** CAMBRIAN AERO - Training**

.. To fly, or not? - what you should know ..

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It may be a surprise to learn that 75% - 80% of students actually give up flying without ever gaining a licence, and of those who do complete, many then do not continue.
This issue was again highlighted in the recent "Flight Training Student Retention Initiative", conducted by AOPA, November 2010". This unique qualitative study surveyed 1,000 student pilots, pilots and instructors, with the objective of understanding better how to address this problem.
However, it is not all bad news - far from it!.





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For those students who do get into flying, almost all (93% in fact) are actually extremely positive about their experience.
What does this tell us? well - several things, firstly that there is something really special about flying, and that flying schools and instructors are probably doing something right.
So, what are these positive experiences? - well.
* the shear adrenalin and enjoyment of flight
* the whow factor, of simply being in the air, and
* the personnal acomplishments - of going solo, finding out about new things - the weather, technology, human factors, avionics, and whole host of new things.


key factors (left) vs key drivers (right) AOPA

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Read on:- Overall the flight training industry performs pretty well, with a good story to tell, but the AOPA study concludes that “there is a real problem with the way training is currently being delivered,” It doesn't for example always do so well in the key areas which are most important to students. Educational Quality is a major driver for new pilots, and more critical than the Value. Students are driven by the overall experience, with personal accomplishment and Recognition cited as the single most important drivers. This is what sudents say:-
"Flight Instructors need to be more personally engaged, spending extra time providing full pre-flight and post-flight briefings". A much more intensive, interesting approach to flight lessons is needed, not burdening, and rushing student with or too much information at once. Students need to learn at their own pace, and not one set by the school. Skills Tests are an inherent part of learning to fly, and keeping current, but all pilots dread this aspect of flying. More intensive motivational support in relation to Test Preparation is needed.


Value: is the other key driver - not to be confused with price. There is no escaping the fact that wherever you go, private flying is an expensive business. But schools should be able to explain how they can help you save money. It is not necessary to learn everything in the air for example. The use of a Simulator is not just a valuable training aid, but can allow you to do many of the things needed, but for a little less money. Looking for those opportunities, where value is important and getting the most out of each experience is much more important than price alone.
Schools should be able to provide real world estimates of the time and expense involved in flight training, and be more forthcoming in providing relevant information and additional resources.

poor (left) vs better training performance (right)


Trust: Students no longer go to the traditional places for information, but go online to find sources they feel they can trust - invariably these are social network sites. Unfortunately there is a lot of cynicism out there - suspicions abound about whether schools run a clock on students, or that instructors are just there to build time, rather than provide the kind of educational experience required.
As professional instructors, examiners and an AOPA corporate member we recognise the need for transparency, and how to handle the truly unique expectations when we invite people to fly with us. This is an invitation to join a unique community, embodying important milestones and information sharing. We also understand the need to be sensitive to the difficulties in scheduling, and go out of our way with regard to facilitating the timing of lessons.
Aviation Community: People don’t want a lonely isolated activity and need to be part of something larger to share the experience with lots of other people, but these experiences are not always made apparent by the industry. We aim to address this through our various programmes and information sources to explain how flying and learning to fly can change your life!.


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