Unit 1 – The Four Fundamentals

Preflight Exercises
Before this lesson, call the KMHR AWOS (Automated Weather Observation Station) at 916-366-3371. Listen to the recorded weather information and practice writing it down until you can capture all of the information in one loop. We suggest this format:

Identifier Date/Time Wind Visibility Ceiling Temperature/Dewpoint Altimeter Setting
KMHR 1835Z 180@10 10SM SKC 33/8 30.12

Aviation weather products use abbreviations to communicate a lot of information in a small format. You can study this guide to interpret METAR and AWOS report.

Bring your notes to class and explain each weather component.

Preflight Discussion
Topic Be able to answer: Resources to study:
Aerodynamics Forces in flight

  • What is the purpose of the horizontal stabilizer?
  • What features of the airplane balance it along the longitudinal axis and lateral axis?
  • How does each control surface generate force that affects the attitude of the airplane?
  • What axes does the plane move around?
  • What is adverse yaw?
  • What is the purpose of the rudder?
  • How much rudder pressure is needed to cancel the yaw of the down aileron
  • Describe a skidding turn.
  • Describe a slipping turn.
  • What causes an airplane to climb?
  • What is the relationship between pitch and power?
  • What is the function of elevator trim?
  • How do you effectively use elevator trim?
  • When should you trim the airplane?
  • What is the appropriate sequence for initiating a climb? Why is this sequence more appropriate than others?
  • What is the appropriate sequence for leveling off from a climb? Why is this sequence more appropriate than others?
  • What is the appropriate sequence for initiating a descent? What is this sequence more appropriate than others?
  • What is the appropriate sequence for leveling off from a descent? What is this sequence more appropriate than others?
PHAK 25BReview PHAK Chapter 5 Aerodynamics of Flight
testprepComplete the section on aerodynamics in your test prep book/course.
Practical Knowledge
  • Describe the aeronautical experience required to obtain a private pilot certificate?
  • What are the airworthiness documents that must be onboard the aircraft prior to flight?
  • V_ is the airspeed we rotate (left the nosewheel off the runway). What is its value for your aircraft?
  • With your instructor you will review a sectional chart and identify landmarks on the chart that are easily identifiable from the air. You will be using these landmarks during the flight. The instructor will also review the dimensions of the practice area and the practice area departure profile.
  • Describe how you will select the appropriate runway for takeoff and landing.
  • Describe the noise abatement procedures at Cameron Park.
PHAK 25BReview PHAK Chapter 1 Introduction to Flying & PHAK Chapter 14 Airport Operations
AFH 3BReview AFH Chapter 1 Introduction to Flight Training
sectionallegendStudy the Sectional Aeronautical Chart Legend; you can also find the legend on the front flap of your sectional chart. Focus on the Airports and Airport Data sections.  Review Cameron Park Noise Abatement Procedure.
Decision Making and Risk Mgmt Special Emphasis Items

  • What is the purpose a checklist?
  • How will you use a checklist?
  • Describe each phase of flight which requires checklist.
  • Describe the procedure for transferring flight controls between the pilot and instructor.
  • Review the PAVE checklist to determine the risk factors associated with the flight.
You will be flying an airplane today, perhaps for the very first time. Try to identify as many hazards as you can come up with. Bring this list to your first lesson. Your instructor will help you learn how we will manage the risks associate with these hazards during pre-flight and in-flight.


Flight Experience



Study all sections of your airplane checklist.



AFH 3BReview AFH Chapter 2 Ground Operations




AFH 3BReview AFH Chapter 3 Basic Flight Maneuvers

Operation Expect to:
Preflight Inspection You will be conducting the preflight inspection. Your instructor will be asking you questions about the preflight issues you are looking for and to identify the location and purpose of different aircraft components.
Cockpit Familiarization Your instructor will ask you to identify the different flight instruments and engine instruments in the cockpit, and how to read the scale and markings on each instrument. The instructor will ask you to identify the engine and flight controls, and how each control is operated. The instructor will then discuss and demonstrate the use of the airplane audio panel, radio and transponder.
Sight Picture Your instructor will discuss using airplane cowling references to establish a longitudinal sight picture. With you in the pilot seat, the flight instructor will lower the tail such that the airplane is in a landing attitude so that you can visualize the sight picture for takeoff and flare. If you cannot see over the cowling in this attitude, be sure to speak up so that your seat is adjusted as necessary.
Flight Control Usage The instructor will demonstrate how to hold the control yoke with a light touch in order to better feel control pressures. The instructor will demonstrate how to position your feet to control the toe brakes or the rudder pedals.
Engine Start Your instructor will guide you through a cold and hot start procedure.
Taxi You will make the determination of the appropriate runway to use for takeoff. The instructor will make the pre-taxi transmission on the CTAF. You will be taxing the airplane during this lesson. Expect to test the brakes as the airplane starts to roll. You need to be familiar with all taxiway and runway markings and signs. Expect to be asked about the meaning of markings and signs, alignment of the airplane with centerlines, and positioning the airplane in consideration of others.
Run-Up You will be performing the run-up. Expect to be asked why you are checking each system of the airplane, and what are acceptable values or conditions.
Departure Brief The instructor will give the departure briefing for this first departure. You will be responsible starting in Unit 2.

The instructor will also discuss that the control is best held with just a few fingers, and with the pads of your fingers, in order to learn to better feel control forces being transmitted through the yoke.

Before Takeoff Check You will perform the before takeoff check, including the collision avoidance scan. The instructor will transmit the takeoff announcement on the CTAF.
Normal Takeoff During the takeoff roll, you will be controlling the rudders and calling out the rotation airspeed. Your instructor will remind you that your feet should be resting on the bottom of the rudder pedals, with your heels on the floor.

The instructor will rotate the airplane and establish a stabilized climb, trim the airplane, and then return the airplane to you. Take note of how continuous right rudder input is needed to maintain heading and wing-level flight during climbout.

Shallow Climbing Turns The instructor will demonstrate shallow climbing turns, using proper rudder coordination, and without rudder coordination. The instructor will point out how the nose of the aircraft should be lead into the turn using rudder. You will learn to watch the nose when entering a turn to ensure appropriate rudder input is provided. You will also learn that you will need to vary (reduce) the amount of right rudder input during entry to a climbing left turn, climbing left turn to climbing right turn (increase heavily), and maintain some right rudder during a climbing right turn. You will then practice these turns as you climb up to the practice area altitude.
Level-Off, Cruise Check, Straight and Level Level the airplane off using the sequence Pitch-Power-Trim, starting approximately 50 ft prior to the discussed altitude. During the level off, the instructor will help you dial in the sight picture for low cruise speed. Be sure to anticipate that you will need to increase forward pressure on the yoke to prevent the airplane from attempting to climb again, reducing power only once the airplane has achieved the desired low cruise airspeed, and finally trimming the airplane once the airspeed and the elevator force transmitted to the yoke and felt in your hands has stabilized.
HASEL Check, Clearing Turns, Collision Avoidance Procedure Your instructor will walk you through the HASEL check, including two 90 degree level clearing turns. The instructor will also demonstrate clearing a wing before initiating any turns. You will be responsible for clearing your wings before any subsequent turns.
Flight Control Demo The instructor will demonstrate, and then you will practice, operating each flight control individually in order to experience the effect on the aircraft’s attitude.
Pitch vs Power Demo and inherent longitudinal, static stability the instructor will demonstrate that a change in pitch will always result in a change in airspeed, while a change in power will always result in a change in the rate of climb/descent. Also, the instructor will demonstrate that the aircraft is inherently stable along the longitudinal axis, and after a disruption will return to its trimmed airspeed and attitude.
Shallow and Medium Turns to Landmarks The instructor will demonstrate rolling the airplane into a bank, estimating the angle of bank, and then rolling out on visual landmarks. The instructor will demonstrate adverse yaw when rudder input is not coordinated with aileron input. You will then practice the same, paying special attention to the use of rudder to maintain coordinated flight and elevator (back pressure) to slightly increase the angle of attack to maintain altitude.
Climbs and Descents using Trim Your instructor will demonstrate using the Pitch-Power-Trim procedure to initiate a climb, and the Power-Pitch-Trim procedure to initiate a descent. The instructor will also show you how rudder is needed during these climbs.
You will then establish a climb, trim, level-off, trim, establish a descend, trim, level-off, trim (repeat as necessary).If not already available for your aircraft, your instructor will help you create a visual and instrument reference Pitch-Power-Airspeed-Rate of Climb/Descent table which will then serve as a placard in your aircraft.
Flight at cruise, pattern and landing airspeeds (demo) The instructor will demonstrate how different power settings requires a different angle of attack to maintain altitude. The instructor will demonstrate the angle of attack sight picture for cruise flight, traffic pattern flight, and descent.
Approach Briefing Your instructor give the approach briefing in this lesson. You will be responsible for giving the approach briefing for all future lessons.
Gliding, Descending Turns You will practice making shallow left and right descending turns. Remember to watch the nose during these turns to determine the amount of rudder input needed to keep the nose pinned on a distant object as you roll the airplane from left to right and right to left.
Pattern Entry Your instructor will coach you through performance of the before landing and landing checklists, entry on the 45 leg, and joining downwind.

Your instructor will transmit radio broadcasts on the CTAF to give your airplane’s location and intentions as you return to the airport, enter the pattern and land.

Your instructor will remind you to ensure that your feet are resting on the bottom of the rudder pedals, with your heels on the floor.

Normal Landing The instructor will take over on final approach, demonstrating a stabilized approach, use of power to maintain a stable rate of descent, and the roundout and flare process. Pay close attention to the visual sight cues the instructor points out during this process.
Postflight Procedures You will taxi the airplane from the runway to the tiedown, executing the after landing checklist and shutdown checklists. Your instructor will help you push the airplane back into the tiedown, secure it, clean it and complete the post-flight section of the checklist.