Pilot Training for Flight and Safety

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Whether you are thinking about learning how to fly or have 20 years and 10,000 flight hours logged, there is always the need to get good flight training. When you receive flight instruction, it should be from a competent, qualified fight instructor that you feel comfortable flying with. There needs to be a channel of communication between you and your flight instructor that flows in both directions. We have become a service-oriented society, and you should expect nothing less from your instructors than someone who thoroughly understands your goals and helps you achieve them.

Your flight instructors should act professionally. They must communicate well, in a manner that is clear to you. Any flight, whether a first lesson or a biennial flight review, should involve pre- and postflight discussions as needed until your understanding of the subject matter is complete. If they are not training you in a way that seems beneficial to you, find other instructors—there are many excellent ones out there.

When you are in the air, you should be doing the majority of the flying,
with the instructor demonstrating a maneuver or technique then letting you practice. If you have an instructor that does as much flying as you do during a lesson, you may want to look elsewhere. During a lesson the instructor should critique your progress in clear, concise terms that help you become more proficient at each maneuver. If you do not understand what you are supposed to do, or how something needs to be changed to get a maneuver right, ask. Your instructor should be able to answer your question immediately or get the answer for you once you are on the ground. The flying techniques you learn from your flight instructors, good or bad, may stick with you for your entire flying career.

Don’t feel limited to just the local flight school. If you are serious about learning to fly, it is worth checking out the schools within a reasonable drive of your home. Finally, ask questions as you learn to fly. Flight instruction is a two-way communication process, and your instructor may not be able to anticipate all of your needs. If you enter flight instruction with a desire to learn and the time to be able to fly on a regular basis, you will find that the time spent is one of the most enjoyable of your life.

Aircraft safety
As a pilot you shoulder tremendous responsibility that you should not take lightly. Your passengers depend on your judgment and skills to safely get them to their destination. On several occasions during my flying career, I have made the decision to stay on the ground when the weather appeared to be a potential problem. In each of these instances the passengers were somewhat put out, but respected the fact that I put their safety first. Other pilots depend on you to smoothly fit into the airspace that you use and follow standard procedures.

When you fly, try to anticipate contingencies, plan ahead, and be prepared. Do not let time pressures, stress, or other factors override your decision-making processes. If you approach flying with an open mind and are willing to commit the time it takes to be a proficient, safe pilot, you will spend a lifetime of enjoyment with the activity. The magic of flight is as fresh and wonderful today as it was with the Wright Brothers’ first successful attempt.

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