What is A Discovery Flight?

A discovery flight is also referred to as an introductory flight. The purpose is to give you the experience of what flying is like. If you’re wondering if you should get a private pilot’s license booking a discovery flight is the first step to testing that idea. You’ll learn what it’s like to fly and you’ll get to participate. Let’s take a closer look into what to expect during your first discovery flight experience.

Low Stress and Casual

Your pilot should be friendly and relaxed. You may see student pilots and private pilots engaged in lessons or just hanging out and chatting with other pilots. Your instructor will welcome you personally and may ask you some questions to get a better idea about your level of interest in becoming a pilot. They’ll then discuss the details of the flight with you.

The Airplane

Most discovery flights are conducted in smaller airplanes. The aircraft will likely be a single-engine propeller-driven aircraft. You will sit side-by-side with your instructor in the front of the cockpit. These planes are typically 200 horsepower and cruise at 100-150 knots. The planes are designed for flight training and are safe and reliable for discovery flights.


You will likely be allowed to fly the aircraft on your own, with your instructor coaching you. After takeoff and when the instructor has maneuvered the aircraft to a safe altitude he or she will demonstrate how to do basic turns, climbs, and descents, and let you control the aircraft. It’s not mandatory and always depends on your comfort level. If you’d rather just enjoy the view and learn from observing that is totally fine.

Discover Flight Time

During a typical first flight, you’ll be briefed for about 15-20 minutes, and fly for 30 minutes to an hour. After the flight, you can take photos with the plane and chat with the instructor about post-flight questions and next steps to getting your pilot license if you’re interested. The entire experience takes between one to two hours. 

Expect to Have Fun

Your discovery flight should be fun if nothing else. They’re low-key and relaxed. You’ll see the local sights, take in the basics of flying an aircraft, and come away knowing a lot more than you could imagine. Even if you decide flying is not for you, the discovery flight experience should be a memorable and positive experience.

Ready to Book Your Discovery Flight?

CTI offers a one-on-one session with an FAA certified instructor. The flight with CTI includes an introduction to the fundamentals of aviation and 50+ minutes of actual flight time. Request your discovery flight today!

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