyze it from every angle. Study it late at night, practice it when you fly, and prepare for every flight as fully as you can. Do not get wrapped up in the what you don’t know, but never forget it is there.
This approach has helped me remember the roots of my passion; It has helped me grow in aviation and every other aspect of life. I can honestly say that every time I secure the airplane after a flight, I am a better pilot than I was when I took off.
In sum: 1. Know what you do know, 2. Acknowledge what you don’t yet know, 3. Never lose you SA, 4. Have fun.
Fly safe everyone!