First-Time Flight Instructor, First-Time Flight

[Dylan Rickrode,  an Aviation Human Factors major at the University of Illinois, takes us on his first trip as a flight instructor. He now instructs part time with the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

I officially gave flight instruction for the first time this fall, on Sept. 13. It was a perfect day to fly, with clear skies and barely any wind. It was also my student’s first flight, so we were both excited.

After some instruction on taxiing and how to takeoff, we departed to the north to go to the practice area. I knew by the smile on his face that he loved aviation. When we got out there, we began doing some basic turns, climbs, and descents. I have to say that I was impressed at my student’s natural talent. We came back to the airport flying right over campus and both agreed how breathtaking it was. Everything is so much cooler seeing it from the sky. I am excited for the semester and all of the fun experiences it is bringing.

Our second flight was on Sept. 16. There were scattered clouds, and we had to dodge them on our way out to the practice area. When we got there, we did some more straight and level flight, turns, climbs, and descents. I began to teach him about sectional chart use and how to properly identify where we were. It was fun finding things on the chart that we were flying over, like grain elevators and lakes. He thought it was really cool how detailed the charts were and picked up on our location for the remainder of the flight.

We were able to fly again on Sept. 18, and we reviewed many of the same things we had been working on previously. We also included flying at various airspeeds and flight configurations to demonstrate the ever-important relationship between pitch and power. Of course, use of trim was a main part of the lesson. Once again, my student caught on very quickly and was sharp to identify not only what we were doing, but also why we were doing it.

It was a big first step in training…for both of us.

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