In-Flight Technique

When conducting in flight teaching there should never be any doubt as to who has control of the aircraft. As pilot-in-command you will always have final authority as to who has control. To avoid ambiguity, be firm and use statements like “your control” or “I have control.” While the student has control do not “ride” the controls (even the rudders.)

In flight

  • When teaching in flight always try and relate information to what has already been taught in the PGI
  • Always give a perfect demonstration when showing a new exercise
  • There are three methods to explaining
    • Explaining before the demonstration can help direct the student’s attention to a certain aspect of the demo
    • Explaining during helps with longer demonstrations like a forced approach
    • Explaining afterwards is acceptable but is not often practical (imagine demo-ing a spin then explaining afterwards what happened, the student will realize flying is for birds)
  • When teaching complex maneuvers and after the initial demo, break the exercise down into smaller portions redemonstrating and re-explaining the broken down maneuver. Allow the student to try this smaller portion and continue adding parts until the student can practice the whole maneuver.
    • Do not move on until the smaller portions are mastered (primacy)
  • Watch for major errors while the student practices for the first time. Correct these errors and help prevent them.
  • As the student masters the exercise, watch for smaller errors
  • At the end of the exercise, demonstrate the next lesson perfectly so your student can better understand the material in the FTM while completing their homework readings.

Analyzing Students

  • Always take control while analyzing their performance so they can devote their full attention to you.
  • During early stages, do not be over critical of their faults.
  • Help the student assess their own performance, leave no ambiguity
  • Strengths – Always identify strengths
  • Weaknesses – which weakness if solved now will help the most problems if corrected

Planning of Flights

Always plan the flight to make your student feel like a VIP Pilot and to avoid lulls during the flight and make this plan known to students during the pre-flight briefing. Using the lesson plans found here as a guide, from the Flight Instructor Guide or company lesson plans can help. Always use a copy while flying to avoid missing items you would have otherwise forgotten and to keep you on track.

Always consider fuel, weather, terrain and other logical things when planning a flight. Need to do map reading? Do it on the way out to or from the practice area. Need to demonstrate a slip for the next lesson? Do it in the circuit.

All of this information on pilot training and flight training in Canada is also available at