Aircraft Control and Procedures

At the start of flight training, you learn procedures that are required for every flight, like preflight inspection, starting, run-up, and use of checklists. You will learn how to control the airplane both on the ground and in the air. In the air, you start with straight and level flight, gentle turns, and progress through steep turns, flight at various speeds and configurations, and on to stalls. You also will learn radio communications for an airport with ground and tower controllers, as well as communication with other pilots in the practice area.

As you become more comfortable with control of the airplane, you learn to do many things at once – plan and navigate relative to points on the ground, while keeping the airplane under control, looking for traffic, and communicating all at the same time. When you start, every maneuver will require conscious thought, but later, much of the flying will be something you don’t even think about. You start with being told what to do and how to do it and progress to being asked to do something and making it happen. You are leaving Phase 1 when you successfully perform ground reference maneuvers and start pattern work.

Lesson outlines [The lesson numbers do not correlate exactly to number of flights, but show the general flow of learning for the first few lessons.]

  1. Introduction
  2. First Flight
  3. Slow Flight & Stalls
  4. Ground Reference Maneuvers

Checklist:

Topics and concepts:

  • Seeing the attitude of the airplane through outside visual references
  • Using trim to reduce control pressures and workload
  • Using rudder to counteract adverse yaw or left turning tendency
  • Looking for and avoiding other aircraft
  • Seeing trends and changes early and making small corrections
  • Making smooth control inputs, but sufficient to get the desired effect
  • Relationship of power, pitch, trim, flaps and yaw
  • Communications and phonetic alphabet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet
  • The practice area
  • Charts and airspace

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