You want to learn to fly yourself and your friends around the big open skies. First, you researched the flight schools in your area. Then you found the school that was the best fit for you and set up your first lesson. Now, you are wondering what to expect.
Let’s explore what your first day will encompass. First, when you arrive at the flight school, your instructor will meet you in the lobby. You will fill out all the required paperwork for flying (you can come in before the first day and it will speed up the time it takes to get airborne). Then the instructor will give you an overview of where you will fly for the day, what you will accomplish, and show you how to check out the aircraft you will be flying for the day.
Together, you will head out to the plane where the instructor will introduce you to how to do a walk-around (pre-flight inspection to make sure the plane is ready to fly). You will be shown how to accomplish each step of the checklist and the instructor will explain why each item needs to be completed. It will be the beginning of your exciting journey to learning about the planes you will fly! After the walk-around is completed, you will finally get to hop into the airplane! Your instructor will lead you through the checklists and let you help start the engine. You will see how to set up the radios, check the instruments and gauges, and ensure the plane is ready to fly.
Now it’s time to taxi to the runway! Once there, you will make sure all the checklist items are completed. Then your instructor will takeoff and you will get to help! It will be fun and exciting and a little scary all at the same time! It will be exhilarating because this takeoff means you have started the journey to becoming a pilot. You are one step closer to realizing your dream!
Once you are airborne, your instructor will direct you to an area away from the airport. You will be doing the majority of the flying once you are airborne. Your instructor will teach you to climb and descend, do some gentle turns, and start learning how to determine where you are based on what you see on the ground. You will learn how to tell what your altitude is and how fast you are going based on your instruments. This first day is a fun introduction to the more in depth training you will be doing over the course of your training.
After spending time away from the airfield, you will bring the plane
back to the pattern for landing. Your instructor will demonstrate how and where to enter the pattern, point out the landmarks for entry to the pattern, and show you how to ensure you maintain proper spacing from the runway. You will hear the radio calls that must be made as you fly in the pattern and what needs to be accomplished within the cockpit to safely land the plane. As you reach the final approach to the runway, you will be on the controls with the instructor. This lets you see how to land as well as feel what is being done with the controls to make the plane flare and gently settle to the runway.
You have just accomplished your first flight of training! You will taxi back and, for the first time ever, be able to log a flight! Congratulations on your start toward becoming a pilot! Over the coming days, weeks, and months…study hard, learn as much as possible, and make sure you have fun! You have just started an amazing journey that will have life-long rewards!