Had my first flying lesson-need advice.


New Member
Hey Everyone
I'm new to these forums, although i've visited jetcareers a number of times, and I am also a member of airliners.net
I've had a passion for aviation ever since I was a little kid.

Yesterday I took the first step in fulfilling my dream of one day becoming an airline pilot(hopefully..LOL) by taking an Introductory flight. I really liked it and i'm not going to deny that, but I had so many feeling up there, and when I was done I had to go straight to work and really didn't have time to think about it until this morning.
I told my CFI, who I felt very comfortable with and is a great person who was very understanding, that I was really nervous when I was up there, and he said that was normal.
I trust his judgement, and he told me I did very well. However, I did want to get a few more opinions.
And I have a friend who is a pilot for U.S Airways whom I would ask these questions, but I won't be able to talk with him until Tuesday. So I decided to come and ask you all a few questions that I had:
How many of you were nervous the first time you took the controls of a plane when you first started flying?
I 'm usually nervous the first time I do something anyway, like the first time I went out in the driver's ed car.

Is it okay to have so many emotions running through you, even a day after the flight? It's a mixture of feeling that I have.

Please feel free to ask me any questions that you might have, these two things above are what really are bothering me. As far as understanding the basics of it, I felt comfortable with it. There were just a few things that i was surprised about when I actually took the controls.

I just want to know if everything I have mentioned is all normal for taking the controls for the first time.

Thanks in advance,
It would be more surprising to me had you not been nervous on your first flight. IT'S NORMAL! In fact, you'll have many "nervous" times in an airplane, but like anything else, repetition, knowledge and experience will ease the nerves.

Right now your brain is being bombarded with new sensations while it adapts to the new 3 dimensional environment of flying versus the 2-D world of something like driving a car. Relax and enjoy it! Pretty soon some of the things that are making you nervous will seem routine and even boring. Of all my thousands and thousands of hours boring holes in the sky, I still remember my introductory ride like it was yesterday. It was a mixture of excitement and fear. Much like getting on your first roller coaster ride as a child.
Definitely normal .... it's such a vastly different experience that you'd be a huge exception to the norm to step out of the aircraft - not sweating and with a normal pulse rate - after your first flight!
The fact that you were nervous, meant that you recognized the risks involved in flying. The primary skill of any pilot (IMHO) is risk management, of which the first part is understanding risk.

Your nerves may have been due to the fact that you do not (yet) posess the skills to mitigate those risks. It's nothing to worry about, you'll learn those skills soon enough.

Just wait until your first solo. I'll never forget the feeling as my 152 lifted off the runway. The realization that there's you and only you to get that plane back down is a damn scary one. Once you do it (and you will), there's no looking back!

Good luck in the training.
I don't have that many hours, but I would imagine it's similar to driving a car. The first time I drove I was nervous, and now I can do it without thinking about it at all.
Hey Adam, don't worry. It's a complete normal thing. I can still remember my very first DISCOVERY flight and the large amount of butterflies I had in my stomach. All my life as a musician, I've been flying almost every week as a passenger. So I thought becoming a pilot for me was gonna be easy since I'm used to flying. Boy, it was another feeling being in the controls of a much smaller plane. I remember clearly that my instructor of that first flight gave me the controls for that first take-off while he just handled the rudders and throttle. As I rotated and became airborne, I had the feeling that we were going to stall and eventually spin to the left because of how slow a cessna 172 is. My body was used to fast airline take-offs and climbs.
After we landed, I actually thought about weather flying for me was a good idea. But I went ahead for another flight lesson that same week and it was a blast.
My advise to you is take your time!!
Like everyone has said so far you get nervous. Look at me with almost 800 hours and I get a little anxious everytime I get in an aircraft...
I almost threw up on my first flight when the instructor started the engine. It took me a couple flights for the nerves to adjust. I still get really nervous if i'm riding in the back seat. Its normal, have fun and enjoy!
Thanks guys for all the responses, it really has helped me

I went hiking after I posted this topic to try and relax and it did help me, although I still have butterflies in my stomach.

I'm really glad to know that this is normal, I thought I was being a wimp or something.

And yesterday was more windy than usual, that didn't help, but hey at least I know how powerful that wind really is.
You know, the first few times I went up, I didn't get nervous at all. I was too pumped full of adrenaline, and just smiling like a crazy man.

But once I got to know a little more, and right before I soloed, I was a nervous wreck. I was like, oh, man, I'm going to have to do this by myself soon, and I just bounced that landing big time. What happens if my instructor isn't here to tell me what to do?

But I worked through it. It's like playing baseball and stepping into the box. You are thinking about what you're going to do and how you're going to hit the ball, but in the back of your head you're saying, oh, yeah, make sure you duck if it comes close to your head.

I don't have the hours or flight experience that a lot of the people here do, but I can tell you that I've got the same kind of thinking going on that I did when I played baseball.

Smokey, you ever think like that?
I have been and continue to be nervous or at least on edge EVERY SINGLE TIME I fly.

I am convinced at each flight that this is *THE ONE* where it is going to hit the fan so to speak.

I tell anyone (except the paying pax in the back) that I am afraid of flying, no one believes me. but it is true.

Being on edge will keep you alive, being complacent will kill you, your partner, and the people in the back.
I have to agree with Eagle on this one (nice to know I'm not alone). I believe if you channel your nervous feelings properly it can make you a safer pilot.
I also get some butterflies before each lesson. Of couple of things that I keep in mind to calm myself.

A) If I feel something strange (i.e. falling, turning, etc.) I look at the instruments. Unless you've had a failure of some sort they won't lie to you. So even if I feel that I'm decending if the altimeter and VSI say I'm climbing, then I'm climbing and it's all good.

B) Realize that even without the engine the plane will still fly, this become even more calming after you've done a few landings without power.

C) This only works until you solo. Remember the CFI is right next to you, and there is not much you can get into that he can't get you out of.

The nerves will diminish as you continue on. My big hang up was stalls. After I did a few, stalls are no big thing. They're actually kind of fun (at 6000' MSL, at 10' AGL they're not, but you can still recover at that height).

Just remember the CFI isn't there to force you to do something you're not comfortable with. If he suggests a manuver that you're not comfortable with experiencing yet, tell him (or her) and that will be that...just keep in mind that you'll have to face down that demon at some point if you want to get your certificate.

Good luck to you!!

Like Eagle, I have a healthy respect for what could happen every time I fly.

I get butterflies on the way to the airport and when I'm checking wx. When I get out to do the pre-flight, something clicks and it's down to the business at hand.

A little fear is good. Keeps you on your toes.

Best of luck and keep us posted.

I got butterflies on my first flying lesson and I have had them since then!

Those butterfiles will get really big and fidgety on your first solo and during your solo x-countries. It is natural

Adam4884 is that a Gulfstream V on your avatar or a Bombardier Global Express?

Hey did people in here know that a G5 can cruise at FL50 so why don't jetliners?

I have heard the highest an airliner can fly is FL410

Dont know about trying to send words of encouragement to Adam while "Captain Hook" has a film of an airshow crash on repeat!
Dont know about trying to send words of encouragement to Adam while "Captain Hook" has a film of an airshow crash on repeat!

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Its ok.. Atleast the pilot survived..