TOP 10 Reasons Why Student Pilots Quit. | Tips to Prevent dropping out.

why student pilots quit

Figure out beforehand why student pilots quit flying without getting a certificate.

That way, you will realize why it is not uncommon for student pilots to quit and never get a license.

So that you can prepare for the obstacles and struggles you may face and you will not struggle to accomplish your pilot license.

Hence I have shared a list of obstacles you may not have expected and how to prevent all those from getting your first pilot license.

Why is the flight school dropout rate high?

Students interested in working in an airline someday are the ones who will find flight school harder.

I guarantee you will complete the course quickly to obtain a private pilot license.

As you advance toward getting your commercial pilot license, the flight instructor will teach you more intricate maneuvers.

Preparing for the airlines requires dedication and understanding of many airplane flying theories. A commercial pilot trainee learns all relevant aeronautical matters to conduct safe flights with passengers.

Many student pilots quit when they realize how much they must study to achieve their aspirations.

The reasons why the flight school dropout rate is high are because:

Student pilots cannot take the stress of overwhelming lengthy ground school syllabi.

Without a structured syllabus in flight schools, student pilots will lose track of ground classes. They even find themselves having to repeat their flight training lessons.

As a result, the students lose interest.

Thus the dropout rate is high due to individual students’ turnabouts. Likewise, a flight school plays a significant role in students’ weariness.

Another reason you may lose interest in flying is because of your flight instructor.

The only time I blame student pilots is when they fail their check-ride. Failure to pass the oral and check-ride solely depends on the pilot.

Neither the flight school nor the flight instructor plays a role in a check-ride anymore.

Related: Why do student pilots quit?

So if you are dedicated and intrigued to taking some flying lessons, do not stop yourself.

In the 21st century, it is yet more accessible to start your online private pilot ground school from the comfort of your room.

1. Lack of funding.

Not having enough money is the first and foremost problem of why student pilots quit.

The number of student pilot dropout rates is very high because most students start flying without knowing how much money is required.

To complete your flight training, you need a sufficient amount of money.

RELATED: Why is a pilot training course so expensive?

Having another 30% extra on top of your pilot course cost is best.

Extra money over the adequate fund will reduce your chances of dropping out.

I think the problem is how the flight training schools do their marketing.

Flight training schools will charge you a course fee depending on the required minimum flying hours.

They do this so that the pilot students will enroll more quicker.

As a newbie, you may not know how flight schools promote to get more students.

They will not tell you about the extra money you might have to pay if you require more flying hours to acquire your license.

So flying more hours means you have to spend additional for the extra hours.

Apart from that, there are many other things you need to buy to complete your flight training.

Suck as books that you have to study and become a better pilot.

Several other supplies are necessary even to get your private pilot license.

After calculating the cost of flight training and other associated costs, you must allocate some extra to fund until you get the licenses.

That extra funding will reduce your struggles and stop you from quitting flight training.

2. Lack of structured training.

If you do not have structured training, then there is a chance of you getting annoyed and quitting.

You will find your training difficult if you do not prepare enough before your flight and do not know what to learn.

Going for a flight without knowing what lessons to learn today and what to expect will make your learning process longer.

As a student pilot, you may want to give up on flight training and encounter unexpected interruptions.

Now, as you can see, not having structured training is also going to stress your funding.

Without proper lessons, you will have to repeat a similar task in flight training repeatedly.

As a result, you will fly more hours stressing about your bank balance.

I have seen several pilot students not knowing what to expect and learn from the flight, and they got their first solo flight at 60 hours.

Flying unnecessary extra hours may also be the fault of flight instructors, whose teaching method is not so good. Hence the student pilot quit.

RELATED: How to get flight hours as a pilot?

3. Student and instructor problems.

You may already know by now that not having a structured plan in the student pilot’s training can cause delays in acquiring a pilot license.

But not having a friendly instructor can damage your flight training massively.

Why is that?

If you and your flight instructor lack understanding of each other, your flight training period will be affected.

A good relationship and communication with your flight instructor regarding all your problems are crucial.

A good flight instructor will do his best to teach his student pilot all the flying skills necessary.

If you have difficulty learning a flight maneuver, you must tell your instructor, who will repeat the lesson.

Another problem is that flying with different flight instructors often.

Now some say that flying with different instructors is not the best idea. Not unless you get your first solo flight.

Every flight instructor has a different method of teaching.

A new pilot student will overwhelm himself with the lessons to extend the flight training period.

If the flight training school assigns a new flight instructor every time you go for your flight training, it is time that you must consult with the Chief flight instructor of your school and request only one flight instructor.

4. Lack of time and dedication.

If a student pilot is not committed to acquiring their first pilot license, they will eventually drop out.

The reason you may not have enough time or another job to do apart from getting your pilot license can be the cause f quitting pilot training.

If you cannot fly regularly and decide to fly occasionally, you will have to repeat your flying lessons.

Repeating flying lessons can get boring, and you will no longer be interested in getting your license.

So commit yourself to flight training until you get your pilot license.

Find ways to keep your flights exciting and fun. And that will help you stay committed to your training.

5. Self Doubt.

Student pilots are often overwhelmed with lessons and think they cannot make it until the end.

Students struggle to get their first solo flight and have flown extra hours.

That is why they start to doubt themselves.

The thing is, no matter what happens, you must not doubt yourself. Don’t doubt yourself because the next student got his solo before you. Because sooner or later, you will get your first solo flight.

New pilot students sometimes fail to perfect a maneuver and begin to doubt themselves. They think flying is not actually for them.

But that is why you have a flight instructor instructing you to become a better pilot.

Never doubt yourself just because of two bad landings. Bad landings are part of the game. That’s how a student pilot learns.

6. Lack of Motivation.

One or two bad landings can lower your confidence. Your flight instructor screaming at you to improve your landings can demotivate you tremendously.

When I was a student pilot, my instructor screamed at me because I did not make a good landing and couldn’t answer a few questions he asked me.

As a new student pilot, I struggled to maintain my altitude in the air and could not answer the question inside the cockpit, demotivated to fly ever again.

So I took a short break from flying. I was so dry of motivation that I did not want to go for flight training again.

Yet I returned to flying after two weeks and studied my books this time. And ready to answer all the questions.

Eventually, my flying skills improved, and I got my commercial pilot license.

Like everything in life, there will be a phase during your flight training where you may lack motivation.

But you cannot allow that to stop you from flying.

There are ways to motivate yourself:

  • Motivate yourself by talking to other pilots;
  • Watch videos on youtube to grasp new techniques;
  • Study your aviation books.

Work hard and get back to flying. You cannot be that student who quit flying before getting a pilot’s license.

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7. Have to study harder than expected.

Many pilot students intend to become pilots because they think flying doesn’t require much study.

They believe learning how to maneuver an airplane is sufficient. However, you may fail to operate the aircraft properly because you did not pay attention during your ground schooling.

Not knowing the basics required for a good traffic pattern and failure to land the aircraft smoothly can be why you cannot work hard enough with your books.

So many students get into flying, anticipating they do not have to study, but once they realize they have to work hard and explore so much to get their license, they give up.

So don’t confuse yourself. You will have to work hard to become a pilot.

Becoming a pilot is a considerable responsibility; hence, you must be prepared for all situations.

RELATED: How hard is flight school?

Having the knowledge and implementing them as necessary during flight is vital.

Therefore do not get into flying with the thoughts that you can study less and get your pilot license.

RELATED: What should I study to become a pilot?

8. You are likely to quit training halfway if you don’t have clear aims in aviation.

Students who do not understand why they started flying in the first place tend to quit flying.

Do student pilots need to have a clear set of goals? Why do they want their license?

Do they want to fly an airplane with friends and family, or do they want to pilot aircraft with hundreds of passengers?

With that goal in mind staying focused on achieving that, you have to continue your flight training.

Many students get so overwhelmed with the training lessons they forget why did they start flying in the first place.

Some may have started flying simply for fun or to enjoy the flight. Others may have a different dream.

Having a clear set of priorities and goals will prevent you from dropping out of your flight training.

9. Are you selecting the right flight school?

Being in a flight school with an insufficient fleet and training quality is not good can be the reason for student pilot dropouts.

I also meant that choosing a flight school with cheaper flight training costs is not always the best option by saying the wrong flight school.

A flight school with cheaper flight training costs may also not have well-maintained aircraft, inexperienced instructors, and a poor ground school syllabus.

All these combined can be a horrendous experience for a student pilot.

And the student pilot will stop flying because of his experience in the school.

A not-well-maintained school will also be slower in processing documents for you, resulting in a more extended training period.

So before you enroll in any flight school, you must talk to the previous student pilots and ask them about their experience with the institute.

Talk to the flight instructors there and figure out whether they are friendly.

Take a stroll in the general aviation area and ask other companies in general aviation regarding the records of that flight training school you are willing to enroll in.

RELATED: How to choose a flight school?

10. Medical issues.

Having good health is vital for student pilots. Before you start your flight training, it is crucial to do some medical checkups.

Find yourself medically fit to become a pilot.

You must not start your flight training if you are not medically fit to become a pilot.

Without assurance from an Aviation Medical Examiner, you will not get a medical certificate to become a pilot.

So consulting an Aviation Medical Examiner and figuring out how to solve all medical issues is best.

Once you know you are physically and mentally fit, get your first pilot license, and you can start pilot training.

Do not let minor medical issues stop you from getting your pilot license which sadly is a common concern among new student pilots.

On the other hand, many people stop flying after feeling airsick during their orientation flight.

Because as you get used to flying in the air, you will not be airsick anymore.

Airsickness can cause many student pilots to quit immediately after their first flight.

Understanding that you will not be airsick after a few more flights can stop you from dropping out of flight training.

Now that you know the most common problems why student pilots quit, you can prepare beforehand.

This way, you can prevent yourself from dropping out of pilot training and acquiring a pilot license.


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  1. I started my flight school to get my private pilotscirtificate but I only had a few hours and this was the beginning of covid I also ran into a lot of financial problems but I am saving up to go back with no issues at the beginning of the year I was wonder it’s been like 6 months since I last flown can I go back any time to continue my flight to get my private pilot license

    1. Definitely, you can go back but ensure you don’t forget your theory lessons. It’s essential to remember your theory lessons. Likewise, as you will fly with a flight instructor, tell him how long you did not fly, he will definitely do a refresher flight and begin with the essential materials to teach. There is nothing to worry about. Get your private pilot license. I wish you the best of luck!
      Some resources for you:
      Check the online pilot courses and give yourself a refresher before you go back to flying.
      Check out this PPL study guide.

      If you have any more queries, reply to this comment.

  2. I was rejected from flight school in 2013. Did my Cogscreen and everything. They diagnosed me with adhd. Apparently having adhd as a pilot is a threat to public safety, even getting adderall treatment is a big no-no. This experience still haunts me to this day. I want to forget my flight training.

    I left the aviation industry.

    I’m happy I did. Been driving school buses for a few years with no complaints about my driving ability.

  3. I haven’t Quit I Just Slowed Down and Don’t Have the Funds ! I’ve always wanted my license since I took my first Float Plane Ride with my Father at a State Park as a Teenager… I was a young Cadet with the South St Paul Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol and I hung around South St Paul Airport Hoping for rides. I even went to The Minneapolis Technical School of Avaition Training and Got my Airframe and Powerplant License and then Recieved my Inspection Authorization !! I have taken a few Licences in hope of getting my license but I’ve come very close to Dying a few times in non Avaition accidents. I’ve Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury In a Head-On Motorcycle accident but I still dream of getting my Private Pilots License with my Instrument License. . for me it’s all about money or lack of it.. I thought I’d become a good Aircraft Mechanic in my time and had even become a Maintenance Controller with a B-727 Charter Airline… Know I can still fly and still hope and dream about it… At one time I’d even bought a L-4 Aeronca to recover and fly but after my Divorce I had to sell it… Someday I hope and pray I’ll finally finish my dream and Get My Private Pilots License !!

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