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Taking your introductory, demo, or discovery flight

During your first flight (also known as a introductory, demo, or discovery flight), your flight instructor will be sitting beside or behind you in the sport trike weight-shift control (WSC) light-sport aircraft (LSA) with another set of flight controls, but you’ll be in the pilot’s seat! And, to your amazement, the flight instructor will let you take the controls (they’ll be right there to assist, of course). This is your first flight lesson, and you’ll see what it’s like to visually inspect the trike before flight, take off, fly, land, park, and shutdown! You’ll probably fly a popular Airbourne, Air Creation, or North Wing sport trike. Your flight will last about 30 minutes and you can even log that time in your logbook so it counts toward the required flight time for your sport or private pilot certificate.

After the introductory flight ask yourself the questions in the evaluation checklist below. How the Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) answers these questions can clue you in to how you and the CFI have a raport. If the his/her answers are informative and the instructor exhibits the patience to answer them to your satisfaction. Otherwise, look elsewhere for another instructor or school.

First flight evaluation checklist:

  1. Did I have fun?

    Simple. You should have fun on your first flight with your instructor. If you did not, find someone else. You should have been able to control the aircraft much of the time with the CFI helping you.

  2. Was I challenged?

    The instructor’s job is to challenge the student, yet not over burden or throw to much at the student to frustrate or overwhelm the student. After you first flight, you should feel like you do not know everything, but you can get it over time.

  3. Did I learn anything?

    You must have learned something for the lesson to be of value. The official definition of learning is “a change of behavior as a result of experience”. Did you learn something about how to control the aircraft or anything based on the experience. You should feel as though you can generally control the aircraft, yet know that you have much to learn to be a proficient pilot.

  4. Did the instructor make it seem that a sport pilot license was obtainable?

    Do you feel as though you can do it. If you do that this instructor will help you. If you feel like it is to difficult and you are not capable, try another introductory flight school instructor.

  5. Did the instructor offer to sign my logbook for this training time?

    It is a courtesy and a requirement for a Sport Pilot CFI to sign your logbook for training time. If you don’t have a logbook, then they should provide one to you (possibly at a cost) for logging this official training time.

The most important flight you’ll take

The introductory, demo, or discovery flight is the most important flight you’ll take. Before you settle on a trike school and flight instructor, read Find a flight instructor for more great tips and questions to use when evaluating instructors. Keep taking introductory, demo, discovery flights with various instructors and schools until the answers to all of these questions are answered to your satisfaction.

Student pilots: Use the Sport Pilot LSA Locator to find trike flight schools near you for your first flight.

Flight Instructors: Do you want more students to attend your trike school? We receive emails everyday from people all over the world looking for a school. Prospective students visit us each month. Use the Sign-Up Form to add you and your school to the Sport Pilot Locator map so they can find you and your school!

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