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10 Things You Should Do When Flying With A Flight Instructor For The First Time

Flying with a new instructor for the first time can feel intimidating. Here are a few things you can do to make it a smooth, fun, productive lesson!

1) To Set Expectations, Show Up Prepared

Showing up prepared and organized for your first lesson is a great way to show your instructor that you're serious and you don't want to waste time or money. If show up prepared, it will prompt them to be extra prepared for lessons instead of scrambling for materials last-minute.

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2) Just Like Learning Styles, Everyone Has A Different Teaching Style

Try to pick up on the teaching style your instructor has. Every instructor is different. Some are far more direct than others, while some will wait for you to make the mistakes first.

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3) Set Clear Training Goals From Day 1

Have a quick talk with your new instructor about the goals you have for the particular training course, both timespan and financials.

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4) Be Honest About Your Strengths And Weaknesses

There's no such thing as a perfect instructor or student. Don't hesitate to tell your new instructor what you struggle with or where you feel confident. It will help them tailor lessons to your needs, saving you time and money.

5) Show Him/Her That You're Willing To Learn From Mistakes

If you make mistakes on the first lesson together, don't be embarrassed. Show that you're willing to acknowledge your mistakes and move on!

D. Miller

6) Instructor Confidence Takes Time

It will take a few flight lessons for your instructor to feel comfortable with your skills. Don't feel belittled if the instructor follows you on the controls during takeoff, landing, etc. It's just their way to make sure you're safe!

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7) Learn His/Her Background

Chat with your instructor about their personal goals and background as a pilot.

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8) Explain Your Experience And Goals As A Pilot

Let your instructor know what sort of flight experience you have and what your goals are, professional or otherwise! It will help them tailor scenarios to your personal progression as a pilot.

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9) Verbalize Your Corrections

As your instructor builds confidence in you, verbalize your corrections in-flight. For instance... If you're flying slow, fast, high, or low during approach, say something like "correcting speed."

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10) Most Of All, Have Fun!

Yes, flight training is serious business. But it's important to have fun along the way. Consider incorporating a few fun cross-country destinations into your lessons.

Justin Dillon

What are your tips for a student flying with an instructor for the first time? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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