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Is Wanting To Fly Enough To Become a Pilot. Skills Acquired in Flight Training

Is Wanting To Fly Enough To Become a Pilot. Skills Acquired in Flight TrainingThe overall purpose of primary and intermediate flight training 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 a 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.
How Hard is Learning to fly REALLY?

One of the interesting aspects of special interest magazines like Flight Training is that, whether it’s hotrods, scuba diving, racing widgets or airplanes, for every reader who is hard core and actively involved, there are generally many more who are reading and watching, but not actually doing. Is that you? If so, you’re definitely not alone.
So, what’s holding you back? The reasons generally given for not jumping in almost always group themselves into “intangibles,” like doubting your own ability to master seemingly impossible technical tasks, to very “tangible” concerns about money and time.

A good percentage of the reasons, both tangible and intangible, that people give for holding back, are based on old-wive’s tales or bad information. Let’s run down the “Gee, I wish I could, but….” list and examine each of the common reasons given that, even though the desire is there, people don’t learn to fly.

The Intangible Reasons

The intangible reasons are quite often based on fears that have no basis in fact. This is especially when it comes to the knowledge or mental aptitude required. Most people forget that everything they’ll ever need to know about flying will be force fed to them during ground school. It is the ground instructor’s goal to take a person who barely knows the definition of “up” and school them in the intricacies of aviation. You can learn any thing and they can teach it.

How much math do I need to know?

It would help if you can add and subtract. And multiplying is handy sometimes too. That’s about it! Honest! Fourth grade arithmetic will take care of the entire thing.
How deep is the technology involved?

Do you have a general idea how your car engine works?

Gas and air mix in the carburetor/fuel injection system, it’s squirted into the cylinders and fired by a spark plug. There, we just gave a crash course in aviation engine theory. The rest of the systems are just as familiar and parallel to the family car, but much simpler. Airplanes are quite rudimentary, once everything is explained.

What about aerodynamics and other scientific concepts?

The FAA has carefully distilled the amount of aerodynamics you need to know into easily-learned lesson plans. Similarly, quite a number of after-market teaching institutions have come up with ways of explaining how an airplane flies while imparting a practical understanding of the concepts without requiring an engineering degree. Most of this can be done on line.

Do I have to understand meteorology?

Again, remember what ground school is for. It’s there to teach you what you don’t know. Besides, the weather information you get on the nightly news contains 90% of the meteorological theory you’re going to cover in flight training. TV weather is always presented on a map, complete with hot and cold fronts, lows and highs and other items you’ve seen on an almost daily basis. Ground school will expand on that slightly and orient it toward aviation.

I hear FAA regulations are hard to understand.

You heard right. The FAA doesn’t specialize in clarity, but every ground school on the planet does. They make their living coming up with ever-more-understandable ways of presenting FAA regulations to students. They’ve created all sorts of easy-to-follow classroom outlines aimed at clearing away the regulatory fog.

I’m afraid I’m going to panic or clutch up.

That’s understandable. This is an entirely new environment: no one but pilots routinely deal with the third dimension. Even so, it’s highly unlikely (read that as nearly impossible) that you’ll panic as things become more intense. This is a classic case of fear of the unknown. 100% of the time, the most common reaction from first time students is, “That wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I can do this.”

What about airsickness? I don’t want to embarrass myself.

Very, very few people actually get sick in an airplane while learning to fly and, of those who do, the majority have spend so much time worrying about it that they’ve made themselves sick. Even those who have initial problems get past it in around three hours of flight time.

I’m older, will this be more than I can handle?

Age can be a positive in that you handle frustrations and set-backs better than one of those impulsive kids of thirty-five. You may learn a little slower, but that’ll be the extent of age-related difficulties. Also, the FAA doesn’t recognize age as a disqualifying factor. This may sound like a cliché but in aviation the effects of age are largely in your head. If you think you’re old, you’ll be old, and vice versa. Is there a logical age limit? No because it’s a demonstrated ability thing. If you can do it, you can do it. Period. No one says you can’t teach an eighty-year-oldster new tricks. It’ll take a little longer is all. The number of active octegenarian pilots is surprisingly high.

My fine motor skills aren’t good, is that a problem?

Eye/hand coordination is a good thing. Too bad more of us don’t have it. Flying is primarily a head-game. You have to know what it is you want to do, see what is happening and modify it to fit. If you can safely drive, you have the motor functions required to fly. You’d be amazed how many mere mortals have learned to fly.

Finances as a Reason

Aviation is expensive. That’s impossible to argue. But it’s also one of the most rewarding, engrossing things you’ll ever put a dollar into. If you have any creativity at, finding the finances to learn to fly is a good place to put it into action.

See source for a full list of questions and suggestions.

Pilot Training Program With Aviator Flight Training Academy 259 Flight Hours

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What Flight Training Teaches You About the Four Forces

four forces of flightEvery pilot will learn the basics of aerodynamics during flight training. It is important to have a clear understanding as a pilot of the fundamentals of air travel. Here are a few basic definitions to get you started.

Total Aerodynamic Force

Total aerodynamic force is the sum of the drag and lift. The amount of force generated is dependent on the orientation of the wind, engine, and gravity.

lift and drag

1. Thrust

Thrust is the force that moves the airplane forward. The thrust is produced by the power of the engine. It is directed forward along the axis of the engine.

2. Drag 

Drag holds the airplane back, it is considered to be the air resistance opposing the motion of the aircraft, running parallel and opposite to the oncoming flow of air. Since thrust is the force that moves the airplane forward, drag is the motion directly opposite of thrust.

four forces

3. Weight

Weight is the force directed downward from the center of mass of the aircraft towards the center of the earth. It is proportional to the mass of the airplane times the strength of the gravitational field.

4. Lift

Lift is what keeps the airplane airborne. The force that is perpendicular to the direction of the oncoming flow of air.
Can be explained by three theories:

  • Bernoulli’s principle – the pressure of a moving gas decreases as its velocity increases. The air flows faster over the curved upper surface of the wing than the flat lower surface, so the greatest pressure is enforced upward
  • Coanda effect – which moving air is attracted to and flows along the surface of the wing, and the tilt of the wing, called the angle of attack, causing the air to flow downward as it leaves the wing.
  • Newton’s third law of motion – the greater the angle of attack, the greater the downward flow, abides to an equal and opposite reaction, so the aircraft is deflected upward.

These are just a few of the most basic definitions you will learn during flight training. It will be beneficial to you to get a head start on your research before heading off to flight training school as some of the technical material can be a little overwhelming.