What Should I Expect from Flight Training?

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  • Written By: Rachel Burkot
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2020
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Flight training consists of a balance of classroom instruction and training in the airplane. Pilot school can be completed in only 18 to 24 months, and after completion, the pilot is granted private and commercial pilot certificates, an instrument rating and a multi-engine rating. Classroom instruction is pretty straightforward, and students should expect from flight training to learn the practical application methods of the concepts taught during the courses.

During flight school, students will study a variety of subjects, which include aerodynamics, airplane systems, airports, airspace, airplane performance, aeromedical factors and aircraft weight and balance. Besides learning the ins and outs of the plane itself, students should expect to learn the conditions that affect the aircraft, such as weather and meteorology. Additionally, pilot students must learn how to control the airplane, and courses on navigation, flight operations and cross-country flying provide the necessary lessons. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations must be complied with at all times, and students should expect from flight training to understand the FAA and its rules.

Basic math skills and simple algebra are necessary for a pilot to excel. This will allow him or her to make estimates about climbs and descents during a flight. Of course, modern aircraft usually include management systems that can crunch the numbers automatically, but it’s always good to know the basics anyway in case the technology fails or an emergency situation calls for quick calculations.


During the aviation training component of a flight training program, prospective pilots will become comfortable on the airplane and eventually in the cockpit. Students should expect from flight training, at least at first, to begin by inspecting the aircraft before each flight. Eventually, hopeful pilots can help with taxiing to the runway, flying around the airport traffic pattern, communicating via the radio, flying under diverse weather conditions and landing the aircraft. The flight student will begin by following a more experienced pilot as he or she completes these tasks. Eventually, as the student gains confidence and skill, the instructor should allow him or her to gradually take over.

The first time a student flies alone during flight training, he or she should expect to be supervised by the pilot, then, if all goes well, the student can fly alone and unsupervised, thereby gaining confidence with experience. The flight student should practice multiple times at the airport in different weather conditions. The next thing students should expect from flight training is cross-country flight practice, which involves expanding the aeronautical horizons. Finally, the student is ready for the pilot exam. If he or she passes, a pilot license is granted, and the flight student is now certified to fly an airplane.


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