When I got Rikki about 18 months ago, her wings had been clipped very short. I thought once her feathers grew out that she would be able to fly, as can our younger bird Charley, who also had clipped wings when I got him. Well Rikki still can't fly more than about two feet. I had her wings examined by the Av Vet and she said she could see no reason why Rikki shouldn't be able to fly -- just under-developed wing muscles that need to be exercised. I've been giving her flying "lessons" by launching her over a large bed. Sometimes she will go several feet, but not really get any lift. After about 5 tries she gets stressed and we stop. I would like her to be able to fly so that if she gets out onto the floor she would be able to get back to her cage, and I think she feels bad seeing how expertly Charley can fly around the room and dive-bomb us. Anyone else had success with a bird who couldn't fly?
In order to prevent your Rikki from being stressed or even to prevent her from crash landing into something and hurting herself, it's best that you don't "launch" her and force her to fly against her will. She is the one who should be in full control of her flight and that includes the take off.
The whole experience of the forced flight may make her more reluctant to fly on her own accord due to the previous bad experiences.
There are other safe ways to make Rikki practice her flight and increasingly gain her confidence when doing so. And this is done little by little, by using positive reinforcement techniques that reward good behaviour.
At first, you can start by making her go from one perch/landing spot to another, just by jumping between the perches (you will then gradually increase the distance between the two locations).
She starts at point A and needs to go to point B. You can place a tasty treat or favourite toy at point B in order to facilitate the move.
For better results you can incorporate clicker training when working with Rikki.
I'll add that you definitely want to be sure you end whatever you do on a good note! Always stop before she gets stressed.
I have a cockatiel who I don't think had ever learned how to fly and he's gradually getting better and better at it, but it is taking a while. His first step was what Aluz described--jumping from me to a perch and gradually making it longer. I set up ladders from the floor to a cage when I have a bird who cannot navigate it on their own--seems to help them get less scared/frustrated.