Chapter 8. Techniques of Flight Instruction


Integrated flight instruction begins with the first briefing on the function of the flight controls. This briefing includes the instrument indications to be expected, as well as the outside references to be used to control the attitude of the aircraft.

Each new flight maneuver is introduced using both outside and instrument references with students developing the ability to maneuver an aircraft equally as well by instrument or outside references. They naturally accept the fact that the manipulation of the flight controls is identical, regardless of which references are used to determine the attitude of the aircraft. This practice should continue throughout the flight instruction for all maneuvers. To fully achieve the demonstrated benefits of this type of training, the use of visual and instrument references must be constantly integrated throughout the training. Failure to do so lengthens the flight instruction necessary for the student to achieve the competency required for a private pilot certificate.

See and Avoid

From the start of flight training, the instructor must ensure students develop the habit of looking for other air traffic at all times. If students believe the instructor assumes all responsibility for scanning and collision avoidance procedures, they do not develop the habit of maintaining a constant vigilance, which is essential to safety. Any observed tendency of a student to enter flight maneuvers without first making a careful check for other air traffic must be corrected immediately. Recent studies of midair collisions determined that:

  • Flight instructors were onboard the aircraft in 37 percent of the accidents in the study.
  • Most of the aircraft involved in collisions are engaged in recreational flying not on any type of flight plan.
  • Most midair collisions occur in VFR weather conditions during weekend daylight hours.
  • The vast majority of accidents occurred at or near nontowered airports and at altitudes below 1,000 feet.
  • Pilots of all experience levels were involved in midair collisions, from pilots on their first solo, to 20,000 hour veterans.
  • Most collisions occur in daylight with visibility greater than 3 miles.

It is imperative to introduce 14 CFR section 91.113 “Right-of-way” rules to the student. Practice the “see and avoid” concept at all times regardless of whether the training is conducted under VFR or instrument flight rules (IFR). For more information on how to reduce the odds of becoming involved in a midair collision, see

Assessment of Piloting Ability

Assessment is an essential component of the teaching process and determines how, what, and how well a student is learning. A well designed assessment provides a student with something constructive upon which he or she can work or build. An assessment should provide direction and guidance to raise the level of performance. Students must understand the purpose of the assessment; otherwise, they will be unlikely to accept the evaluation offered and little improvement will result. There are many types of assessment, but the flight instructor generally uses the review, collaborative assessment (LCG), written tests, and performance-based tests to ascertain knowledge or practical skill levels. Refer to chapter 5 for an in-depth discussion of the types of assessment available to the flight instructor.

An assessment can also be used as a tool for reteaching. Although not all assessments lend themselves to reteaching, the instructor should be alert to the possibility and take advantage of the opportunity when it arises. In assessing the ability of a student, the instructor initially determines if he or she understands the procedure or maneuver. Then, the instructor demonstrates the maneuver, allows the student to practice the maneuver under direction, and finally evaluates student accomplishment by observing the performance.

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