I'm about where you are, and so far here are my tips:
The night before I go to a lesson I go over the entire flight in my head before I fall asleep. Esspecially the pre-flight.
Get a weather briefing from FSS, and be sure to tell them you're a student pilot. I look at it like this, even though I'm just a student pilot, I treat each lesson like I'm the PIC. I figure it's good to build those habits now instead I'll be better off when I get my PPL.
On my way to the airport I put my head in the cockpit. I start going over things pre-flight, radio calls, runway I expect to get, etc. That way when I get to the plane I'm already thinking flying.
Be gentle with the controls. You're not flying a car. Treat the plane like the woman (or man) you love. Not like the $10 hooker you picked up for the night.
Anyhow, those are my words of wisdom...at 4.7 hours.
Study for the written and have it passed well before your checkride. The more you study and the harder you work, the easier your flying will go and you'll save money by finishing up quicker. Where are you flying and what are you paying for it?
Have fun. Don't obsess over where you are and how far you have to go. Don't worry about how many hours it is until you solo, until you do your first cross country solo, until you do your first this, that, or the other. Just go and have fun with it and enjoy the trip.
1.) Learn to roll with the punches. The weather will rarely be the way you want it to be, and everything will end up costing more than you plan.
2.) Study a lot. Memorize everything that you can at first--those FARs and weather charts are important to know. Knowledge in certain areas won't come immediately but if you have the basics in you're head things will eventually click.
3.) Ask your instructor, other instructors, pilots, the old guys sitting in the FBO office, street people, et al., questions about anything and everything. Don't hold back because you think that it's a stupid question...you'll only look stupid down the road when you're at a point when you should know the answer and you don't.
I got my PPL while on furlough right after Sept 11th, my instructor loved me, (I was his only student, and the only one putting food on his table). I did the whole PPL in four weeks from first flight to checkride. The most important thing I can recommend is to find a good instructor, and listen to him/her. If your instructor tells you to do something (read this chapter in the FARs, review airspace rules, whatever) it's because they see it as important and something you need to know, or may need to improve on. So do what your instructor tells you to do, they know what they're talking about, and genuinely want you to suceed!
I'm not sure how the weather usually is at the airport you fly out of, but up here in St. Paul, MN there seems to be alot of non-VFR days come lesson time. So I suggest scheduling as many lessons a week as you can, because from my experience for every 5 lessons I sign up for I usually get to fly only 2, maybe 3 times. And if you hit a week where all 5 are rained out, try not to get too down. Whenever I hit a slump of bad weather days, I just try to visualize the end goal and usually feel a little better about it all. Good luck with your lessons!
Get used to delays, and be prepared to devote a lot of your time to trying to fly. You have to take advantage of every good weather day, especially if you are behind schedule. Second: (this may sound like bad advice)...I used to dread having to go to the airport and fly because I took it so seriously and was afraid I would mess up or have a bad flight. Now I realize to just have fun learning, it all pays off in the end. Everyone has bad flights, where nothing goes your way. The key is to learn from those bad flights and not let them plague you. Look forward to your lessons, because while they may seem like a chore in the beginning, it will all be worth it in the end when you pass that checkride and you get your PPL.
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Everyone has bad flights, where nothing goes your way.
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They do? I've never had a bad flight! Nope. Never!
But on the flip side, you're bound to have days where you feel like you're on top of everything. Those are fun days!
I remember one day where everything was going awesome for me (and this was definitely not routine for me at that point. Heck, it still isn't!) And I was able to top if off with my best landing ever . . . a super soft, quiet, gentle landing! It feels pretty good to get an "Oh Yeah!!!!" from your instructor. Plus, this gives you something good to reflect on the next time you have a not-so-perfect day.