Airplane Flying Handbook/The four fundamentals

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THE FOUR FUNDAMENTALS[edit]

There are four fundamental basic flight maneuvers upon which all flying tasks are based:

All controlled flight consists of one or a combination of these basic maneuvers.

If a student pilot is able to perform these maneuvers well, and the student’s proficiency is based on accurate "feel" and control analysis rather than mechanical movements, the ability to perform any assigned maneuver will only be a matter of obtaining a clear visual and mental conception of it.

The flight instructor must impart a good knowledge of these basic elements to the student, and must combine them and plan their practice so that perfect performance of each is instinctive without conscious effort. The importance of this to the success of flight training cannot be overemphasized. As the student progresses to more complex maneuvers, discounting any difficulties in visualizing the maneuvers, most student difficulties will be caused by a lack of training, practice, or understanding of the principles of one or more of these fundamentals.

This article incorporates text from the public domain edition of Airplane Flying Handbook by the US Federal Aviation Administration.