How our training program works

You are responsible for your flight training, just as you will be responsible for the operation of the airplane when you start acting as pilot in command.

Your flight instructor cannot ‘teach’ you how to fly an airplane. You have to ‘learn’. Your instructor is a guide, a coach, a mentor. They know what you need to learn, and provide the environment in which you can learn to fly, but you have to take full advantage of this opportunity by ‘owning’ your training. You are responsible for preparing, practicing, and analyzing the knowledge and skill you have developed, as well as the areas where you still need to make progress. Your instructor is a resource to help you progress and achieve your aviation goal.

At the end of your training, you are being tested, not the instructor, so take charge of your training and take advantage of every opportunity to learn, to prepare, to practice. You don’t want to short-change your training by only doing the minimal required; when you are flying an airplane, it doesn’t give you an easier time just you didn’t have time this week to prepare.

Our training syllabus is a guidebook and checklist that simultaneously prepares you for each flight lesson, as well as the knowledge and practical test. This requires you to prepare for each flight lesson in order to develop a foundation of knowledge from which your instructor will help you refine through one-on-one discussion and flight experiences.

Each lesson is scheduled for a three hour block. The first hour consists of the Preflight Discussion, which is covered in more detail below. The second and third hour consists of the Flight Experience and Postflight Debrief.

Before each lesson, you will need to prepare by reviewing the lesson plan for the current unit, studying the recommended resources until you are comfortable responding to the suggested questions, and completing any assigned exercises. Not all resources are explicitly provided that you’ll need to be able to respond to the suggested questions. You’ll need to start to explore and find additional resources to assist you.

Each lesson plan is broken down into three sections:


Preflight Exercises are typically accomplished during the day of the lesson, likely in the hour before your lesson starts. We recommend arriving an hour before your scheduled lesson time to complete the Preflight Exercises, which typically includes preflight inspection of your training airplane, obtaining weather briefings, and conducting a risk analysis. There are some exercises which can take longer than an hour and can be accomplished prior to the flight lesson. We recommend that as you prepare for each lesson you identify these tasks and complete them so as not to delay the start of the lesson


Preflight Discussion is your time to bring up questions that you have about the knowledge material you have been studying, as well as time for your instructor to help refine the knowledge you have developed through self-study. This is a critical component of the training program as you will find it challenging to understand how the airplane behaves, the flight rules and in-flight decision making if you haven’t taken the opportunity to learn these concepts prior to flight.

Your instructor will use questions similar to the suggested questions in the lesson plan. This will help you prepare throughout your training for the oral portion of the practical test. If you find that you are not prepared for this part of the lesson, this is a good indicator that you need to have a discussion with your instructor about strategies for being better prepared.


Flight Experience time provides the opportunity for you to develop skill and knowledge through guided flight experiences that use a building block methodology to help you master the art of airplane control, and gain the experiences needed to become a certificated private pilot. Many of the maneuvers you will learn and practice in the airplane will first be discussed in the classroom prior to flight, and you will need to study these maneuvers, and will be expected to describe these maneuvers during the preflight discussion.