Flight Training

The goal of the basic flight lessons is to teach students how to guide the aircraft and feel relaxed and confident enough so that they can move on to more advanced control of the aircraft. Students are introduced to flight planning and judgement skills. To accomplish this effectively the instructor must be quite explicit as to where the students should look and how they should apply the basic technique. They must get the most ‘correct’ experience about how we fly the plane. It is often necessary at this stage to leave out a great deal about how the airplane works. Airflow over the surfaces is often less important than the experience that if we move the stick to the right, the right wing goes down as evidenced by our view of the world tilting relative to the horizon. At the end of this stage the student should be able to:

1. Understand and use the flight controls related to the ailerons, elevator, and rudder.

2. Perform lookout and flight monitoring skills necessary to perform basic turns.

3. Execute well co-ordinated turns at bank angles up to 30 degrees in both normal and slow flight regimes and be able to link turns.

4. Maintain level flight (non-turning flight).

5. Understand the symptoms of slow flight, and be able to initiate and recover from gentle stalls started from a level-flight attitude.

6. Demonstrate the secondary effects of the rudder.

7. Understand the nature of the sub-gravity sensations, be reasonably comfortable with them, and be able to recover to normal flight effectively.

8. Execute basic thermalling techniques.

9. Understand how to control the glidepath using an aiming point.

If there is any one part of the flight-training curriculum that lends itself to more standardized lesson plans it is this stage. If we limit our goals to these skills, ones that are all essentially closed in nature, occurring in-flight, with reference largely to the horizon. The only challenges at this stage would be related to poor visibility or turbulence. Of course there is a certain amount of non-control knowledge at this stage as well. By the end of this stage the student should have a good grasp of:

1. Basic terminology.

2. Basic aerodynamic concepts, including the theory and symptoms of the stall.

3. Aircraft ground handling, movement, and securing.

4. Pre-flight aircraft inspections.

5. Basic flight-line operations.

6. Minimum administrative requirements (permits, logging etc.)

At the intermediate stage students gain all of the fundamental skills to complete the control and monitoring aspects of their flight training. At the end of this stage they should be able to takeoff and land the aircraft, fly the aerotow, perform most flight manoeuvres with a minimum of demonstration, complete all checks, and fly the circuit. The intermediate skills are as follows:

1. Intermediate Turns

2. Takeoff

3. Landing

4. Aerotow

5. Use Spoilers/flaps to Control Landing Glide Path (Aiming Point).

6. Crabs

7. Sideslip

8. Stalls in Turns and Wing Drop Stall

9. Incipient Spin

10. Steep Turns

11. Plan Standard Circuits

12. High Level Rope Breaks

13. Intermediate Thermalling

The background knowledge relates to:

1. The circuit and judging the effects of wind speed and direction to the ground path of the aircraft in the circuit and during landing.

2. Aerotow and/or Winch launch signals and procedures.

3. Spin theory, characteristics, and recovery.

4. Introduction to emergency procedures.

The advanced student must be able to exercise control and monitoring skills competently. Very few new flight skills are introduced at this stage, with the emphasis shifting towards the situational and option skills. The control exercises are things such as slipping turns, spoiler-less landings, recovery from unusual attitudes, and full spins. Both normal and emergency situations are introduced to students and require them to assume responsibility for a safe utcome. Flight plans follow the same basic sequence as at the other stages although there is a greater likelihood that they may be interrupted by some situational lesson.

Advanced flight skills include:

1. Crosswind Takeoff/Landings

2. Slipping turns

3. Spiral Dives

4. Full Spins

5. Box the Propwash

6. Slack Rope on Aerotow

7. Flight in High Winds

8. Alternate Runway Selection, Simulated Off-Field Landing

9. No Wing-Runner Takeoff

10. Precision Landing

11. Downwind Landing

12. Low-Level Rope Break

13. Unusual Attitudes

14. Wingovers, Flight At .75Vne

15. Advanced Thermalling, Gaggle Flying

16. Flight Without Instruments (Partial panel)

17. Judging glider performance under various conditions of headwind and tailwind and with reference to the location of the airport.

The background information focuses more on judgement skills. They should have a firm grasp of:

1. Off-field landing procedures.

2. Flight crew responsibilities, rules of the air.

3. Air regulations.

4. Basic radio procedures.