Discovery flight and what to expect…

I just found out that I am taking a discovery flight tomorrow. This will be my first time in the cockpit (other than on the ground).

Needless to say, I am extremely excited as I have been talking more about going into Aviation as a career.

My question is, what is there to expect? I know I will get handed the controls for a little bit, but any quizzing?

There will be pictures on this for sure!


Hey! Awesome to hear your going on a discovery flight!

You can expect:
•a full run down on the basic functions of the aircraft
•a walk around with the instructor
•you likely will be in the left seat
•If your instructor is comfortable enough they may let you take radio comms
•You may get to taste how taxiing works as the pilot
•You can follow your instructor along on the controls during takeoff and landing (some let you takeoff and land if they are comfortable)
•You will be doing a lot of hand flying while in the air during climb, cruise, and descent
•Basic maneuvers can be expected to get a feel for the aircraft in the air
•You can expect a debrief at the end

As for the quizzing, if you show your instructor you have prior knowledge of aviation, they may throw out some basic questions to see what level you are on. I got quizzed very briefly before my first flight on the basics so my instructor knew I had prior knowledge. Because of this he let me takeoff and land on the first flight. If you have any questions feel free to ask!


There’s no expectations at all for you besides that the instructor expects you will know nothing. With that being said, take it as an opportunity to enjoy the flight. You’ll probably fly for the majority of the time, and most discovery flights have the student perform the takeoff. I’d just say to not hyperfocus on trying to do well because in a discovery flight you should be appreciating the experience and exploring the aircraft to see how it feels.


Use caution. My piece of advice is always “go into it acting like you know nothing”. IRL VFR is nothing like IF. Unless you’ve read the official FAA documents (PHAK, FAR/AIM, etc.), let the instructor teach you things without trying to prove your knowledge. You may already know them, but chances are you’ll learn a lot more by just letting it all happen.

Just have fun! There are no expectations for you. And if it’s your first time in a small plane, it’s entirely possible you may feel nauseous. That’s totally normal though.


Just have fun!! Thats all you need to expect. Your instructor will take care of the rest.

Don’t bother stressing yourself out about trying to prepare yourself for your discovery flight, the main purpose of these is to give you the opportunity to see if this is something you would enjoy (and to have fun of course).

Chances are, your instructor will handle most of the critical phases of flight, so the take-off, the initial departure, the approach and landing, as well as demonstrating a few manoeuvres in the air, handling the checklists and communications. But apart from this, you will probably be in control of the aircraft for the rest of the time.

But this is all dependant on the flight school of course.

Thank you to all of you for your information and what to expect!

Sadly, I had to reschedule for next Saturday at Noon, I will be very excited and cannot wait!

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