Life at a Flight School - What's it really like?

Elisabeth Kindmark

If you’re considering to start training to become a commercial pilot I’m sure you’re curious about life at a flight school. That’s why we have asked one of our students, Staffan, if he would like to share some of his experiences from OSMAA with you. So here is Staffan’s first report – tag a long on his first progress check!

”It wasn’t without nervousness that I made the short walk to school this morning. It was time for my 8th flight lesson and my first progress check. So, what is a progress check you might wonder?

Well simply put it means that you go through all the maneuvers you’ve learnt so far together with a flight instructor to ensure that your learning is on track with the course outline.

Once I arrive at school I start with the preparations for the flight. Already before the start of the school day I had done my readings and other theoretical preparations so at this stage it is primarily about making sure that the plane itself is ready to go.

However, first things first, before heading out to the plane I make sure to update myself on the latest weather forecast. The plane, a Cessna 172, we’re set to fly in is already parked in the sunshine outside the hangar after an earlier flight session.

 After the weather update its time for the PFI, Pre-Flight Inspection. During which you ensure that the airplane is ready for flight, checking among other things, flight documents, fuel and oil levels and rudder. After finishing up the PFI I take note of the fuel levels again to calculate the weight conditions before the flight. Finally, I issue a flight plan which almost rounds up the preflight preparations, remaining is a last weather check before the briefing with my instructor starts.


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When the briefing is over we head out to the plane once more, taking our seat and starting up the engine before calling for air traffic control. We get an all clear and start making our way towards the runway.

We go through the final checklist before declaring a “ready for take-off” to ATC. We receive a final clearance with instructions for how to navigate to our designated airspace.

Time for departure!

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Up in the air my instructor gives me several different tasks, ascending and descending turns, slow flight, stalls… Once the instructor is satisfied we head back to VST airport to practice some landings. There is a powerful crosswind hitting the runway so we do 3 challenging landings before returning to the hangar.

During the debrief we discuss today's flight – thankfully the instructor is happy with my performance, and like that, I passed my first progress check!”

A typical flight session at OSMAA is no more complicated than that – Staffan will keep updating us on his progress so make sure to keep a look out for new updates on the blog!


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