The key to success in executing your required pilot maneuvers and enhancing your performance is performing the maneuver the same way each and every time.  Muscle memory will allow the mechanical aspects of maneuver preparation and entry to become second nature.  Standardizing your flight maneuvers will help ensure each detail related to the maneuver, from clearing the area to properly configuring the airplane and recovery, will all be accomplished properly.  It will also allow you to focus your attention where it needs to be – flying the airplane.

Standardizing your maneuvers shouldn’t be an original creation.  In fact, in the proper instructional setting, all of your required maneuvers will be briefed and demonstrated by your flight instructor who will also discuss standardized procedures for execution.  But you’re not likely to absorb all of the details during your first demonstration and you’re not expected to build your own manual from which to study or “chair fly” (the valuable exercise of sitting on the ground rehearsing the procedure).

This is why it’s necessary to utilize a standardization manual or maneuvers guide for detailed guidance on how to execute a given maneuver.  A quality guide will be written from hands-on experience and with enough detail that you’ll be able to visualize the steps as you read, but with enough generality to apply to any aircraft you may be flying.  An example is Sporty’s Complete Pilot Maneuvers Guides written by Sporty’s expert instructional staff.

Adapted from the Sporty’s Academy Maneuvers and Procedures Handbook utilized at Sporty’s flight school, these maneuvers guides provide step-by-step instructions on performing maneuvers required on the checkride. Each maneuver begins with simplified objectives and standards for that maneuver followed by an easy-to-follow, detailed description. An informative illustration accompanies most maneuvers so you’re able to visualize how each maneuver is to be performed prior to your flight.

Private-Recreational Maneuvers Guide-2006-09.indd

Sporty’s Maneuvers Guides are offered in multiple formats depending on your preference.  The hard-copy format is delivered in a convenient three ring binder which allows you to remove the maneuvers you need and take them with you on your next flight. The combined Recreational, Sport and Private Pilot Maneuvers Guide covers takeoffs and landings, stalls, slow flight, ground reference maneuvers, emergencies and much more.  Common errors associated with the maneuver are also included so you’ll be better prepared.


The Maneuvers Guides are also available in an electronic, online format.  Sporty’s Online Maneuvers Guides contain all of the same detailed descriptions and even offer a printable format so you can still take the maneuvers you need with you on your flight. Also included with most maneuvers are 3D animations that you can view as often as you’d like anywhere you have an internet connection.

online maneuvers

The online and dedicated iPad/iPhone app format of Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course include the online Maneuvers Guides at no additional charge. Demo the Interactive Maneuvers Guide here.

Are you an instructor?  Sporty’s Maneuvers Guides are available for Sport/Recreational/Private as well as Instrument and Commercial – combine titles as a great CFI resource.

A standardized approach to your required maneuvers certainly won’t guarantee perfection.  But a polished, professional approach and effort that comes from a guide is like good makeup – it may disguise a blemish here and there come checkride time.

1 reply
  1. John Carston says:

    I like how you mentioned that you could choose your preferences that would take different flight formats. My cousin mentioned last night that he was planning to have a familiarization flight that could help him manage landings and takeoffs efficiently. Thanks to this informative article, I’ll be sure to tell him that he should try the Flight Training company as it can help him gather more experience.


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