In-Flight Instruction

  1. The in-flight exercise is the culmination of all ground training and preparation. To achieve maximum effectiveness, it must be flown immediately after the pre-flight briefing, and to avoid confusion it should be flown as briefed. The following is a guide to the conduct of a training flight. Variations may be necessary to suit individual student requirements.


2. There should never be any doubt as to who has control of the aircraft. The procedure for giving and taking control is:

  1. when you as pilot-in-command wish to give control to your student, say clearly "You have control". Teach your student to take control only when ready and then to say "I have control". You do not relinquish control until you hear this phrase;
  2. when you want to take control, say "I have control" and then take control, ensuring that your student says "You have control" when relinquishing control;
  3. as pilot-in-command, you have the final authority. Your request to give or take control should not be questioned but acted on as quickly as possible by your students; and
  4. when the student has control, you must not "ride" the controls. Your student may feel that you are taking control and this could lead to a dangerous situation. Additionally, you may rob your student of the feeling of accomplishing the manoeuvre independently. This is particularly difficult during critical manoeuvres, such as full-on autorotations, when there is little time available to the instructor to correct errors. This procedure must be adhered to at all times.


3. For most new exercises you should first review the main points of the manoeuvre and then give a perfect demonstration. The review must be short. Include such items as airspeeds, power settings, altitudes, etc. Usually you can obtain this information from your student. Your demonstration should be a complete manoeuvre and should set the standard you want your student to ultimately achieve.

4. In the case of a complex manoeuvre, after the perfect demonstration, demonstrate a small portion of the manoeuvre giving a brief explanation either before, during or after the demonstration. Have your student attempt this small portion. Watch closely for any major error. If you observe a major error, take control immediately and explain to your student what was done incorrectly, then demonstrate as soon as possible what to do to correct the error. Allow practice of that small portion before proceeding to the next portion. Continue the process of demonstration, explanation and practice with close supervision of each step or portion, until your student has completed the entire manoeuvre. Then, allow continued practice, slowly withdrawing your guidance and assistance.

5. As your student gains proficiency, you may look for minor errors and correct them in the same manner. Remember though, learning to fly well takes time and you should concentrate on the major points first. Many of the minor errors will be corrected as your student corrects the major faults. Also, remember to praise for good performance.

6. If practical, conclude the air exercise with a perfect demonstration of the manoeuvre to be learned on the next lesson. This will help your student fully understand the home study about the next exercise and also provide a positive mental picture about what will be taking place during the next flight. Of course, you would not give a demonstration of new material if the next lesson was to be a review or a repeat of a lesson.


7. When discussing a student's faults, always take control so that your student may devote full attention to the instruction. In some cases you may ask the student to analyze the errors in a particular sequence, usually this will happen during latter stages of training. Do not be overly critical of minor faults during early stages. Correct major faults first and then, as improvement is noted, correct the minor errors. If a student indicates problems on a solo flight, it may be possible to analyze the problems from the student's description of actions and the aircraft's response. The correct technique can then be reviewed and practised on the next flight. Sometimes, however, students may not be able to identify or describe a problem clearly enough for a good ground analysis to be made. You should then fly the exercise on the next dual flight where you can analyze the performance and correct any faults.


8. To make efficient use of the time available, you should plan the flight to avoid delays between exercises. Fuel limitations, area restrictions and weather conditions should all be considered. Your flight should be planned so that one exercise is logically and directly followed by another with a minimum of time spent losing or gaining altitude or in transit from one area to another.

9. Time spent going to and from the practice area can be utilized to full advantage. Suggested items among other things, that might be included are:

  1. airspeed changes;
  2. ground speed checks;
  3. low level navigation;
  4. VOR or ADF introduction;
  5. discussions of traffic pattern joining procedures should wind change;
  6. emergency procedures;
  7. D.F. Steers;
  8. map reading;
  9. estimated times of arrival;
  10. application of rule of thumb procedures; and
  11. diversions (navigation).