During all phases of flight training, instructors should remember that individuals learn through observing others; therefore, the instructor needs to model safe and professional behavior. The flight instructor should demonstrate good operational sense at all times:

  • Before the flight—discuss safety and the importance of a proper preflight and use of the checklist.
  • During flight—prioritize the tasks of aviating, navigating, and communicating. Instill importance of aircraft control, “see and avoid,” situational awareness, and workload management in the learner.
  • During landing—conduct stabilized approaches, maintain desired airspeed on final, demonstrate good judgment for go-arounds, wake turbulence, traffic, and terrain avoidance. Correct faulty approaches and landings. Make touchdowns on the centerline in the first third of the runway.
  • After the flight—review or discuss flight events and choices using ADM principles. Plan a remediation if trends indicate an inadequate skill, a hazardous attitude, or inadequate knowledge of risk mitigation.

Flight instructors should produce safe pilots. For that reason, instructors should encourage each learner to learn as much as possible. When introducing lesson tasks, flight instructors should not focus on the minimum acceptable standards for passing the checkride. The ACS/PTS is not a teaching tool. It is a testing tool. The overall focus of flight training should be on education, learning, and understanding why the standards are there and how they were set. The completion standards for each lesson should gradually reach or exceed those in the ACS/PTS before final preparation for the checkride.