Once you have soloed, you will split your time between solo flights and instructional flights. During the solo flying you are practicing to improve your skills and precision, with an eye to the practical test standards. Dual flights are a chance to check on your progress, ensure no bad habits are developing, and work on areas you have identified as needing improvement. At the same time, you start to work on new skills, such as cross-country planning, navigation, weather, night flight, and instrument flight, while expanding the conditions under which you fly.
You have completed this phase when you have been introduced to all of the maneuvers required by the PTS (unusual attitudes are normally last) and you have met most of your experience requirements (usually the long cross-country is last).
I recommend during this phase that you increase studying for the written test with the goal of taking and passing the test near the end of this phase or at beginning of phase 4.
Anticipating next steps
Communications with SoCal approach (and other center/approach control agencies)
- Dual cross-country (typically CMA)
- Night flight (pattern work)
- Night dual cross-country (typically APV)
- Cross-country phase check
- Solo cross-country flight
- Long cross-country flight
- Instrument flight
- VOR Navigation
- GPS Navigation
- Unusual attitudes
- Instrument approach (optional – typically ILS at CNO)
- Fullerton/KFI tower (optional)
- Flabob (optional) – challenging pattern and runway
- Getting fuel at another airport