So you have decided to not only begin flight training, but have focused on using Cessna aircraft and their associated Training Program. First a caveat – regardless of the type of aircraft and program selected, the main goal is training you safely, efficiently, (and as in this case) the use of a specific aircraft manufacturer’s best-recommended practices.
A Few Basics on Cessna Training Aircraft
Cessna utilizes two primary basic trainers for their Cessna flight training program: The 152 (C-152) and 172 (C-172). The main differences between these two are not only the number of seats (2-152 vs. 4-172) but engine horsepower (110hp-152 vs. 150hp-172). Training can be conducted in both, however usually the smaller 152 is used for most of the basic training and then the 172 after flying skills have matured to a safe and comfortable level per the individual flight instructor. Cessna flight training aircraft are high-wing, very stable aircraft that provide an excellent platform to learn and master the necessary flying skills.
The Cessna Flight Training Program
The Cessna Flight Training Curriculum is very comprehensive, logical, and easy to master. The Program is segmented into three areas: Pre-Solo, Solo and Cross Country, and Preparing for the Flight Test. In the initial phase of Pre-Solo, the student is indoctrinated into the nuances and ‘feel’ of the aircraft itself, expectations and milestones to achieve, and finally alignment towards solo flight.
The second Phase, Solo and Cross Country, starts with that indelible achievement of your first solo and builds on the skills, airmanship and expanded aeronautical knowledge so as to conduct a flight safely and efficiently outside of the confines of your home airport.
The third and final stage is preparing for the Flight Test to be administered by an FAA Designated Examiner. They will ultimately determine and present to you your “License to Learn” (as some call the Private Pilot certificate) or in some cases, the Sport Pilot License.
Flight and Ground Training Concentrations of the Cessna Training Program
Since all flight activity is conducted in three-dimensional space versus the two-dimensional ground experiences we are accustomed to, a core feature of the Cessna Training Program is to focus on the following:
- Real-World Training
- Risk Management for Pilots
Real-world training is introduced to demonstrate what you may/will encounter during your flying experiences and how to strengthen your decision-making skills. Specifically, instructors want to see how you perform in pre-flight, automation utilization, and navigational operations. Risk Management for Pilots focus on the acknowledgment that flight is a constant assessment of risks and recognizing how those risks are managed and mitigated. Finally, the Assessment stage develops an inner-focus from the pilot’s perspective and an objective view as seen from the Instructor. All three of these phases work synergistically and cover such areas as in-flight emergencies, aviation weather, operations in and out of large-towered airports, small non-towered facilities and the associated airspace with both types of airports.
Stick-And-Rudder Skill Development and Closing Comments
Like in all new endeavors, flight training is an acquired learning of components such as ground maneuvering, takeoff and cruise, en-route flight, and finally descent and landing. Within all those phases you will learn how to safely conduct straight and level flight, stall recognition and recovery, steep turns, slow flight, emergency recognition and mitigation and unusual flight recovery.
All of those areas require separate stages in training that not only build confidence but mastery of basic aeronautical stick-and-rudder skills that will be required for safe travel in flight conditions.
In closing, the Cessna Training Program is built on solid information, and will allow you to confidently utilize aerial navigation skills that you will be proud and eager to display!