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Some fundamental exercises are critical to nearly all maneuvers. If you do not have the fundamentals down, you will waste time and money and induce significant frustration. You’ll be trying to build a house with broken boards.

Your goal is to get good enough at the fundamentals that you don’t have to think about them. Once the fundamentals become at least somewhat muscle memory, you can use them as building blocks.

If you’ve spent any time in the air so far, you’ve probably noticed that through training your ability to multi-task and think ahead improves rather quickly. This is because your brain is able to take in information and, with experience, decide what requires attention and when.

Fundamental stick and rudder skills work the same way. If you have to think a lot about coordinating your turns, a steep turn or turning stall will be a real pain. Similarly, if you don’t have the traffic pattern down, you’ll be completely overwhelmed trying to accomplish short or soft field takeoffs and landings. When you do develop fundamental skills properly, you can build off of them and accomplish a lot!

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