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4 Tips to Make the Most out of Your Flight Lesson

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2 min read

Every moment in the cockpit is precious, especially given the costs associated with flight training. Making the most out of your training time is vital to become a safe and skilled pilot. Here are four quick tips:

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Have a backup plan if the weather doesn’t permit Plan A.

1) Have a Plan A and B

Things like weather play a vital and often unpredictable role in flight training. Discuss with your instructor what might happen in different weather conditions. For instance, if the clouds are below 2,500AGL, would you work on soft field landings in the pattern? If the weather is too bad to fly, what topics might you cover in a ground lesson? Just because Plan A isn’t going to work doesn’t mean a Plan B can’t make a scheduled lesson a productive time slot.

2) Prepare the Facts Beforehand

I often have my students teach me a maneuver on the ground before we get into the airplane. If they can explain it to me, I know they understand the steps and components of the maneuver. Then, if there is an issue in the air, I know it is not from a lack of understanding the steps conceptually, but in the execution of this maneuver. Study ahead of time! If you can teach it back to your instructor, it likely means you have a good understanding of the information.


Prepare beforehand by teaching the maneuver and chair fly to reinforce.

3) Chair Fly

Visualize! Imagine the feel, sight, and sound of the maneuver from a quiet place at home. See your visual landmark in front of you. What does your altimeter say to start the maneuver? Airspeed? Say the steps out loud to yourself, move your hands like you would in the airplane. Make it as vivid and real as possible. From athletes to concert musicians, this is a major technique used to train the brain. Chair flying works.

4) Record it

After each lesson, take notes. Write down what went well and didn’t go well. Audio record your debrief with your instructor on your phone (with their permission) so you can listen back to the important items you need to work on for next time.

Simple tricks like these can be utilized to help make the most of any scheduled lesson. Don’t just do the minimum, putting in just a little more thought can maximize your learning process.

Andrew Focks
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