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4 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Next Flight Lesson

Thanks to UND Aerospace Phoenix for making this story possible. Check out the full series here. And if you want to become a pilot, learn how to get started at UND Aerospace Phoenix.

Learning to fly is not a cheap endeavor, so when it comes to flight lessons, you want to make sure you're maximizing your time and money. Being prepared is the best way to optimize your time, and to make your flight training fun both for you, and your flight instructor.

1) Crunch the numbers

There's no better sentence that a flight instructor can hear from you than, "the plane is dispatched, preflighted, the weather is good, and we meet performance requirements, let's go fly." Of course your instructor might have some questions to ask, but this minimizes time spent doing repetitive tasks that take up valuable lesson time.

Get a weather briefing, be ready for your pre-flight briefing with your instructor.


2) Do your homework

There are plenty of ways to get ahead of the curve at home, so you can spend less time on the ground and more time up in the air.

Ask your instructor what your next lesson is about, and what you should study. This helps you to get ahead of your curriculum and gives you more time to learn concepts and maneuvers.

If you study and 'chair fly' your flight ahead of time, you'll be more prepared next time you step into the airplane.


3) Treat every flight as if it's a checkride

Whether you're doing air work or reviewing concepts on the ground, it's important to hold yourself to a set of standards. In most cases, the ACS can be a solid resource to adhere to, regardless of the rating you are working on.

Think back to the saying, "you play like you practice". If your normal landings are 400 feet past your touch-down point every time, it's going to be difficult to accurately perform a short field landing when asked to do so. But, if you get to the point where you land on a given point every time, any type of landing becomes easy.

By holding yourself to a higher standard you desensitize yourself to the stress, making checkrides, stage checks and exams seem like routine flights.


4) Write down questions for your CFI

When you're reviewing content at home, questions start to arise. Sometimes they are simple questions that can be answered with a quick text to your instructor, but other times they require a more detailed explanation.

For complex questions, write down the topics and questions you need to review during your next lesson. You'll have a clear set of questions to ask before your lesson, and you can move through them quickly.

Being prepared for your flights doesn't guarantee that you will glide through flight training, but it certainly helps you be the most efficient in terms of your money and time.


Want more ways to be ready for your next lessons (and checkride?). Check out our online courses here.

Thinking about becoming a pilot? Get started with UND Aerospace Phoenix, and find out what it takes to start your aviation career here.

Nicolas Shelton

Nicolas is a flight instructor from Southern California. He is currently studying aviation at Purdue University. He's worked on projects surrounding aviation safety and marketing. You can reach him at

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