Atlanta Sport Flying
Sport Pilot Lesson Plan
Prior to solo flight the Student will need a Student Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA - the process can take a few weeks so it is a good idea to get the certificate as soon as flight instruction starts -  more info Note a Student Certificate is not required to start and log dual instruction Each description highlights the main aims of the lesson, but other exercises may be added, for example lessons 4, 5, 6, 7 are likely to include items such as steep turns, slow flight, stall, ground reference maneuvers, gliding approaches to a chosen field etc. The lesson plan will allow the average student to achieve Sport Pilot with close to the minimum 15 hours instruction – but the student must fly at least once per week and prepare for each lesson – infrequent flying or lack of preparation will mean more hours are required.  Each lesson is  a minimum of 1 hours flying plus ground instruction before and after the flight The descriptions often refer to the airport pattern which is a ‘standard’ course aircraft take when taking off and landing. The recommended reading prior to each lesson is from FAA-H-8083-5 - Weight Shift Control Flying Handbook it is a free download - Lesson 13 ‘Dual Cross Country’  recommended  reading  includes Chapter 15 ‘Navigation’ of FAA-H- 8083-25 Pilots, Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge -  it is a free down load - AK%20-%20Chapter%2015.pdf It is not necessary to read the section on Radio Navigation, this is required for Private but not Sport Pilot.  The section relates to Pre-GPS navigation aids which are gradually being phased out.
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Lesson 1 - Student is in the rear seat – instructor demonstrates the stability of the aircraft and use of controls and power, plus explains the importance of keeping a light touch on the controls and allowing the aircraft to fly at its trimmed speed.  At the end of the lesson the student will be able to fly straight and level, perform gentle turns, plus climbs and descents. Lesson 2 – Student moves to front seat – learns how to taxi, use of foot brake and throttle and performs in- flight gentle turns, climbs and descents.  Recommended reading -  Chapter 1 ‘Introduction to Weight Shift ‘ (1-1 to 1-10) Chapter 5 ‘Pre-flight and Ground Operations’, Chapter 6 ‘Fight Manuevers’ (6-1 to 6-16) Lesson 3  - 30 degree banked turns and slow flight - student learns how in a turn vertical lift is decreased and a gentle push out on the bar is required to maintain level flight.  Slow flight is practised to allow the student to feel the point at which the wing loses lift and how gently moving the control bar back allows the wing to resume flying.  At the end of this lesson the student is allowed to do some ‘free flying’ to become relax and confident with the flight controls.  Recommended reading -  Chapter 6 ‘Fight Manuevers’ (6-16, 6-20) - note full stalls will not be performed at this stage. Lesson 4 – The airport pattern is introduced - flown at higher altitude using a road as a reference runway.  This allows the student to practice the flight modes and transitions required during take-off and landing -  initial take-off climb, climbing turns, straight and level, descending turns, flight in final approach configuration.   Flying the rectangular pattern is also a good introduction to ground reference maneuvers as the flight path must make allowances for wind.  Student flies the aircraft back to the airport, enters the traffic pattern, and handles the aircraft to final approach.  Instructor performs final landing. Recommended reading - Chapter 10 ‘Airport Patterns’, Chapter 9 ‘Ground Reference Maneuvers (9-1 to 9-4). Lesson 5 – Student is allowed to perform the take offs - in addition steeper turns are introduced - the student is shown how in steep turns power can be used to complement the control bar push out demonstrated in lesson 3.  Student flies back to airport, enters the pattern, and flies a number of circuits of the pattern without landing – aircraft is flown over the runway at about 50 feet,  mixed with ‘go-arounds’ when full power is applied -  typically used if an approach or landing becomes too ‘off-course’. Recommended reading - Chapter 7 ‘Take-off and Departure Climbs’, Chapter 6 Flight Manuevers (6-16 Steep Turns). Lesson 6 – Airport pattern –  this lesson focuses on flying the  airport pattern with low passes over the runway, the primary goal is to get the student to be able to fly a stabilized approach aligned with the runway keeping the aircraft at a constant airspeed with a decent rate to allow the aircraft to intercept the first 500 feet of runway. No attempt in this lesson is made to land the aircraft, with-in 50 feet of the runway a ‘go-around’ is initiated or the aircraft is flown at about 50 foot high over the runway. Recommended reading - Chapter 7 ‘Approaches and Landing’, Chapter 10 ‘Airport Patterns’, Chapter 9 Ground Reference Maneuvers’. Lesson 7 - Low passes over the runway – this lesson concentrates on flying the airport pattern with low passes over the runway.  Starting at 50ft, as student confidence increases, the passes are made at lower and lower height - down to about 5 feet. Recommended reading - Chapter 12 Aerodynamics - a good time in the training to read this chapter Lesson 8 – Low passes over the runway down to landing – continue low passes but with reduced power the aircraft will fly over the runway at less than 1ft and if power is not sufficient to support flight the aircraft will gently land. This lesson allows the student to become confident at controlling the aircraft at low level  in the vicinity of the runway – accurate control of the aircraft at less than one foot over the runway is the key  to good landings. Chapter 1 ‘Introduction to Weight Shift ‘ (1-10 to 1-14) Remaining lessons occur in students own aircraft. At this stage it is also very beneficial if the student has studied for and takes the Sport Pilot written test – knowing the written test material will assist and speeds up the flying aspects of the training.  Buy a training package which includes books, videos, and computer aided material – a variety of presentation speeds up the learning process. Recommended reading Chapter 3 Components and systems’, Chapter 4 ‘Power Plants’ Lesson 9 - Landings – the student now moves to the landing phase - landings are performed with engine running at idle from the downwind or base.  Landings consist of a stable approach followed by a round out which will allow the aircraft to fly along the runway ideally at less than 1 foot. As the airspeed is decreased the bar is pushed out to increase lift and to hold the aircraft off the runway. As the speed decays the aircraft rear wheels will touch the runway followed by the front wheel and the landing has been accomplished. Recommended reading Chapter 11 ‘Power-on Approach and Landing for Turbulent Air’. Lesson 10 – Landing practice until the student can land without instructor input Lesson 11 – Handling simulated engine failures in pattern – prior to solo the student is taught to be able to make a safe landing even if the engine fails, simulated engine failures are practised from base, downwind, cross and up wind legs of the pattern. Recommended reading Chapter 13 ‘Abnormal and Emergency Procedures’. Lesson 12 - Landing consolidation -  if student can perform without instructor input then FIRST SOLO Solo practice – the next few hours are supervised solo practice staying close to airport – for the Sport Pilot FAA requires a minimum of 5 hours of solo flight. Recommended reading - re-read the Chapters already covered Lesson 13- dual cross country – this lesson involves planning and flying a cross country flight.  The FAA requires a minimum of 2 hours dual cross country instruction - the flight is a minimum of 50 nautical miles with two landings at other airports and one leg should be a minimum 25 nautical miles.  A typical practise cross country would be Jackson County(19A) - Franklin(18A) - Toccoa(KTOC) - and return to Jackson - Recommended reading - Chapter 8 ‘The National Airspace System.’ and FAA-H-8083-25 ‘Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge’ Chapter 15 ‘Navigation’. Solo cross country – instructor checks students planning and student flies the cross country flown in lesson 13.  Lesson 14 – Sport Pilot Practical Test Preparation – the PTS (Practical Test Standard) maneuvers are flown with the instructor emphasizing  the PTS standards required by the FAA – maneuvers include – taxi, take-off, ground reference,  steep turns, slow flight, stalls, landings, handling of emergencies in and away from the airport pattern. Recommended reading - all Chapters, except Chapter 12 ‘Night Operations’ - Sport Pilots are not allowed to fly at night - night flying requires a Private Pilot Certificate Lesson 15 – PTS Dry Run – Instructor takes the role of the FAA examiner  and provides a mock PTS - if the student performs to the PTS standards then they are ready for the Sport Pilot practical exam. Student takes the Sport Pilot Practical exam – student passes and is now SPORT PILOT