Becoming a pilot often feels more like a calling than a choice. Many pilots claim that before they received their pilot license they would find themselves constantly looking up at the sky and wishing they could fly amongst the clouds. More often than not, aviation enthusiasts have fond childhood memories related to flying. Perhaps you had an uncle that flew or your mom used to take you to the airport to watch the planes take off. Aviation could be a passion that is deeply rooted from within or a spark that has suddenly been ignited in you that you just can’t ignore. Nevertheless, there are several clear signs that becoming a pilot might be right for you.
There is a lot of studying that goes into learning to become a pilot. At first it is basic aerodynamics, the phonetic alphabet, and navigation. Then you learn systems and the process of getting a boeing or airbus type-rating. The ability to sit down and hit the books is a huge part of becoming a pilot.
2) Spatial / Situational Awareness
Were you good at tumbling or diving as a kid? You were probably good at being aware of what was going on around you. Being able to determine how far away the wall (or that mountain) is. This is critical when you need to know where you are while enroute to your destination or how far above the runway you are on approach. This it is almost a 6th sense.
3) Communication. Are you a social speaker?
Can you strike up a conversation with anyone? A big part of flying is speaking with air traffic control. Every time you will enter new airspace and you will have to speak with new people. You may also be entering new countries so it’s good to have an ear for Latin languages or pick up some key phrases in Chinese.
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4) Physical Stamina
A 2 hour flight full of maneuvers or landings in a hot plane can be exhausting. How about a 6 hour cross country to meet your commercial requirements? Being in good physical condition and having the stamina to keep you awake and alert will make your a stronger and safer pilot.
5) Mechanically Adept
Airplanes are machines. If you are a tinkerer then you just found your best project yet. Many engineers, RC hobbyist, and gear heads get into flying because of those awesome engines, gears, pulleys, motors, and switches galore.
There is so much to learn, see, and do in aviation. If you are a naturally curious person the world will open up to your inquiries. Curiosity will take you to the other side of the world and urge you to dig deep into those manuals to figure out why the airplane turns a certain way, or what a particular switch does.
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There are many more natural traits that can help you along the way. Just remember no one is born a pilot, but you might have the right ingredients.