Although stay-at-home orders are slowly relaxing, social distancing remains in place for the safety of the general public. As such, you may need to get creative to keep boredom at restlessness at bay if your social outlets have been reduced. And as a student pilot, that isn’t a simple feat in the current climate. However, there are some things that you can do to keep your studies sharp and remain engaged in the pilot licensing process, no matter what stage you’re at.
Let’s take a look at 10 social distancing activities you can enjoy as a student pilot this summer.
Set Up an At-Home Flight Simulator
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some meaningful time behind the control wheel. If you’ve always been curious about at-home flight simulators, now is the perfect time to set one up. Here are a few of the top options for at-home solutions:
- X Plane 11 Global Flight Simulator: Available for Mac, Windows and Linux, this is one of the best-developed at-home simulators available for the price.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator: This award-winning simulator from Microsoft allows you to fly between 24,000 destinations throughout the world.
Video Chat with Your Instructor
If you aren’t physically comfortable being in the same room as your instructor that doesn’t mean you can’t get worthwhile advice, information and study tips from them in the age of social distancing. Try a popular video chat app, like Zoom, Facetime or Google Meet, and the interaction becomes much more personal.
Video Chat or Meet with Fellow Pilots
Of course, staying in touch with fellow student pilots or airbound buddies can also help keep you focused on the end goal, whatever it may be. Not only that, it keeps you current on what is happening within the aviation world from the perspective of the people directly involved.
Study for Your FAA Tests
You may have been dreading taking the required FAA tests, such as the Airman Knowledge Test, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Now you have some extra time to spend looking over the study material and covering all bases for when test day arrives. Take a look at this FAA resource to find more information about proper preparation.
Fly Solo (if you’re qualified)
If you have the certification to fly solo, flying a plane is the perfect social distancing activity. The process is easy with minimal person-to-person interaction—the closest person after take-off will be about 5,000 feet below you! Even if you rent a plane from a fixed-base operator, the aviation industry is taking health directives seriously as a whole.
Find and Utilize Online Pilot Resources
There are tons of online resources perfect for pilots of all types – and now that you likely spend a lot of your day on the computer, you can keep up-to-date with the latest news and information pertinent to your studies or interests. Click through some of the links below to access great pilot resources:
- FAA Resource List
- Airplane Flying Handbook
- AOPA Free Student Membership
- Live ATC Air Traffic
- Pilot Financing Options
Don’t Forget to Exercise
We all know how tough it’s been being confined to our homes, and how easily that leads to over-indulgence and inactivity. So don’t forget to keep physically fit with a regular exercise routine. Even though most gyms are closed, thankfully you can spend time exercising outdoors without much worry, as long as you are taking the proper precautions. Being fit is important as a pilot because it keeps you better prepared for long-haul flights, improves reaction time and lowers stress levels in emergencies, among many other benefits.
Find Time to Relax & Recharge
Exercise fuels your physical health, so try to balance your mental health along with it. After all, isolation and boredom can do damaging things to your outlook on life. Pick up a relaxing hobby like reading, woodworking or golf, or try meditation and yoga – both of which have been proven to lower stress and raise mental well-being.
Crack Open An Aviation Book
If you’ve had a certain aviation-related book that’s been on your reading list for a while, now’s a great time to crack it open. Try some of these instant classics that are sure to entertain your flying fantasies:
- Fly Girls: A compelling story of five daring women flying pioneers
- Stick and Rudder: An original accurate portrayal of what it means to be a pilot
- Wild Blue: A WWII depiction of U.S. B-24 pilots and their actions against Germany
Prepare for a Checkride
If you have a checkride looming, make sure you’re completely prepared by taking online quizzes, studying relevant materials and watching mock checkride videos on YouTube. As the final step in the certification process, it’s crucial that you pass with flying colors – and preparation is key.
Are you trying to keep on track with your flight training?
Get in touch with the certified flight instructors at Inflight Pilot Training. We’re committed to helping you work through these tough times if you’re dedicated to obtaining a pilot certification. As a safe, professional and fun group of instructors, we can help you reach your goals when it comes to learning to fly, as it relates to your needs as a student.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.