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Step 4:Flight Training Process

The flight training process involves ground school and flight training (Dual and Solo). Both ground school and flight training lessons are usually taught concurrently and are based on the building block method of learning, where each new concept or maneuver builds on the previous lesson. The flight training process can be divided into three categories:

Ground School
Dual Flights
Solo Flights

Ground School
Ground school is another aspect of learning how to fly. It is the aeronautical knowledge portion that is required to help you understand how, where, and when to fly safely. Subjects taught in ground school include: aerodynamics, radio communications, aircraft systems, performance and limitations, navigation, weather, Federal Aviation Regulations, flight planning, emergency procedures and scenarios, and more.

Ground School can be taught in three forms:
1.

Scheduled Class
Ground school is usually taught with an instructor teaching a scheduled class held over several weeks/months or in a 3-day condensed course. Many colleges and independent flight schools offer scheduled classes as an option.

2. Home-Study Program
Home-study programs offer the most flexibility, which allows you to study when and where you want, at your own pace. The ground school courses are available in various media formats such as videotapes, DVDs, textbooks, interactive CD-ROMs, computer-based trainers, and some schools offer courses online via the Internet. Home-study programs allow you to review any lessons, whenever you need too. If you are self-disciplined and a self-starter, these self-paced programs are excellent learning tools.
3. One-on-One with an Instructor
One-on-One with an instructor is another option. This option allows you to study privately with your instructor, which is more expensive since your instructor will charge you for his or her time for each lesson.

You may find best option is a combination of two. You can attend a scheduled class and use the home-study programs for review or as needed. Many schools offer the traditional classroom setting and a library that contains home-study programs for additional study.

After completing ground school, you will have to take the FAA’s Knowledge Test before your Practical Test. A grade of 70 percent or higher is a passing score. It is recommended that you take the Knowledge Test after completing your solo cross-country flights (for students training for the Private Pilot Certificate). The hands-on knowledge gained from your flight experiences can be used to your advantage to help answer questions correctly on the Knowledge Test.


Dual Flights
Dual flights involve receiving instruction from your flight instructor in the airplane. As a student pilot, your instructor will teach you the fundamentals of aircraft control, airport operations, radio communications, flight maneuvers, takeoffs and landings, navigation, and more outlined in the Practical Test Standards (PTS).

 

Solo Flights
As your skill level increases, you will eventually fly the airplane alone – Solo - which usually takes between 10-20 hours of flight instruction. Your instructor will determine when you will fly solo, once you have demonstrated consistency in takeoffs and landings, proficiency in certain flight maneuvers, good judgment to safely fly the airplane. Before your instructor allows you to solo, you must have a current Student Pilot/Medical Certificate. This solo time is necessary towards meeting the flight experience requirements for your Private Pilot Certificate.

The solo process is divided into two phases:

Phase 1: Solo in the Practice Area
Prior to releasing you for your first solo flight, your instructor will endorse your Student Pilot/Medical Certificate by signing it. You will also sign it. You will be instructed to make several takeoffs and landings, and return to the ramp area to celebrate your first step of many. As your dual flight lessons progress, you will be allowed to fly to the local practice area and practice assigned flight maneuvers, which builds your flying skills, judgment, and confidence. Your first solo flight will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable days you will ever experience!

Phase 2: Solo Cross-Country
A Solo Cross-Country consists of flying from airport to airport over long distances (greater than 50 miles) to log cross-country flight time, and to meet the minimum solo requirements for the Private Pilot Certificate. You will be allowed to fly your solo cross-countries, only after receiving dual flight instruction from your flight instructor. Your instructor will again endorse your Student Pilot/Medical Certificate prior to releasing you for your first solo cross-country. Your first solo cross-country flight will undoubtedly be another memorable day you will ever experience!


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Medical Exams, Knowledge & Practical Tests


Written by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004 AvScholars Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


 

 

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Learn to Fly: Become a Pilot is your one-stop source to information on flight training, flying lessons, flight schools, and helicopter schools. Learn about the entire flight training process to help you earn your pilot certificates or ratings such as student pilot certificate, commercial pilot certificate, instrument rating, and others.

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