5 – Attitudes and Movements

This is the first lesson normally done in flying. Make sure the student has a solid foundation on which to build further flying skills after todays flight. Also ensure that the student does not feel overwhelmed and is satisfied after having taken part in their first flying lesson.


Exercise 5 – Attitudes and Movements

In the PGI you should have talked about the causes of yaw. The take-off is a great time to demonstrate slipstream yaw. Align the aircraft on the runway and add full power without touching the controls. Demonstrate what the aircraft wants to do and then demonstrate how to fix it.


  • After take-off, demonstrate an effective scanning technique to the student.
  • Transfer control the student in the proper taught way.

Cruise Attitude

  • Establish the aircraft in the cruise attitude at the correct power and speed.
  • Point out how they know it is the cruise attitude, the horizon
  • Use finger tips from the dash or wings level out the sides
  • Outline that this is the reference and that all other manoeuvres in an aircraft are done relative to this

Nose-Up Attitude

  • Lookout
  • Demonstrate nose-up and nose-down by pitching the aircraft
  • Explain how you are doing this on the yoke and what surface it is moving
  • Re-enforce small movements are generally required and a light grip on the controls
  • Small movements on the elevator result in large movements outside, relate it to a car driving fast
    • You can even have the student look back at how little the elevator moves and how much the nose moves relative to the horizon
  • Demonstrate how to get to and maintain the gentle, medium and steep nose-up attitudes

Student Practice

  • Lookout
  • Demonstrate gentle, medium and steep nose down attitudes
  • Emphasize that speed may build up or decrease depending on nose down/up attitudes. The student may just have to relieve pressure and the nose will naturally want to return to cruise

Student Practice

Bank Attitude

  • Lookout prior to banks
  • Demonstrate the rolling motion of the aircraft while keeping the aircraft coordinated
  • Explain control movements and aircraft surface movement
    • If the rolling motion continues, the aircraft will bank onto its side because of the forces.
    • Emphasize roll to the desired attitude and return the column to neutral
  • Demonstrate gentle and medium banks.

Student Practice

Nose-Up and Bank Combo

  • Lookout
  • Establish the nose up or down desired attitude and then bank to the desired bank angle. Following practice, establish a desired bank and then pitch to a desired nose up/down attitude

Student Practice


  • Align on a road and allow the student to press on the rudder pedals to discover yaw.
  • Demonstrate what happens to the aircraft when uncontrolled yaw occurs
  • Demonstrate how to control yaw using the pedals and which surface

Slipstream demo

  • Align on a road with a medium power setting.
  • Add full power and show student what the nose will do.
  • Realign aircraft with road and from full power reduce to idle demonstrating what aircraft will do.

Student Practice keeping aircraft straight

“Slow Roll on a Point”

  • Align aircraft so it is pointing to a very prominent landmark in the distance.
  • Depending on the aircraft, slowing it down to a less than cruise RPM with one flap allows ample forward visibility but also makes yaw movements more noticeable
  • Roll the aircraft without rudder and show the movement of the nose relative to the landmark. You can make a game of it trying to roll the nose on that point. You will both surely fail.

Student Practice

  • Start the maneuver by applying left aileron and left rudder (like starting a turn). Before the nose has a chance to move apply right rudder so the point is held. Apply right aileron and more right rudder to roll into a right bank stopping the turning tendency with left rudder.

Student Practice

  • Stop the maneuver once it isn’t any fun anymore or until one of you is sick.
  • Practice this maneuver last, people may get sick from this.


Fun Practice

  • If time exists, allow the student free time to do whatever they like in the airplane, this allows them to build confidence in their machine
  • Assure the student there is nothing they can do to the airplane that you can’t recover from
  • That being said, DO NOT allow the aircraft to achieve an undesirable state. The definition of this is subjective and depends on the instructor. Use your own limitations and judgement as to when to take control from a student.
  • All of this information on pilot training and flight training in Canada is also available at www.myflighttraining.ca.