"At three-thirty that afternoon, Harry, Ron, and the other Gryffindors hurried down the front steps onto the grounds for their first flying lesson. The Slytherins were already there, and so were twenty broomsticks lying in neat lines on the ground. "
—Harry Potter's first flying lesson[src]

Flying, also known as Broom Flight Class,[2] is a subject taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is taught by Madam Rolanda Hooch, the Hogwarts Flying Instructor and Quidditch referee. The subject teaches students how to fly broomsticks.[1]


The approach of this class was heavily anticipated by students, who often told exaggerated tales of past flying achievements. Ron Weasley told anybody who would listen how he hit a hanglider with Charlie's old broom.[1]

"Keep your brooms steady, rise a few feet, and then come straight back down by leaning forward slightly. On my whistle — three — two —"
—Hooch teaching first years in 1991[src]

A first year Flying lesson in 1991

During Harry Potter's first flying lesson, Madam Hooch had to leave the class unattended when Neville Longbottom crashed and fell from his broomstick. In her absence, Draco Malfoy discovered a Remembrall that Neville had dropped, and flew off with it when Harry demanded it back. Harry followed Malfoy on his broomstick, and although he had never flown before, he was able to control the broom with ease and managed to catch the Remembrall in a 50 foot dive when Malfoy threw it. Professor McGonagall witnessed the catch, and instead of punishing Harry for not staying on the ground as Madam Hooch had ordered, she offered him the place of Seeker in the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Fred and George Weasley noted that the Hogwarts brooms were not very good. The brooms did odd things such as fly too far to the left, and vibrate slightly when they were flown too high.[1]

Class information

"Madam Hooch then showed them how to mount their brooms without sliding off the end, and walked up and down the rows correcting their grips. Harry and Ron were delighted when she told Malfoy he’d been doing it wrong for years."
—Madam Hooch teaching first years how mount their brooms[src]

Enchanted rings placed in class

The course aims of these lessons were largely aimed towards providing students with a basic understanding of the only the most elementary principles behind the study of broomology, which is to say, both how to handle a broom and progressively work on various techniques and manoeuvres performed while in flight, as well as receiving proper instructions on the subject of proper broom care and maintenance. During the tenure of Madam Rolanda Hooch, she would often warn her pupils against erratic flying, emphasising the importance of remaining focused, as the consequences of allowing oneself to become distracted or take unnecessary risks while in the air could, in the worst cases, cause the rider to slide off their broom and fall to their deaths.[1]

In some lessons, the use of enchanted rings was used to guide flight.[3]


Forbidden from bringing their own brooms to the school in their First year, the students will each be supplied with a school broom, which were old and of poor quality, yet passable for the use of teaching pupils to fly.[1]

First Years

"Well, what are you all waiting for? Everyone stand by a broomstick. Come on, hurry up. Stick out your right hand over your broom, and say ‘Up!"
—Madam Hooch commanding her first year students to summon their brooms[src]

Harry Potter successfully summoning his broom in 1991 during Flying class

While in the first year, it is required that every student take flying. They must learn the basics before the second year.[1]

  • Summon broom: Before any pupil is allowed to take off on a broomstick, they must first familiarise themselves with the one handed to them, the first step of which involved summoning the broom without touching it. To this end, the students will have to position themselves on the left side of it, reach out with their right hand and say, "with feeling" the word "Up!". If successful, the broom should jump up to their hand.[1]
  • Mount broom: Once successfully summoning the brooms, the flying instructor will demonstrate how to mount one's brooms without sliding off the end, and will correct students on how their grips on the broom should be.[1]
  • Liftoff and landing: Once ready to endeavour on the basics of flying, a fundamental step for broom riding, is to show the capability of controlling the broom to the extent of getting up in the air and getting back down safely. Students will be instructed to kick off from the ground hard and rise a few feet in the air while keeping their brooms steady, and then proceed to come straight back down on the ground by leaning forward slightly.[1]

Second Years

While no longer obligated to continue with the class, students who are interested in joining their House Quidditch teams or simply enjoy flying may choose to continue with the subject to improve their skills, although it is not a requirement.[4] During the second year, lessons are mainly spent honing their reflexes.[3]

  • Fast Laps: Once the flying instructor deems the students having mastered the basics, the students will be expected to demonstrate both speed and agility while flying.[5]
  • Weaving: Making quick turns during the flight while also keeping the broom steady.[6]

Third Years

Having spent the past year working on their speed, agility and precision, during the third year, lessons would mainly be spent advancing to a set of increasingly challenging manoeuvres to improve their technique, with some of them being useful on the Quidditch pitch.

  • Rolling: Making a complete rotation while maintaining direction during the flight.[7]
  • Diving: Flying in a quick, spiral-like motion.
  • Loop-the-Loop: Flying in a swift and precise 360 degree circle while maintaining direction.[8]

Fourth Years

Having demonstrated sufficient skill and savvy with a broom to pull off a range of basic and not-so-basic techniques, during the fourth year, lessons will advance to trickier and more difficult manoeuvres, such as some of those used during Quidditch matches.

  • Formation flying: A collaborated effort of several students, demonstrating sufficient skill and teamwork to manage coordinated flight of two or more brooms.[9]
  • Sloth Grip Roll: Executing a Quidditch tactic where the flier hangs upside down while maintaining a firm grip on their broom with their hands and legs.[10]
  • Broom surfing: Surfing across the sky by standing atop the broom mid-flight.[11]
  • Extreme Dive and Pull Up: Diving straight towards the ground, only to pull up at the last second. Accomplishing this without sustaining serious injury would be essential for any Quidditch player who want to employ the dangerous Seeker diversion, the Wronski Defensive Feint.[12]

Fifth Years

Having proven themselves to be thoroughly proficient on a broom during the previous term, fifth year students will advance to ever more difficult manoeuvres, some of which can be used during Quidditch matches.

  • Reversing: Quickly flying in the opposite direction without losing balance.[13]
  • Over and Under: An agility course wherein the flier must make it successfully above and beneath obstacles without losing speed.[14]
  • Starfish and stick: A Quidditch tactic where the Keeper only holds onto their broom with one hand and their foot, stretching out their body to cover all three goal posts at once.[15]
  • Threading the needle: A course that tests the flyer's agility by sending them through hoops while performing hair pin turns at the highest speed they can.[16]

Known professors


See also

Behind the scenes

A magical stopwatch as provided in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)

  • Although this class appears to only be taught to first-year students in the books, as it is never referred to again after the first book in the series, older students was depicted taking the class in some video games. However, this could be because some students still had problems with flying on brooms.
  • In 1991, Harry Potter can be the first student to discover a secret room on Training Grounds since 1867.[17] However, this is only present in the PC version of the Philosopher's Stone.
  • The first book implies that flying class happens weekly for the first-years. However, only Harry's first lesson is described, and the class is never mentioned again. This could be because he showed his adeptness for flight in the very first class.
  • Flying is the favourite class of Harry Potter actor Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy.[18]
  • Flying is not part of the O.W.L. or N.E.W.T. exams because of some student's fear of flying, and some not needing the skills as much once they become Animagus into a flying animal, but it is an essential pre-requsite into playing Quidditch.


Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
  2. (see this image)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
  4. While Flying class is stated to be compulsory for First Years in Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Hogwarts School Subjects" at Wizarding World, it does not say that it is not optional for later years.
  5. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, Chapter 3 (The Black Quill) - Flying Lesson "Fast Laps"
  6. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, Chapter 8 (Training the Team) - Flying Lesson "Weaving"
  7. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 1 (Year Three Begins) - Flying Lesson "Rolling"
  8. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 7 (Jacob's Room) - Flying Lesson "Loop-the-Loop"
  9. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 4 (Curse-Breakers) - Flying Lesson "Formation Flying"
  10. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 9 (Glittery Secrets) - Flying Lesson "Sloth Grip Roll"
  11. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 13 (The Centaur's Arrow) - Flying Lesson "Broom Surfing"
  12. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 15 (Dark Secrets) - Flying Lesson "Extreme Dive and Pull Up"
  13. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 4 (Opposite Day) - Flying Lesson "Reversing"
  14. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 21 (The Search for Peeves) - Flying Lesson "Agility Course - Thread the Needle"
  15. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 14 (Mischief Managed) - Flying Lesson "Starfish and Stick"
  16. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, - Flying Lesson "Agility Course - Threading the needle".
  17. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (PC version)
  18. https://www.pottermore.com/news/what-are-the-harry-potter-cast-members-favourite-hogwarts-classes
Hogwarts Curriculum
Core classes Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration
Elective classes Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes
Extracurricular classes Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Ghoul Studies · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy
First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams ·
Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test
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