I am a beginner Battlefield 3 player and I am having a lot of trouble flying aircraft. What are some of the things I need to look out for as a pilot? What are some common strategies to use?
Like you, I was having trouble piloting when I first started. But I did some digging, and found a pretty useful video on YouTube.
It takes a lot of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's one of the most fun things to do in the game.
There a lots on tutorials on Youtube that are really helpful. Remember Google is also your friend and searching "Battlfield 3 jet tips" is usually is pretty fruitful. I also found this which is quite detailed and is more theory and good practice so isn't platform specific (since you didn't say what you're playing it on).
My personal advice is basically to just keep practicing. Sure you will have a lot of crashes, unluckly misses and lots of deaths but you will eventually get the hang of it if you stick at it.
Hope this is helpful :)