What You Should Expect in Your First Flying Lessons

For many people, taking flight lessons and learning how to pilot an aircraft is a lifelong dream. Of course, it takes a lot of practice and study before you’re really able to dart through the skies with ease and unsupervised.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and while it’s important that you go into your first flying lesson with enthusiasm, it also helps to have an idea of what you can realistically expect.

Your arrival

When you arrive at the airplane school, you’ll likely need to complete a fair amount of paperwork, so it’s a good idea to get there early. You may need to bring a passport or birth certificate to verify proof of citizenship.

This is also when you’ll meet your instructor. They’ll go over the itinerary for the day with you and answer your questions. This is a great time to soak up as much information as possible before you start with the actual lesson.

Preflight routines

Every time you fly, there will be preflight routines that must be performed. You will learn these routines, which include inspecting the aircraft on a walkaround to make sure everything is in proper shape. Your instructor will show you what to look for and specific checks to make in this process. You’ll then get into the cockpit and prepare for actually operating the airplane.

Getting going

In the cockpit (or right before you enter), the instructor will walk you through all of the pre-starting and starting procedures involved with the plane, as well as the pre-taxi procedures and how you should maneuver the aircraft while it’s still on the ground.

You’ll then begin to taxi the plane to the runway, where you can prepare for takeoff. But before takeoff, you will go to an area where you can perform a run-up, which is the final inspection before taking off to make sure all of your systems are functioning as they should. These checks are important for the safety of everyone on board the plane and help to ensure you have an uneventful flight.

Flight and landing

After you’ve performed all of the preflight checks and taxied the plane into position, you’ll be ready for takeoff as soon as control clears you to go. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! As you get into the air for the first time as a pilot, your instructor will take you through the climb checklist and help you reach a safe altitude away from the airfield.

After you’re up in the air, your instructor will teach you some basic piloting maneuvers. They will be right there to manage the controls with you, so you don’t need to worry too much about something going wrong—they’re well trained in working with new pilots.

Don’t expect to spend all day in the air. Usually a first lesson will involve roughly half an hour or a bit more time up in the air to cover some basics before you descend. You’ll have a similar landing checklist as you did for takeoff, and receive landing instructions from air traffic control. Your instructor will likely perform the actual landing, but have you carefully follow what they do in the process.

The first day of airplane school is always exciting, and knowing what lies ahead of you can help you better prepare. Contact us at First Flight Aviation for more tips about scheduling your first flying lesson.

Read More