If it’s one question I get a lot it’s how do I improve my flight maneuvers, some my say practice, other studying. But i’ve broken it down into 5 things you can do to sharpen your maneuvers.
1. Procedures – Talk with your instructor and establish a method or procedure for each
and every maneuver. Establishing a procedure allows you to conduct each and every
maneuver the same way every time, meeting or exceeding PTS (Practical test
2. Premaneuver checklist – I teach my students a premaneuver checklist that we do
before each and every maneuver.
P – Premaneuver checklist this is something you may be able to find in your
airplanes POH (pilots operating handbook) In the Cessna 172 we fly it goes “fuel
selector valve both,” “Mixture rich,” “Lights on,” (for increased visibility to other
traffic) “primer in and locked.” Same order every time.
A – Area of landing, if something goes wrong, where will you land? What will you
R – Radio call, the local area we fly in has what we call a “practice area” each
pilot calls out his or her intentions on this frequency.
C – Clearing turns, always do your clearing turns just before you start the
maneuver. Also always start your clearing turns with a turn to the left. Why?
Remember over-taking aircraft are to pass on YOUR right side. If you blindly
enter a turn to the right you may cut off an airplane overtaking you from behind.
3. Know the purpose of your maneuver, why do we practice slow flight, steep turns, etc.
Remember we don’t practice stalls to stall we practice stalls to practice recoveries.
4. Be able to recite your maneuvers, this goes hand in hand with knowing procedures.
You should be able to explain each maneuver to your instructor. Know what to do and
when. This is something you can practice driving, while at work, or instead of singing
in the shower!
5. Know your PTS (practical test standards) if you don’t own one yet I highly suggest
purchasing one. PTS are the standards you as the pilot are held to during your
maneuvers. For example private pilot slow flight standards are plus or minus 100 feet
plus or minus 10 degrees of heading and plus 10 knots of airspeed.
I’d love to hear what you do to learn your maneuvers, be sure to comment below.