During your introductory flight, your flight instructor will be sitting beside or behind you in the 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 LSA before flight, take off, fly, land, park, and shutdown! Your flight will last about 60 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 rapport. 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.
Introductory flight evaluation checklist
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.
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 your first flight, you should feel like you do not know everything, but you can get it over time.
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 light-sport 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.
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, this instructor will help you. If you feel like it is to difficult and you are not capable, try another introductory flight school andor instructor.
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 Introductory Flight is the most important flight you’ll take. Keep taking introductory LSA flights with various instructors/schools until the answers to all of these questions are answered to your satisfaction.
Find a flight instructor and school with the Sport Pilot LSA Locator
Use our Sport Pilot Locator to find a flight instructor or flight school where you can take your first flight.