Questions about Flying Lessons?
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2006 (Change 1, February 2016)

The FAA has prepared its own version of a Student Pilot Guide. We have included this on our website, because we feel it greatly reinforces many of the positive aspects our own flight training program and what we strive to be! Also, having an "objective" publication from the FAA will help prospective clients choose the best flight training option to meet their personal needs and goals.

The last major revision of handbook was in 2006. Most recently, there were some revisions in February 2016, which we have updated on our pages. You can download the Current PDF of the 2016 version from our website (right click on the link, if you want to save it to your desktop), or you can check the FAA's website to see if an even newer version is available, using this link.

Before you begin flight training, it is important to have a basic understanding of the responsibilities, safety regulations, and issues applicable to such an endeavor. This includes the choice of a flight school, selected study materials, study habits, and the role of the instructor, student, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The overall purpose of primary and intermediate flight training, as outlined in this handbook, is the acquisition and honing of basic airmanship skills. Airmanship can be defined as: A sound acquaintance with the principles of flight, The ability to operate an airplane with competence and precision both on the ground and in the air, and The exercise of sound judgment that results in optimal operational safety and efficiency. Learning to fly an airplane has often been likened to learning to drive an automobile. This analogy is misleading. Since an airplane operates in a different environment, three dimensional, it requires a type of motor skill development that is more sensitive to this situation such as:

Coordination - The ability to use the hands and feet together subconsciously and in the proper relationship to produce desired results in the air-plane.

Timing - The application of muscular coordination at the proper instant to make flight, and all maneuvers incident thereto, a constant smooth process.

Control touch - The ability to sense the action of the airplane and its probable actions in the immediate future, with regard to attitude and speed variations, by the sensing and evaluation of varying pressures and resistance of the control surfaces transmitted through the cockpit flight controls.

Speed sense - The ability to sense instantly and react to any reasonable variation of airspeed.

An airman becomes one with the airplane rather than machine operator. An accomplished airman demonstrates the ability to assess a situation quickly and accurately and deduce the correct procedure to be followed under the circumstance; to analyze accurately the probable results of a given set of circumstances or of a proposed procedure; to exercise care and due regard for safety; to gauge accurately the performance of the airplane; and to recognize personal limitations and limitations of the airplane and avoid approaching the critical points of each.

The development of airmanship skills requires effort and dedication on the part of both the student pilot and the flight instructor, beginning with the very first training flight where proper habit formation begins with the student being introduced to good operating practices. Every airplane has its own particular flight characteristics.

The purpose of primary and intermediate flight training, however, is not to learn how to fly a particular make and model airplane. The underlying purpose of flight training is to develop skills and safe habits that are transferable to any airplane. Basic airmanship skills serve as a firm foundation for this. The pilot who has acquired necessary airmanship skills during training, and demonstrates these skills by flying training-type airplanes with precision and safe flying habits, will be able to easily transition to more complex and higher performance airplanes. It should also be remembered that the goal of flight training is a safe and competent pilot, and that passing required practical tests for pilot certification is only incidental to this goal.
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Table of Contents (or jump to a topic using the links below)

Role of the FAA
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO)

Page 3 Choosing a Flight School
The Role of the Instructor
What Flight Training Requires
Instructor and Student Relationship
Medical Requirements
Knowledge Tests
Preparing to Study for the Knowledge Test
Study Materials
Suggested Study Materials
How to Obtain Study Materials
How to Study for the Knowledge Test
Study Habits

When to Take the Knowledge Test
Where to Take the Knowledge Test
The Knowledge Test Content and Format
Practical Test Standards
Most Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions
Student Pilot Flight Training
Student Pilot Requirements: Medical and Student Pilot Certificates
Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, and Private Pilot Knowledge Tests
Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, and Private Pilot Practical Tests