The Hardest Part Of Learning To Become A Pilot

At least for me, is talking on the radio. I'm not afraid to talk on the radio.  I'm afraid of saying something wrong on the radio.  Flying an aircraft, even with an instructor by my side, is still a daunting task for me.  It is the ultimate in "multi-tasking".  The pilot has to keep the airplane at the proper speed, altitude and heading while monitoring dozens of instruments in the cockpit.  All new private pilot students are taught under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and so they must also keep an eye out for other air traffic as they are flying as mid air collisions still happen and it usually happens because one or both pilots are not paying attention to their surroundings.

Now add to this already complicated mix, a requirement to stay in touch with air traffic control (in certain controlled air space) and the task of flying, for me, becomes even more complicated.  The instructions from air traffic control must me monitored and clearly understood so as to avoid mistakes.  This is not always easy.  Have you ever tried to talk on your cell phone while navigating through rush hour traffic?  Flying and talking to air traffic control is somewhat like that.  It takes a lot of concentration.

The video below is of a private pilot which demonstrates the large amount of talking to ATC which is required as he flies around the vicinity of his home air field.  Notice that he misses a couple of instructions as he flies and the air traffic controller asks him to acknowledge his instruction.

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2 Responses Aug 18, 2012

I have been a military pilot for 5 years, I have flown fighter jets and cargo planes, I can help you with that, I have had to fly a 1,400mph plane, while aiming a missil at something that is moving as well I have had to takeoff and land with two 60 tonne tanks in the cargo on a slim runway

I have seen the Dolphin HH I used to fly the F-16 Falcon for a year, I also used to fly the A-10 Thunderbolt and I currently fly a C-5 Galaxy

yeah, you wonder how they even get off the ground

Oh wow, I had no idea you were becoming a pilot, that's so awesome! I can't imagine being in control of something 1,000's of feet in the air, it must be really challenging.