We all know that men and women learn in different ways and this is especially true when learning how to fly. Hence, a recent post by Max Trescott about female pilots and barriers to completing flight training is well worth reading as he wrote about the results of a survey he did of 55 women who were either receiving, or had received and completed or had not completed flight training.
Max’s survey showed that the most significant factor that determined whether one of his female survey respondents completed flight training was the age at which they started their training. On average, women who completed their training had started it at age 35 (with a standard deviation of 10 years). However, the average starting age for women who discontinued their flight training was around 46 years old, with a standard deviation of 16 years. Moreover, Max also quoted one female respondent who started her training at age 54 as saying:
“Biggest challenge was having the confidence that my middle-age reflexes and brain would be able to master a difficult new skill!”
In addition, Max also asked his survey respondents to comment about their flight instructors and the results were telling:
Male CFIs were more likely to be rated:
- Chronically unprepared
- Difficult to Schedule
Female CFIs were more likely to be rated:
- Accepting of me and others
All flight instructors were rated highly for being:
- Neatly Dressed
Max concluded his post by saying that his survey results suggests that Flight Schools should provide extra attention and support to female students pilots who are 50 years and older. He also concluded that they should consider matching female student pilots with female flight instructors when possible.
However, we also want to ask any female pilot readers out there about your experiences and what, if any, barriers did you encounter while learning how to fly? Moreover, how would you rate the training and attention you received from your flight instructor and would you have any suggestions for how flight schools could improve training for other would-be female pilots? Feel free to write about your own personal experiences (good and/or bad) or the experiences of other female pilot who you may know.