Just like the driving test
Before they can take off on their first solo flight, they need to complete a pre-solo-flight check flight: “That check flight is comparable to the practical driving test – with the small but significant difference that you rarely ever have to use the radio, work through checklists, hold altitudes and courses, or land while driving a car”, Oliver jokes. During the “pre-solo” flight, the trainee flies previously learned maneuvers and demonstrates that he/she can handle simulated engine failures and is capable of diverse landing maneuvers. For training purposes, the academy operates a private airport that belongs to Lufthansa Aviation Training. Here, the trainees have practiced numerous takeoffs and landings.
Full circle left and right
Following the baptism in “solo”, the flight training goes into the Air Work phase. Here, the trainee develops a feel for his/her aircraft and, in a manner of speaking, learns to “play” with it in the air. “The aim of Air Work is to learn to fly sensitively, in order to be able to master any situation and control the aircraft,” says Patrick, a 29-year-old trainee from Augsburg, Germany. In order to accomplish this, several different maneuvers are flown in a row. For this training, the class travels to specifically designated training areas. To avoid aircraft coming too close to each other, no more than two aircraft may occupy one area at the same time. Once everything is set, the radio will report: “N832EF, you are number one in CHARLIE,” and the fun begins,” Patrick says.
First of all, the trainees fly “Steep Turns” – full circles to the left and to the right performed with a significantly higher transverse gradient than usual curves. The idea is that the trainees are to hold the bank and the altitude as precisely as possible, and then, following the full circle, return to their exact initial position, which requires a deft touch and a solid mastery of the aircraft.