What an experience! You have finished your first flight and the excitement is running rampant! What’s next?!?!
The next step in learning to fly is Stage 1: Preparing to Solo. Your instructor has a syllabus with everything needed to prepare you to fly the plane by yourself! The first few flights will be learning to talk on the radios and the basics of flying the plane. You will learn to put the plane where you want it to be in the air.
The first aerial maneuvers you will learn are basic climbing and descending. When you pull back on the yoke the houses get smaller and when you push forward on the yoke the houses get bigger. Then you will learn to turn the plane and maintain your altitude and airspeed.
Once you understand the basics, you will start learning how to fly a rectangular pattern, fly around a point keeping it in the same place on your wing, and doing half-circle turns using a road to keep you in place (S-turns). Your instructor will introduce you to stalls of different types (so you know what the limits of the aircraft are for flying). You will learn to fly steep turns (turns with 45 degrees of bank). You will learn how the plane reacts to your inputs and what is needed to make the plane fly how you want it to fly.
Once you have gotten to this point, you will be about five flights into your training. You may be wondering what you have gotten yourself into. Wondering why you aren’t spending a lot of time to learn how to takeoff and land. Maybe you are wondering why you are doing what you are doing instead of the pattern work that you will need to fly your solo.
Never fear! You have just learned all the basic building blocks needed to perfect your pattern work. The climbing, descending, and basic turning have taught you to fly a smooth plane with gentle inputs. The rectangular pattern taught you to fly the pattern at the airport while maintaining the necessary track. The turns around a point and S-turns taught you how to make turns in the pattern without becoming disoriented and yet still maintaining the necessary climbs and descents. The stall training and demonstrations taught you what it feels like if you over perform the aircraft and how to recover to a normal flight.
Your instructor has taught you the basics and prepared you for the pattern. Now you will prepare yourself for spending the next series of flights doing pattern work. After you learn the basics, you will be amazed how quickly you learn to takeoff and land. It will not happen overnight, but before too many more flights, your instructor will be ready to send you out on your own! What an exciting adventure…and it is just beginning!