Your training is moving along at a pleasing pace when your instructor calls with a surprising bit of news: Your trusty, reliable trainer is leaving town, to be replaced by a completely unfamiliar make and model. Don’t be unnerved. You likely have enough experience already to make the transition a brief and rewarding experience.
If you have been flying more than one trainer within a specific make and model of your school’s fleet, you already have dealt with differences in instrumentation, system operation, or in some cases engine horsepower. You may have noted their different flying feel and decided which aircraft you’d prefer to take up on your checkride when the time comes.
Another trainee who had been flying a Cessna 172 relocated when entering a collegiate aviation program—and resumed training in a tailwheel-equipped Citabria 7ECA, a more drastic departure from the familiar than is typical, but guaranteed to be a beneficial broadening of experience after the transition.
Whatever brings about a change in trainers, often there is advance notice. So get ahead of the curve by learning what you can about the new aircraft, ideally by getting a copy of its pilot’s operating handbook and looking up some hands-on aircraft reviews that also may provide some history of the make and model you will be flying next.
Pilots who exclusively fly the aircraft they trained on after training is complete are the exception, not the rule. If you find yourself having to change aircraft sooner rather than later, be assured that the confidence and experience you gain will more than offset any momentary disruption of your training timetable.