What should be covered in the first flight lesson?

Andy Neumann has posted a great survey question on the Ask a CFI site concerning what CFIs should teach on the first flight lesson:

Ok, this is more of a poll of the instructors than a stumper question.  I want to know what instructors teach on the very first flight lesson.  (Not an “intro” flight, but an actual student pilot lesson.)  This is a poll, so please don’t comment on what other people write–just write what YOU do and why.  Also, how long is your usual first flight lesson?

Micah responded by commenting that what he teaches will depend on the student and what he knows about the student. Micah further added that his introduction will usually include things like aircraft vocabulary and flight control use plus a demonstration of some basic flight control principles along with what normal flight maneuvers look like. Depending on how things go, Micah might also introduce some basic maneuvers or even some touch-and-go or they might just fly around the area. Micah concluded that he wants his student’s first flight to be both useful and enjoyable.

Commenter Brian then posted that his first lesson will revolve around making his students feel comfortable and safe in the air. He will fly all aspects of the takeoff, climb, pattern and landing plus do all of the checklists and radio calls. Brian also often that he will focus on the concept of aircraft stability as he believes this concept will often slip through the cracks during flight training.

Meanwhile, James MacGregor CFI commented that he doesn’t get too involved in technical or un-fun stuff as there will be plenty of time for that during actual flight training. His point is that a CFI should not overwhelm a student with too much technical jargon and other stuff so that the adventure and fun factor is lost and the student pilot is left thinking: “I have to learn ALL this!” James concluded by saying that the first flight lesson needs to demonstrate two important flying principles: 1) Its fun and 2) It obtainable. 

Hence, we want to ask any CFI readers a simple question: What do you teach on your first flight lesson?

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