It is estimated that 80% of student pilots never finish their training and become full fledged pilots. Because of this, AOPA set out to discover the issues that are causing the high dropout rate.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association set out to understand why so many student pilots were dropping out of training, with the goal to create new systems to retain student pilots once they begin flight training programs. AOPA commissioned a study to find out why students were dropping out of flight schools and what motivated students to stay once in training programs. While cost turned out to be a factor for students dropping out of flight programs, it didn’t play as big a role as originally estimated by most in the training industry. http://www.flyingmag.com/news/why-do-student-pilots-drop-out
The results of the study showed that students want more productive, well organized, helpful and respectful interactions with their flight instructors, something they say they’re not getting enough of now.
According to this study, the main reason for student pilot dropouts was Educational Quality. Meaning that students:
1. Do not feel like they are receiving quality instruction from their flight instructors.
2. Students do not feel prepared for FAA testing.
3. The students do not feel respected and valued in their relationships with the flight instructors.
That’s why, at Axiom Aviation, we have made it our top priority to only hire the most skilled, knowledgeable, and personal instructors. Our instructors have actual airline experience, corporate jet flying experience, thousands of hours flight instructing, and have flown all over the world!
However, not all of the blame for the high dropout rate should rest with the flight instructors. Flying is one of the coolest things a human can do but… IT’S HARD! And we think this may come as a surprise to those with little aviation background. It’s not driver’s ed, it’s not the same as learning to drive a car, it is an all encompassing industry! From aerodynamics to mechanics to weather and more, there is a lot to learn. From quick and accurate decision making to learning to work as a crew to being humble and teachable, there is a lot to become.
The following story helped me get through my flight training, and I think it can help a lot of prospective flight students. Honestly, it can be of huge benefit to anyone who wants to do something amazing and difficult with their lives.
“It was the year 1519 and Hernán Cortés, with some 600 Spaniards, 16 or so horses and 11 boats, had landed on a vast inland plateau called, Mexico.
The Spanish conquistador and his men were about to embark on a conquest of an empire that hoarded some of the world’s greatest treasure. Gold, silver and precious Aztec jewels were just some of what this treasure had to offer anyone who succeeded in their quest to obtain it.
But, with only 600 men — none of whom had encumbered themselves with protective armour – conquering an empire so extensive in its territories could only be undertaken by a man with a death wish.
This daring undertaking was made even more insurmountable by the fact that for more than 600 years, conquerors with far more resources at their disposal who attempted to colonize the Yucatan Peninsula, never succeeded. Hernán Cortés was well-aware of this fact. And it was for this reason, that he took a different approach when he landed on the land of the Mayans.
Instead of charging through cities and forcing his men into immediate battle, Hernán Cortés stayed on the beach and awoke the souls of his men with melodious cadences – in the form of emblazoned speeches.
His speeches were ingeniously designed to urge on the spirit of adventure and invoke the thirst of lifetimes of fortune amongst his troops. His orations bore fruit, for what was supposedly a military exploit, now bore the appearance of extravagant romance in the imaginations of Cortés’ troops.
But, ironically, it would only just be 3 words which Cortés’ murmured, that would change the history of the New World. As they marched inland to face their enemies, Cortés ordered, “Burn the boats.”
It was a decision that should have backfired. For if Cortés and his men were on the brink of defeat, there wasn’t an exit strategy in place to save their lives. Remarkably though, the command to burn the boats had an opposite effect on his men because now, they were left with only 2 choices — die, or ensure victory. And fight they did.
We know today, how Cortés’ decision to burn his boats panned out. Hernán Cortés became the first man in 600 years to successfully conquer Mexico.” http://burningboats.com/about-burningboatscom/
You need to “Burn your Boats” if you want to succeed in aviation. You can’t leave yourself an “out” when things get tough (intellectually, physically or financially). The rewards of flying (whether it be for a hobby or a career) are unparalleled and in order to get there you have to be 100% committed.