Straight and Level*


Maintain flight at a constant heading, altitude, and airspeed; introduce the VFR scan and positive exchange of controls.


  • Brief student on positive exchange of controls
  • Use the VFR scan to maintain constant heading, altitude, and airspeed

Instructional aids and pre-requisites

  • Lesson IL-1 is a pre-requisite
  • Lessons FC-1 through 3 should be introduced prior to this lesson


  • Pre-flight briefing: Positive 3-way exchange of flight controls.
  • Pass control of the aircraft to the student while in straight and level flight (75 kias).
    • Reinforce that an increase in collective/MAP will require re-trimming with the pedals.
    • Reinforce that attitude (bank and pitch) is controlled by the cyclic, and determines airspeed and heading.
    • Reinforce that attitude is referenced by visual means (relationship of the tip-path plane or compass on the horizon, and alignment with a distant point). Visual reference to the attitude is the primary means of maintaining SnL, although the airspeed indicator and compass are used to verify.
    • When changes are made to the attitude, a corresponding change in collective and pedals will be required.
  • Reinforce positive exchange of flight controls during this lesson.
  • Introduce the VFR scan: outside attitude references, collision avoidance, instrument verification, engine instrument scan.


Common errors

  • Over-reliance on instruments/failure to scan for traffic
    • Prompt student to maintain VFR scan
  • Overcontrolling/overcompensation from desired attitude

Completion standards

  • Verbalize positive exchange of controls
  • Airspeed ±10 kias
  • Altitude ±100΄
  • Heading ±10°
  • Aircraft in trim

Teaching considerations

  • None specified

Additional practice

  • None specified

Additional resources

  • None specified

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