Call Us Today:  952-698-3000

What Type Of Plane Do I Fly On A Discovery Flight?

A discovery flight is a great way to learn about what it’s like to become a pilot. Not only will you get some basic, high-level instruction from a certified flight instructor (CFI), you get to go up in a plane and experience what flying a plane is really like. Taking the controls yourself, you’ll soar high above the ground in an exhilarating experience that you’ll likely never forget.

So, if you’re in the process of signing up for a discovery flight, you may be curious as to what type of plane you’ll fly. While it won’t be a jumbo jet or fighter plane, you’ll fly a high-performance general aviation plane designed for training private pilots. All in all, it’ll be a fun adventure that will leave you with a lifelong memory.

What Type Of Plane Will Do I Fly On A Discovery Flight?

What Is A Discovery Flight?

Discovery flights are normally one or two hour-long introductory lessons for those who are interested in learning to fly. It’s usually the first step in the process of becoming a certified private pilot. You will team with a CFI who takes you through a curated process to introduce you to flying and the flight school curriculum if you decide to move forward with lessons. After take-off, you’ll actually get to take control of the plane and experience flying first hand, with a CFI sitting by your side. 

How Do I Prepare For A Discovery Flight?

If you’re waiting with anticipation for your upcoming discovery flight, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Of course, you can simply show up and enjoy the adventure, but some of the following items can help you get more out of your first flight:


  • Familiarize yourself with some basic aviation lingo like heading, descent rate, airspeed, and altitude. Additionally, flight control terms like ailerons, flaps, elevator, and rudder.
  • Research the airport you’ll be flying out of and surrounding areas so you can have the right orientation while in the sky, and experience familiar landmarks from above.
  • If you’re easily affected by motion sickness, take a motion sickness medicine before taking off.


At the end of the day, a discovery flight is sure to provide you with an unforgettable memory. This will be your first time in a general aviation airplane, so there’s no need to stress about taking detailed notes or memorizing every piece of information provided by your CFI, since the real learning will start when you actually sign up for lessons – all you need to do is have fun and see if flying is right for you!

Discovery Flight Airplane

When you show up on the day of your discovery flight, you’ll be paired with a CFI who will run you through some basic checklists, safety information, and other briefs before you load into the plane and take it up in the sky. So which type of airplane will you fly on a discovery flight? There are a few likely options.

Cessna 152

Small, yet reliable, the Cessna 152 is a two-seat, fixed-tricycle-gear, single-engine airplane, mainly used for flight training. As one of the easiest planes to control, this trainer still provides the strength, durability and stableness you’ll need to properly learn how to fly. Plus, with one of the best safety records in the general aviation category, you can rest easy knowing you’ll be up in the air and back down on the ground without issue.

Cessna 172

The Cessna 172 is the ultimate trainer plane, more robust and roomier than the 152, and the most-built aircraft of all time. This single-engine, fixed-wing, turbo-prop aircraft has been in production since the 1950s, and although the model has been through many updates, it retains many of the features that made it popular in the first place. Designed with simplicity and safety in mind, it’s the perfect plane to take up on your discovery flight.

Cirrus SR Series

Another popular option for flight schools in Minnesota and around the country is the Cirrus SR series. Their base model, the Cirrus SR20, is known for its high-performance in a fixed-gear cruiser package, and it’s a step up from the Cessna 172. Push the thrill even further by upgrading to a Cirrus SR22, and enjoy higher airspeed – your CFI may even let you reach the max speed of over 180 knots.

Other Popular Single-Engine Planes

Different flight schools will offer different types of general aviation planes for you to try out on your discovery flight. Some other popular single-engine planes you may come across include the following.

Piper Cherokee

Piper airplanes are another common type of trainer craft, particularly the PA-28 Cherokee. This low-wing, two- or four-seater plane is designed for flight training thanks to its relatively slow speed, piston-powered engine and straight-forward flight systems.

Diamond DA40 Star

This four-seater, single-engine plane has been a mainstay in the flight training industry. It was the first airplane to come installed with the Garmin G1000 system which has come to replace most older avionics and flight instruments. With the Diamond Star, enjoy a modern design, cruise speed of 140 knots and the best safety record when adjusted by fleet size.

Are you ready to try a discovery flight?

Inflight Pilot Training is Minneapolis’ most popular flight school, offering fun, affordable discovery flights for all types of potential pilots. You’ll first undergo an introductory training course, and then you’ll get to fly an aircraft under the direction of a CFI. You can take an aerial tour of downtown Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka, or even fly over your own home from 3,000 feet above. Ready to get started? Find out more about our discovery flights or call (952) 698-3000 to get in touch with a team member.