Balancing Theory & Flying

News Category : Student Help & Advice

News Tag : Student Help & Advice

10th, April 2022

The Great Balancing Act

When learning to fly or upskilling our General aviation skills, we often forget the need to balance practical flying alongside theoretical knowledge studying. The combination of theory and practical flying, helps us to retain and understand our knowledge, whilst refining our skills. It is important however to recognise that spending time on theory content, such as the SkyLearner System, must be considered as active learning (duty) time.


Combining Ground School & Theory Time

There are many different ways to integrate theory knowledge and practical flight training, and schools use a variety of different programs. At SkyLearner we recommend that students should normally begin a period of focused ground school after completing approximately 5 hrs of practical flight training. This allows students to begin to familiarise themselves with aviation concepts that can be useful when answering your exams and learning that all important theory.

Understandably, not everyone likes to do this, and often students mix their ground school and theory training, alongside practical flight training. This can help break up the ground school content and help act as a stress reliever while you try to wrap your head around the exam subjects. The large downside to this, however, is that it can be easy to become tired, stressed and possibly even fatigued, more easily due to the high workload of the ground school environment.


Remember it is all cumulative

It is important to recognise that you need to account for your hours of ground school learning alongside your practical flying time, as these will both have an effect on your sleep, stress and fatigue levels.

There are legal limitations to the amount of duty time, for safety reasons, that pilots must work within. Your operator, flying school or club may be more stringent, and it is important that you account for your practical and theoretical learning time, when considering your compliance with these limitations.


How Much Sleep Do I Need ?

The amount of sleep we need, is subjective, and therefore varies from person to person. In general, however, studies show that the amount of sleep varies through the various age groups.

It’s important to know how much sleep you naturally need, and then work this into your work / life schedule. You can do this by having a week of no alarms and allowing your body to awaken naturally.


How Much time to spend on SkyLearner

We understand, how much some of our students want to keep up the learning pace and make their way through the learning content, getting through those tricky tests and finally passing the instructor knowledge checks.

It is important to recognise however that you should aim to spend a maximum of 8 hours per day on the system, and plan to give yourself at least 2 days off every week, free of flying and studying. When mixing your SkyLearner Ground school with flying, the combination of both, should remain under 8 hrs per day and comply with any legal flight time limitations.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you remain compliant within any flight time or duty limitations, and to actively monitor your sleep and fatigue levels, to help ensure adequate and safe flight performance.


Article Prepared by:
SkyLearner Aviation Safety Department