Once you climb out of the classroom chair and into the pilot's seat of a training aircraft, you'll really have an opportunity to build your aptitude as a pilot. Working closely alongside an experienced instructor, you'll get a chance to practice your takeoffs, landings, and navigation, as well as a variety of other flight-related tasks that will slowly make you a competent pilot. It's customary to have a post-flight briefing with your instructor after you touch down and complete the post-flight instruction. This is a perfect opportunity to ask many questions about your performance. Here are three things that you want to always ask about.
Ask about your strenghths
It's always important to know where you excel as a training pilot—not only so that you can continue to focus on these areas, but also so that you can feel pleased with your progress. Don't be afraid to ask your instructor about where your strongest areas were during the practice flight. He or she may give you a variety of answers, including perhaps telling you that your takeoff was smooth and controlled, and that your ability to read the instruments in a quick and confident manner was skilled.
Ask how you could improve
The other side of the coin is to inquire about the areas in which you weren't particularly strong. In a way, it may feel difficult to hear a list of things that you did wrong, but you have to view this exchange as an opportunity to get better. Upon getting this list, you can focus on rereading the sections of your training manuals that are related to where you need to improve, and you can also ask some follow-up questions about these areas to gain more insight. For example, your instructor may share that he or she is concerned about the roughness of your landings, which will give you something to work on.
Ask what the instructor would have done differently
While there are a lot of black-and-white areas when it comes to flying a plane, there are also some gray areas — in other words, tasks that you may be able to perform a few different ways. Certain tasks that you've performed may be technically correct, but it's possible that your instructor could have some suggestions for you. Asking him or her how he or she might have approached these tasks differently can be valuable for you as you build more knowledge about being in the cockpit.
For additional information, contact a flight school like Jeff Air Pilot Services.