Lessons for a Good Start
Return to whittsflying Home Page
...Item; ...Tip; ...Losing Altitude; ...WWII Dictum; ...Making the Airplane Fit; The Economics of Flight Training; It Was A Good Lesson; ...Pre-solo Lessons...Lessons 1-3 Airwork;....Lessons 4-5 Ground Reference; ...Lesson 6; ...Lessons-7-8 Pattern Operations; Lesson 7; ...Lesson 8; ...Lesson 9 Pre-solo ATC Tour; ...Lesson 10 Solo Pattern Exercise; ...Minimum Preflight; ...Ready to Solo; ...Presolo Flight Training; ...Required Knowledge; ...Knowledge of flight rules; ...Five Areas of Failure; Preflight Instruction; Thoughts; Standard Operational Procedure; Spending Makes the Cost of Flying Lower; With a Little-bit, with a Little-bit of Bloomin' Luck; ...Variations On Murphy's Law Applied to Aviation; Fourteen Nice to Know Lessons; Michael's First Flight at Fourteen; ....Anticipating Your Expectations; ...Living Through the Mistakes of Others; ...Skill Deficiencies I Have Found in New Pilots; ...Instructional Challenges in the Glass Cockpit; ...Why will FITS be a breeding ground for accidents? ...The complexity of flying instruction is asymmetric and nonlinear; ...Areas of weakness and endangerment; ...Would Network-Centric Common Operating Environment Help; ...Challenges; ...Impressions of FITS (FAA/Industry Training Standards); ...FITS Pilot Competence; ...Teaching is the Same Everywhere for Everything; ...Airmanship; ...Things to Worry About; ...
You should be guided by the old joke regarding proper skirt length. A good instructional lesson is best designed as an artist would a dress.
"It should be long enough to cover everything but short enough to be interesting."
The No Exception Rule (Rich Stowell)
Pitch for the speed you need; power for the desired altitude profile
Good Instruction Rule
Never teach a skill through the use of unsafe maneuver.
A part of all ground preparation of a flight SHOULD include a review of the checklists to be used throughout the flight.
Make a pen/pencil that is of a known number of nautical miles on a sectional or has markings every ten nautical miles. You can use it to measure distance. Learn the nautical mile length of your hand span as you walk it across a chart.
You might try power off standard rate turns. You know your descent rate from the VSI. Set your power and attitude for a pre-selected constant VSI descent rate.. 180 degrees at standard rate is one minute. It is that many feet of altitude burned off
--Pilots should be trained in carefully graduated steps before flying high performance aircraft.
the Airplane Fit
--Proper seat adjustment is a basic essential for every flight.
--You must be able to reach every control, button and switch.
--You must be able to see just under a high-wing aircraft and over the cowling for any aircraft.
--Adjust the seat before you get in the aircraft if it has hand cranks. Avoid lifting your weight by cranking.
--An STC is required for any permanent modification of seats, controls or belts.
--Some extended shoes can give the necessary rudder and braking authority
--Booster seats are available that provide both lift and forward movement.
--Took an FAA checkride with a 5-foot FAA lady who had a seat/back booster with her flight materials inside.
www.skycovers.com; wwwnoralenterprises.com; www.oregonaero.com; wwwairsource1.com
The Economics of Flight Training
Economic considerations lead some operations and individuals to lower their training and achievement standards. Pilots have been licensed without adequate training or experience. Accidents of low-time pilots are usually a reflection of poor or inadequate instruction both in the skill area and application of judgment. I have flown with such pilots and feel a sense of shame for my vocation. Ignorance and incompetence can only be overcome by maintaining standards for instruction and training. Just as the educational system is bankrupt due to low pay for teachers, so is the flight training industry.
A Good Lesson
A good lesson is one that gives you value for your study, time, and money. A good flight lesson prepares you for success before you take off. You are told what part will be review and what part will be new. The performance standards are decided before the flight so you can determine your own progress. You will be allowed to make mistakes. The best indicator of a good lesson is the attitude the student takes in preparing for the next lesson. Successful flying and learning are enjoyable and to be anticipated. Try for as many "Ah Ha's" as you can in each flight.
Are these lessons and sequence for every student and instructor? No. Can the material be adapted into any program? Yes. Every instructor is expected to have a syllabus giving his plan for student instruction. For many years the FAA had published a small spiral notebook sized syllabus with some 30 lessons. I learned to fly and teach using the sequence from that syllabus. With experience (mistakes) I learned that some flexibility was required since one size did not fit all at least up to solo. All ground and flight work is taped for student playback at a later time. A first visit to the tower is made with the expectation that the student will make one visit for every three hours of flight time. Bring coffee.
This instructor will strive to be on time. He expects students to be on time and prepared for the lesson. Preparation includes doing suggested reading, having questions, and having plane fueled and ready. After ten minutes instructor will phone his home for messages prior to departing the area.
Every lesson begins with a complete on the ground review of what we will do and why. All departure and arrival checkpoints and radio work are reviewed since I try never to leave or arrive in the same way or direction twice during the pre-solo phase. A familiarization flight to cover the main nearby airports visual points, and departure/arrival points are used if the student is unfamiliar with the area. The preflight and airport procedures are limited if this flight is deemed necessary.
First Lesson Advice
Don't let more than one finger touch the back of the yoke. Use only the thumb to push with.
Use only one finger to move the trim wheel. Don't pinch. Keep track of how far you move it.
How you sit and where you sit must be always the same.
Use your index finger as an index to set the power and control all power changes.
Never turn without looking and talking about being clear.
Don't get into the plane until you know what the instructor's plan is for the lesson.
Try to leave and arrive from a different direction on every flight. Always take time to find out where you are and where everything else is. Learn the sounds of flying.
Don't leave the plane until you know what to prepare for the next lesson. Prepare by reading and asking questions.
Tape record every lesson on the ground and in the air. When you become an instructor the tapes will be a good way to determine how to or not to instruct.
Ask questions before you fly. Ask questions after you fly. Ask for answers to questions from the. (rec.aviation.student) newsgroup.
Learning to fly can be overwhelming. Any time you do not succeed in a lesson, the cause of difficulty does not lie with you if you came advised for and prepared for the lesson.
Write out (copy from tape) the radio procedures for each lesson. Practice aloud what you are going to say. Read what you have written without punctuation. Radio is 90% canned...always the same. You will soon learn to hear better by knowing what to expect over the radio.
You will never know all you are supposed to know. Don't fake it. If you don't know, say so. After the first three lessons the student is expected to do the preflight and to have a checklist developing through two revisions and three more to go. The first three flight lessons will cover the four basics of climb, level, descent, turns, all slow flights and stalls. These will be done separately, in transition, at varying speeds, in different configuration, and in combination. You name it; we do it. The use of trim is basic to establishing hands-off flight as much as possible. We begin doing the Dutch roll on the second lesson during climb-out. I am not teaching how to fly a basic trainer. I am teaching how to fly any airplane. All banks are of 30 degrees except for all the steep turn lessons and hood work. Turns are 90 degrees or greater. At the end of the third lesson we go low and fly a river at 700' AGL for a mile or so. If any break in training occurs a 'required' review should take place of these basics.
Very frequently a student feels that the leveling off process must be done quickly. Until you learn to be smooth you will be better off to do a 10 count between each phase: pitch, power and trim. Doing this allows the plane to settle into the selected attitude that can be set with trim. Depending on the aircraft the ten-count must be varied until cruise speed is reached before reduction.
& Five Ground Reference
This introduces emergency procedures, spirals, turns about a point, rectangles, S-turns, and river flying preferably in calm wind conditions but always in both left and right directions. This lesson-5, ideally, is the same lesson using different references in the strongest wind available. In doing the previous lessons we have been building the basics for the maneuvers required in landing. A good pilot has a high degree of wind awareness. He is aware of the wind before getting into the plane; he watches the movements of the windsocks; he looks for wind indicators; and most of all he is aware of the influence the wind is having upon his airplane.
Assumption is of VFR conditions
One of the most safe flying activities
My plan is to fly to Napa and along the way go through simulation of the landing process and the go-around. We will not be doing any landings just go-arounds. The basic pattern consists of upwind, crosswind, downwind, base and final. The upwind and crosswind legs are usually climbs, the downwind is level, base and final are descents. This is actually the four-basics that we have been practicing. Prior to flying we will walk and talk through the pattern process several times to get it in your mind. You should talk your way through the process while flying as well. All other landings, some twenty of them, are built upon this foundation. We will practice these at altitude three or four times in both left and right turns. Each final leg will end in a go-around. A go-around is a transition from a landing configuration and speed to a climb.
At a pre-determined altitude we execute a go-around by applying full power (including C.H) bring up a count of four on the flaps (20-degrees) holding level until reaching 65 knots at which time all the flaps are taken off and a climb at 65 knots is held. We climb up and do it again. On the downwind leg we will do the prelanding check at cruise speed. Fuel, mixture, heading, altitude and traffic watch. Abeam the simulated runway numbers we will reduce the power to 1500 while holding a north heading and altitude. The speed will bleed to 60 knots as you trim down by fingertip three full turns. RPM bleeds to 1500 as you hold altitude. When you have everything stabilized at speed, altitude, power, trim and hands-off we put in 10 degrees of flap and take off one full trim just before turning base either left or right. On base we put in another ten degrees of flap and take off another turn of trim. Check for hands-off descent at 60 knots. We turn final and put in full flaps and take off the third full turn of trim.
We are now trimmed for level flight so in the C-150 we must trim again one more trim for our climb at 65 knots. Napa's main runways are north to south so the crosswind and base legs are east and west. When we practice the patterns aloft we will use these directions as well. We will do just as many patterns to the left as to the right at Napa. In each case the go-around will be done at four successive levels from 200' down to 25'.
On going to Napa and leaving the student will handle the radio. While in the pattern the instructor will handle radio and primary traffic watch. Radio frequencies are in California Airports and on sectional. Make a frequency card including ATIS, Tower and Ground. Our call-up point will be Benicia at 2300. We will report left downwind. Try writing out what you will say and email it to me. On departure we will ask for an on-course to Oakland. Plan the radio work leaving Oakland and the return to Oakland. Ask any questions you wish.
The purpose of this exercise is multiple. I want to show you how the Cessna aircraft engineering between power, flaps and trim are made compatible to the desirable stabilized approach. I want you to be able to think ahead of the situation from the, what do I do next, into the anticipating what is going to happen.
Should we be fortunate enough to have a crosswind or even strong winds we will be able to make our approaches with the required corrections on all legs of the pattern. Desert would be having to do half a Dutch roll on final.
Lessons Seven &
Eight Pattern Operations
Here we are putting together of the basics into a pattern at altitude initially. We walk and talk the airport pattern on the ground. We review the radio work required to arrive and depart a nearby airport hopefully with parallel runways*. At altitude somewhere between the two airports we fly through a simulation of two left and two right patterns using the destination airport runways for headings. Every simulated landing consists of a beginning from level cruise, a prelanding, an abeam the numbers power reduction, trimming to a hands-off approach airspeed that is held constant as the remainder of the pattern is flown. The sequence of adding flaps, retriming, turning base, more flaps, turning final, adding full flaps, and retriming follow in due course. On final I will select an altitude for go-around or flare/go-around. The airspeed determines how the go-around is done. The choice is of going to 20 degrees flaps immediately or flaps are 'milking' off the flaps until climb speed is attained. Aircraft is re-trimmed for Vy climb hands-off.
Once again, we review the radio procedure for arrival. The student does the radio work until turning on to downwind. From this point on, the instructor uses the radio until a departure is requested. The student is expected to verbalize the required thinking and procedures as they occur in the pattern. Every pattern ends with a go-around four left patterns and four right patterns with each four at successively lower altitudes down to the runway. Leaving for home the radio is given to the student.
The seventh lesson goes to another controlled airport where the go-around is used only if necessary. Ground preliminaries cover departure, arrival, and taxiing. Solutions thought through for being high or low on base and final. The arrival landing consists of a full stop and taxi back. The student needs to know how to get familiar with ground procedures as well as pattern procedures. The situation is adjusted to expose the student to as many variables as traffic and wind conditions allow. All pattern work is done with the instructor on the radio.
This flight is to an uncontrolled airport with all the departure and arrival procedures both as to flying and communications fully covered before entering the plane. As before, the student uses the radio until the pattern work begins after having made a full stop. The 360 turn and communications are done by the student prior to the uncontrolled airport departure. The instructor handles the radio during the remainder of the pattern work until departure for home. Basic VOR navigation might be introduced if facilities are available.
Nine-Pre-solo ATC Tour
Due to 9/11 Security Requirements it is very difficult to arrange visits to ATC facilities. Security is more important than you having knowledge of how the ATC system works.
Lesson nine is a visit to a Class C airport and may include visiting an FSS and TRACON. ATC visits can be arranged during low volume periods and good weather. More time is required for this lesson because of the visits but some landings should be made. Again the radio work is shared between student and the instructor. By the end of this lesson the student should be proficient in radio work, the short approach, slow flight in the pattern, adjustment for being high or low, and up to 12 knot 90 degree cross-winds. Since 9/11 such visits are nearly impossible.
Lesson Ten-Solo pattern
Lesson ten is a 'required' pre-solo flight that, by pre-arrangement will be an ATC exercise with the controller directing the aircraft through about 45 minutes of flight. The intent is to expose the student anything that could happen at the airport through ATC direction. Typically this would include, changing runways, doing 360s, 270s, and 180s. Variations of the landing options are performed as directed, light signals, simulated radio problems, and some creative selections. The student is told that he will not be allowed to make a mistake. The same assurance is not offered to ATC or the instructor. From this flight the student is expected to be 'responsible' for the radio.
Solo usually takes place within the next three lessons when the student demonstrates ability to fly, communicate, and have enough reserve awareness to carry on a side conversation. Total time to solo is never an issue with the instructor. You're ready when we both agree you're ready.
The absolute minimum preflight made should consist of at least a walk-around, an engine compartment check, and an oil check. This might occur if you landed and stood by the plane while talking with another pilot. If you leave the plane you should do a walk-around as well just in case a fuel truck hit the plane.
Solo preparation began on the first flight. All the airwork of four basics, the ground reference, slow flight, trim, flaps, airspeed control, energy management, radio usage, and orientation have been, to a great extent directed toward the day a student does it all alone.
Preliminary to the flight are FAA required paper work, study, and testing. Performance parameters must be met. Safety is the primary consideration. The student must have reached a level of confidence and performance where there is a feeling of competence. Must share the responsibility and sense that the student is competent. There is a laundry list of both legal and safety requirements that must be met.
One way to judge the intellectual and emotional load of a student on any pre-solo flight is to see if he can handle the landing process while conversing about some unrelated subject just as he would in an automobile. It's nice to know that the student has some capacity left for emergencies when the instructor gets out.
The extent of the testing of FARs and aircraft knowledge will vary but must cover all required material in both extent and depth to assure competency. Airport and radio procedures should be covered for all anticipated solo situations. The words, "student pilot", now become part of the aircraft identification whenever the full aircraft identification is appropriate. i.e. "Cessna 6185K student pilot"
(1) Preflight, Engine operation, systems
(2) Starting, taxiing, runup
(3) Takeoff & landings, normal and crosswind
(4) Flying straight and level, shallow, medium and steep turns.
(5) Climbs and climbing turns
(6) Traffic pattern entries and departures, collision and large aircraft wake avoidance
(7) Descents straight and w/turns, with and w/out flaps
(8) Speeds cruise through minimum controllable
(9) Emergencies and malfunctions
(10) Ground reference maneuvers
(11) Power-off landings
(12) Slips to a landing
(13) Go arounds from base turns through final flare
(14) Forced landings from takeoff to anywhere in the pattern
(15) Stall entries w/varied attitudes and power with recovery at first sign
---FAR Part 61.87:
--Student Pilot Requirements
--Fuel consumption/flight time
-- Effect of bank on stall speed
--Flap use/go-around procedures
of flight rules
--FAR PART 91
--License and Logbook
--Slow flight/stall recognition-recovery
--Proficient in pre-flight/run up-taxiing
--Proficient in climbs/turns/level/descents
--Traffic patterns/ground reference/collision avoidance
Areas of Failure
Failure Area # 1
The student and instructor must enter into the program realizing that learning to fly has certain parameters that can make the process either easier or harder. Obviously, the more time, money and resources available the better. A weakness in any of these areas is going to affect instruction, communication, and learning. Over half of all flight students never complete their flight training. The student would be well advised never to start with any of these parts showing deficiency. The instructor performs a disservice to the student and flying by starting a someone who is ill prepared and qualified to finish.
Failure Area # 2
Flying is learned best by total immersion. Practical limits prevent most people from this process. The result is a compromise by doing what is possible. Less time, less money, and less communication results in less progress. At some point the student and instructor will recognize that the process is breaking down. Lessons decrease in frequency. Repetition creates a sense of no progress. Frustration affects both the student and instructor. The instructor starts pushing, the student feels even more pressured. Unhappiness.
Failure Area # 3
In the beginning the instructor will accept as normal a wide variation in performance. Everything seems to be progressing fine. Then, little by little the tolerance levels are narrowed. Altitude, headings, airspeeds, trim, and attitudes are going through changes leading to landings. Mistakes happen, are created, and are resolved in the process so that safety is not compromised. Student radio exposure increases. During this period student overload often occurs. The failure of a basic skill can bring progress to a halt.
Almost any basic skill can be responsible for requiring a basics refresher flight or two. Airspeed awareness in climb, turns, cruise, and descent have parameters that are essential to safety. Banking limits along with heading interceptions must be performed within relatively narrow limits. Anticipation takes the place of reaction. The time of performance is important many aspects of flight cannot be unduly delayed in the airport pattern know what to do, when and do it. Hesitation, delay, uncertainty, or mistakes must become a non-factor. Any lack of progress requires going back to basic procedures at altitude.
Failure Area # 4
The instructor is beginning to feel the responsibility that goes with student solo. There are relatively few situations where responsibility for life and safety exposure exceeds that of a flight instructor. The student, too, is feeling this pressure from the instructor and is having mental and emotional qualms as the solo day nears. The flying culture has attached far too much emphasis on the solo. While it is indeed a significant step, it really means a change in the number of instructors. The solo student is his own instructor. Where the student fails to plan, take responsibility, practice, and study he fails as an instructor. Progress will plateau just at the time it should accelerate.
Failure Area # 5
When a student is not making expected progress it is up to the instructor to come up with a plan. More frequent flights, more elaborate ground instruction, a revised procedure, a different airport, and partial panel to change visual focus. Don't keep beating the same process when it's not working. Get some variety into the lessons. The instructor may suggest experiments to find how the mental process may be misdirecting the physical performance. Maybe the instructor should demonstrate more frequently. Just perhaps, there is no solution for the existing problem between the student and instructor. Take a week off to concentrate on book work instead of flying. Get the written out of the way. The progress may be revitalized by contradictory actions. Taking a week off from flying and study can act as a refresher. Flying three days in a row has been known to get things going again. Just go together for an airplane ride. Every instructor will have his share of failures. Learn to live with this probability.
The first few flight lessons usually include longer preflights. I use these preflights to explain how the systems in the cockpit work, how the control surfaces are designed and affect the aircraft performance, how the engine is externally inspected, and how the landing gear is checked. Nomenclature of the parts and components are mentioned and pointed out. All of this is totally overwhelming to a first time student. It must be reviewed, checked and reinforced to become a part of the student's aeronautical vocabulary.
This ground instructional time is far more efficient that attempting the same while in the air. I have always over-educated my student above the private pilot level. By teaching to the commercial level in my groundwork I feel that I am providing a valuable cushion of knowledge to cover that is bound to be forgotten.
Flying your own airplane is a pleasure and delight.
The best way to make non-stop flights is to buy a different airplane.
The weather has contempt for your best laid plans.
The level of your flying is related to the level of your thinking.
Anger has no place in the cockpit.
While you can upgrade your performance, don't expect as much of an existing aircraft.
Be pleased when you fly well, be more careful when you think you fly well.
Operational Procedures (SOP) (AC 120-71
SOPs are the way you do things to operate an airplane. The way you do things with an airplane are best if they
are appropriate to the situation
are practical to use and do
can be understood and be reasonable to the doer
clearly delineate who is to do what
reinforce the process when done correctly
SOPs cannot be done one way in training and another way in 'real life'. When SOP are understood by the crew and supported by feedback the result is safety, efficiency and higher morale. SOPs are best when they are derived from healthy collaboration.
Makes the Cost of Flying Lower (Duplicate)
--The more you fly the lower per hour your fixed costs
--Use home equity to reduce interest costs of airplane
--Spend the money to buy the best aircraft you can.
--Don't buy a plane that needs upgrades. Installed upgrades lose 50 percent
--Buy a popular model
--Cosmetics are as important to price as mechanics
--Never over-price an airplane
--Outside labor costs are beyond affordability
--Cosmetics are easiest to fix
--Parts cost triple what you want to pay and twice what you will pay
--New paint (good job) gives fastest price boost
--Don't buy into internal corrosion
--Radios only get half value back.
a Little-bit, with a Little-bit of Bloomin' Luck (Duplicate)
There is an old pilot superstition accepted by my wife that all things bad happen in threes. When we work in the pattern the three areas where mistakes accumulate are altitude, airspeed and rate/angle of descent. These factors individually can be adjusted or ignored. Adjustment is the most likely instructional option. Instructors do not want students to develop a tolerance for inaccuracy. Aircraft flight manuals provide little guidance for precision except for gross weight performance parameters. Shortly after takeoff these aircraft recommendations no longer apply because the aircraft is below gross. In my analysis of techniques and procedures for VFR and IFR, I do not mean that my way is the only way. Rather my way is a way that has worked for me.
Pattern altitude can be any one of three things, high, right on, or low. One of my first instructional mantras is that it is just as possible and EASY to fly precise altitudes, as it is to fly a few feet high or low. I teach level flight with the setting of a constant power (rpm), a set trim position and release of the yoke. Very small changes can be achieved by head position and more by use of the hands and arms. Rudder keeps the wings level and hands are best kept off the yoke.
In recent times, I have had to initiate IFR training with several different pilots. The one that I taught basic level flight using the above system was able to proceed directly into instrument approaches and in less than ten hours was performing at the 35 hour IFR training level. The others had an intense emotional transition from various yoke grips into recognition that a well-trimmed aircraft allows the use of two hands for things other than flying the airplane. Just last week I had a former student fly her first hands-off ILS to landing and this as a part of a flight review two years after getting the IFR ticket. A proficient pilot does not need an autopilot to hold altitude.
Now back on course, slight errors in altitude are not to be ignored. The pilot must develop a sensitivity for precise altitude. The sound of the engine and wind in the cockpit can be recognized for at least three power settings and three airspeeds. These are the minimums required for IFR or VFR. With the altitude tolerances required/allowed of private pilots it is no wonder that most pilots are less than proficient in acquiring and holding a selected altitude hands-on or -off.
Airspeeds are trimmed speeds. Trim an aircraft for a pre-selected
level flight speed and additions and decreases in the power setting
will give a climb or descent rate quite close to the trimmed
level flight speed. With the fixed pitch propeller rpm is the
measure of power. The aircraft will fly the trimmed flight speed
in climb or descent with power changes and a bit of pilot controlled
damping of initial oscillations.
The difficulties of changing from one speed to another lies in anticipation the throttle and trim setting required. The smoothness of any transition is the criteria of excellence. Fixed pitch aircraft are supposed to climb at full throttle because excess fuel is used to cool the engine. This means that prior to takeoff your trim should be set for the best rate given in the POH and adjusted for density altitude. Anticipation of the takeoff settings is as easy as it gets. Leveling off at cruise and low cruise requires different techniques. For cruise you begin to level off at 10 percent of your climb rate. Make your initial trim adjustment which is usually one full turn of nose down trim, hold pressure to maintain altitude during the acceleration to cruise and then immediately reduce power to predetermined rpm and then make any fine trim/power adjustments required. Check with hands off.
To level off for low-cruise from a climb, you would again begin to level off before reaching the altitude but you reduce the power to the predetermined setting for low cruise and make the trim adjustment required. This is a trim movement you should keep track of and practice until you get is very close, quickly. Practice reversing the process to get a quick smooth transition from low cruise into a climb. Going from low-cruise to full cruise by anticipating the required trim change while holding altitude with yoke pressure while using full power. This will require holding forward yoke pressure which would be zero if you reduce to cruise power setting the moment you reach cruise speed. You should also practice the transition from cruise to low-cruise by reducing power so that it will bleed to the low cruise setting or become proficient in taking off extra power and adding it the moment low-cruise speed is reached. Again, anticipation is the name of the game.
Descents can be either cruise or low-cruise speeds. You should practice specific feet-per-minute descents at cruise and low-cruise. You will find that the lower rates of descent are more difficult to maintain and that the increased air density during descent requires very fine power and trim adjustments to maintain airspeed and rate of descent. Even VFR training should introduce the 500 fpm descent while making a 180 degree turn. Training should be given in changing airspeed during descent through the use of power and again with power and flaps. The procedures are different and require practice.
These airspeed transitions are an integral part of both VFR pattern flying and IFR procedures. Learning them in two-place VFR trainer will make the transition to a more powerful IFR trainer logical even though requiring quicker anticipation of trim and power changes required. What I am getting at is that VFR training can and should be a logical progression into IFR training. I feel that setting achievement levels for private pilots too low is doing a disservice to the abilities and expectations possible.
On Murphy's Law Applied to Aviation
1. The Law of Common Sense: Never accept fuel from a urologist.
2. The Law of Reality: Never get into fights with ugly airport officials, they have nothing to lose.
3. The Law of Self Sacrifice: When you debate the FARs with the FAA, the FAA has the last word.
4. The Law of Volunteering: If you fly with a DE, you had better let him lead whenever possible.
5. The Law of Avoiding Over Confidence: When putting ideas into action, always leave room for escape.
6. The Law of Motivation: Creativity in flight manevuers great, but mistakes happen faster.
7. Boob's Law: You always find reported traffic in the last place you look.
8. Wailer's Law: Nothing is impossible for the instructor who doesn't have to do it himself.
9. Law of Probable Dispersal: Whatever mistake is possible will not be evenly distributed.
10. Law of Volunteer Labor: People are always available for washing the airplane in the past tense.
11. Conway's Law: In any cockpit there is one person who knows what is going on. That person must not be allowed to talk. .
12. Iron Law of Distribution: The pilot with the most hours gets to log the flight time.
13. Law of Cybernetic Entomology: There is always one more bug to fix in the Garmin.
14. Law of Safe Flight: You can't go wrong not going to the airport.
15. Heeler's Law: The first myth of flight safety is that it exists.
16. Osborne's Law: Variables won't always vary and constants aren't.always consistent.
17. Main's Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite FAR.
18. Weinberg's Second Law: If builders built airplanes the way the FAA wrote FARs, then the first pilot would have been a woman.
19. Remember, the older we are the greater becomes the importance of our standing by our standards and ideals. As older we must stand against those who have and would still dishonor what remains of our honorable past.
Nice to Know Lessons
The temperature and dew point come together at about 4.4 degrees per thousand feet. To determine cloud bases divide the temperature and dew point difference by 4.4. The result times one-thousand lgives the height of the cloud base.
Using your airspeed in hundreds of miles take half of one-percent. At 100 knots this is a half-mile. Lead your turn to the intersecting airway by half a mile. At 140 knots you would lead by .7 miles.
Making a VDP
To make a visual descent point that allows a normal landing or a normal downwind turn to a circle to land drop the zero from your minimum descent altitude (MDA). Using this number as seconds, subtract it from the published time to the missed approach point (MAP) at your approach speed.
Rate of Climb
Rate of climb in feet per minute can be figured by first dividing your groundspeed in knots by 60. Multiply the result you get by the required number of feet per nautical mile. Ground speed of 90 divided by 60 equals 1.5. 1.5 times the required 200' per nautical mile is 300. Your required rate of climb. Or, 120 divided by 60 is 2. 2 times the required 400 is 800' per nautical mile..
Three-degree Glide Path
Multiply groundspeed by five to get the VSI reading required for a three-degree descent
Holding Pattern Time Adjustment
You want to adjust the inbound time to one minute by varying the time of the outbound leg. Wind during the turns is always an unknown variable. Make your adjustments by percentage rather than time. To make a given increase or decrease in inbound time make a corresponding percentage change in the outbound leg.
True airspeed increases by approximately 1.6 percent per thousand feet in the standard conditions. This would be 16 percent increase at 10,000 feet and 8.percent increase at 5000 feet, for calibrated airspeed. 9.6 percent increase at 6000 feet and 10 percent at 6,500.
Standard Rate Bank Angles
Divide the true airspeed by ten and add seven. A 65 knot TAS requires a 10 -degree bank. One hundred thirty TAS requires a 20-degree bank.
Headwind Component of Crosswind
A crosswind at 40-degrees to the runway is about 60 percent headwind of the wind speed. A 30 knot wind would be 18 knots of headwind while a 15 knot wind at 40 degrees would have a nine knot headwind component,
Distance to the VOR
At a distance 60 nautical miles, one degree of arc equals one nautical mile.
Center OBS needle and turn to right angles of that radial. Recenter needle and start time while moving OBS ten degrees ahead of aircraft. When needle centers check time in seconds to fly 10 degrees. Drop the last digit from the seconds. Remaining two digits is the time in minutes required to fly to the VOR (Wind factor not included)
Once you have heard the ATIS set the altimeter to the airport elevation and then adjust to local setting.
There is no FAR requirement that the altimeter be within 75 feet of accuracy. It is a widely accepted standard but not in the FARs.
Carson City, NV Rwy 9
Pulsating Visual Approach Slope Indicator.
VOR Operational Check
--Keep record of date, place, bearing errors and sign name and certificate number. FAR 91.171(d)
Flight at Fourteen
Would taxi to 32R and make right standard departure,
--Preflight and start was given in tape recorder so Michael could make first draft of checklist.
--Due to a delayed departure when aircraft arrived late, I also forgot how to turn on the radio control panel and had to get help from another instructor.
--Instructor covered how rudder pedals worked for taxiing and how brakes were applied.
--Student started aircraft by following instructions
--Student copied ATIS.
--Radio work was rehearsed and student made ground call-up. Clearance was to 32R.
--Student practiced zig-zagging across taxiway centerline to get feel of bungees on nose wheel.
--Instructor demonstrated how brake and power could pivot aircraft into wind.
--Student did runup by following directions.
--Instructor used radio to reposition aircraft and taxied to approach clearing position.
--Student contacted tower, read back clearance and taxied out and applied takeoff power
--Shortly after liftoff student was urged to let go of the yoke to see how aircraft would behave.
--At 600 feet instructor gave instructions to turn to 040.
--Student was talked through the leveling-off process at 2,300' including use of trim.
--Pointed out area landmarks
--Several heading changes were given and student performed well. Weak on right rudder.
--Talked student through transition from level flight to climb. Worked on use of trim for changes.
--Showed student how moving hands and arms forward and back could affect aircraft performance.
--Showed student that turns could be made with just rudder
--Pointed out area landmarks
--Went through both level and climbing turns at cruise and in slow flight
--Had very light turbulence on back side of Mt. Diablo that got student's attention.
--Initiated arrival to CCR by having student get ATIS
--Pointed out area landmarks including home field.
--Talked student through call-up for landing requesting 32R. Tower assigned 32L
--Instructor covered for student acknowledging change.
--At 3000' went to slow flight and initiated descent.
--Showed student how to locate two-mile reporting point.
--Added flaps and trimmed for airspeed during descent.
--Had student initiate the flare for landing and touchdown.
--Student taxied clear of runway and contacted ground for taxi via Alpha to HAI.
--Instructor directed taxi into parking..
--Instructor enjoyed flight.
--Gave student homework to work on checklist from tape recorder.
--Parking technique needs work.
--Bookkeeping program poses problems.
It will really help if both you and your brother have read through the following. Do not study...just look for ideas. I will begin doing some airwork with your brother much as I did with you. Using the POH you could help by going over the instruments with him and what you can of the cockpit controls. The more he knows the more time we can spend in the air.
Bring batteries just in case. We will need an HAI headset. May be a problem if aircraft does not have jacks for it. Will check.
The two of you must trust me to split the time between you in a fair way.
The better you work together the more we can get done. This is not a contest
or a race. It is a slippery slope where you can help each other.
The practice area is out by Collinsville and the Montezuma Slough.
Page 12 The Beginning Student. Just read what interests you.
Simple engine failure emergency at altitude. We will develop a basic checklist
We will walk through river-flying, turns about a point, course reversal, S-turns and perhaps rectangular patterns if time permits.
Your brother will be working the radio when we leave and you will do it
when we come back. We will call up over the Benecia Refinery and set up for
one of the following:
...will report left down wind 1L
...will report left downwind 32L
...request right base 19R will report 2-mile base.
Email me the full text of the first part of the call-up you will use in front of what I have written. It would be helpful to you and me if you could write out what your brother should say on the radio as we leave. Have him practice until he gets it right. You will learn to use the radio better by helping him and practicing with him. In the beginning write it out.
Let me know if there is a problem.
When we are IFR is important that we develop communications that are not passive. This means we let ATC tell us what to do.
We should try to word our callup and responses into the suggestive level of assertiveness. This tells ATC our preference and how we will carry it out. When ATC cannot or will not take our suggestion we will always have other options.
One option is to cancel IFR if conditions allow. Example: ATC will not allow us to avoid weather.
Another option is to wait and make the request from the next specialist.
Another option is to make a destination change or select a fuel stop to an uncontrolled airport that will allow time for a new shift to take over..
I need to spend a few hours of ground time to go through the IFR planning process. I am satisfied that you are capable of flying the aircraft so that we can begin doing some en route planning and airway flying.
I would like you to make a preliminary plan for a flight from CCR to Sacramento-Santa Rosa-CCR. Use the appropriate airways and altitudes as for IFR. Make a chart that gives all the intersections along the route as well as VORs. Give nav frequencies and radials you expect to use. Figure in the com frequencies as well. We will dry run through all the radio work, as well. You might see if I have this flight on my web site.
Suggest you look at Pageg5 Lessons. I want to see if you can handle the last lesson, "Airway Flight' while we do as many of the first ten lesson elements up to Lesson 2 which is 'steep turns.'
You have shown that you can do this in my opinion. We will do nothing that we have not reviewed on the ground first and walked through if possible. Vertical S's are difficult to walk through but airspeed changes can be done. Do this in a rough draft format so that we can go over it and make refinements. After the plan is reviewed we will sit in the aircraft and spend some (a lot of) time running through the process of selecting and presetting frequencies so that throughout the flight you can see the importance of being two steps ahead of where the aircraft is at a given moment.
If the planning goes well, you will be under the hood throughout. Should you get over-loaded we can do some VFR for a break. One more thing: If you feel overloaded, let me know and we will take a break or go home. In the beginning I must get a feel for your endurance. At any time you wish, I will take over the radio to ease the workload. Email me or phone at any time if you should have a question.
Let me know what time next Monday as soon as possible. I would like to know how your are coming on with your checklists.
--I'm surprised you haven't asked any questions about the ground reference work I plan to do with you.
--Read about introduction to stalls. They will be gentle.
--I think I sent you a basic emergency checklist. Did you get it?
--We will need about an hour of ground time before going flying. Bring extra tapes. If your brother comes we will need to practice changing seats. If he wants to continue lessons with us, I will need a couple of flights to get him caught up.
--There is a saying, "He who teaches, learns twice." Would you be willing to teach your brother the preflight procedure. You both will benefit. More than just teaching you to fly, my intention is to teach you to teach. Very important that you practice a skill you will need all your life. I need to hear from you more often.
You've got the idea. If 32 or 1 is in use you just say everything as you did but instead just say, "will report left downwind.".
We will do the airwork with your brother over the hills west of CCR. No airports over there so it will require right/left crosswind departures regardless of the runway. Can you give me an idea of what your brother should say for each possible runway? Make a try and send it to me. I'll clean up where needed and then he can practice. I forgot to give you a book with airport diagrams last time but you can figure all three runways as being possible. He should learn to tell ATC what runway he wants as you have learned.to do. Have him write out what he wants to say. You act as ATC. You both will learn that way. Take turns.
After I have done the four basics with your brother we will go over the river to simulate an engine failure emergency. Then we will fly over to Montezuma Slough and follow it. I will introduce you to the ground reference maneuvers and you will take us home.
The next flight will you going first where we will do some stalls and steep turns. Your brother will get his introduction to river flying and some ground reference. We will change seats and you will do some as well.
We will practice changing seats before we start the airplane. I have done
this many times without any problem.
--We will meet at 9a.m. Bring small plastic bags just in case you start feeling bad. It is the one that is not flying that will have this problem. The sooner you let me know the better.
--We will go over the radio work for departure and arrival according to
runway in use. Then we will work on simple emergency procedures and walk/talk
through ground reference.
--Don't think you must know everything, I still don't. Just keep gnawing on the books and my writings and lessons. Everything will fall into place.
--We will do Dutch rolls during climb out. Read about them and have Mike explain. Then we will work on using the trim, climbing turns, level turns, slow flight and descents. The next flight you will get to do ground reference. Mike will get to do them a second time unless there is no wind. The second ground reference lesson should have as much wind as we can find. More difficult to do. I have made a pair of pre-flight checklists for you to hang around your necks. We will make an emergency list for the backside. The first item will be, 'checklist', airspeed, field & wind, restart, radio, pre-crash, post-crash.
--If you think, about it, all of these exercises are basic to the landing. It is only after you can control the aircraft, both high and low, that we can begin practicing landings. In a couple of lessons I will have both of you working on the same thing.
--I have a number 'goodies' for you to learn how to use.
--Hope you have prestart, start, taxi, runup and pretakeoff, takeoff, cruise
--Must remember to do Dutch rolls for a half-minute every time we enter a climb. Help me!
--Search my site for 'steep turns'. We will be doing them with and without trim at 45 degrees of bank.
--The normal recovery for any bank to level flight begins at a point on the heading indicator that is
--half the angle of bank we are in before the point we want to stop the turn. (I'll explain)
--We will make two turns of 360 degrees, left or right. Expect more on next flight if you have difficulty. The trick is to watch the horizon. If there is no clear horizon we won't do them.
--We will do clearing turns before doing stalls. Our first turn will be to the left because any aircraft from our rear, where we can't see well, should be passing on our left. We will repeat the power off stall and then do the power-on stall with 1800 rpm. Recovery is a matter of letting the nose fall to the horizon and smoothly adding throttle and taking off carburetor heat. There is no hurry! I'll demo if you wish.
--We will do again the simulated emergency. Make sure we go over it during ground school. You should expect at least one emergency simulation on every flight.
--After the emergency we will do some more ground reference. I want you to learn how to find a point, rectangle, and long straight line that we can use to do our S-turns. Being able to do this is a part of your flight-test to come. We will gain altitude before changing seats. The change over went well last time but this time we should do it twice to even out the flying time. Again, be sure to tell me if you are getting tired or not feeling well.
Be sure to watch the aircraft to know what runway to plan for. When returning you should plan for all three directions 32, 19, and 01. Winds can change direction without your permission. The only certainty about winds is that they will never be exactly as forecast.
Start studying how you will get to Napa. What are the frequencies? Where will you say what? Then think through the same things back to Concord. We will only make one landing and taxiback so you will be asked to deal with ground. Think, plan, and write what you expect to happen on the radio.
Sunday is open for me. try to schedule three hours if you can. If all we can get is two we will need to find a way to get off sooner. Plan to be an hour early.
--Expect to do review of some of the radio work for both of you. Write down the Napa frequencies and practice a call-up from Benicia. I want you to call the ATIS at Napa (Find in AF/D) little green book I gave you.
--If we get three hours I will spend at least 15 minutes going over how to hold the yoke while taxiing. Look at POH. Read my site about taxiing.. taxiing is the last thing you learn to do well.
--If weather is right we will do emergencies and ground reference. Time permitting I will introduce landing pattern procedures at altitude over the hills near Napa.
Try to have a checklist for the preflight cockpit, cockpit shutdown and securing the plane before leaving.
We need to schedule further ahead. We can always cancel a day or two before flying. Best to pick a standard day and time when possible. We will not do taxiing instruction tomorrow. We need a windy day to do the next ground reference lessons. That's what we will do if its windy tomorrow.
--With light winds we will practice doing pattern work at altitude in both left and right patterns. Suggest you read about the C-172 from my web site. We will walk and talk about flying the patterns during the ground instruction part.
--We will depart CCR for the hills behind Benicia and begin flying the patterns. We will not be making landings, just go-arounds working on getting the power in and the flaps up smoothly without losing altitude. Then we begin the climb. All banks at 30 degrees. Napa is good place to do this because the major runways go North and South. Left pattern will be North, West, South, East etc. Right pattern will be North, East, South, West, etc.
--Abeam the numbers 'imaginary' we will pull carburetor heat out, reduce
power to 1700. The speed of the plane will be driving the propeller) Making it
go faster than the power provided) the propeller but when we slow to 80 knots
the power will read 1500. We will trim down three full turns holding heading
and altitude while aircraft is slowing to 80 knots.
--On reaching 80 knots we will add a count of 4 to get 10-degrees of flap, take off one turn of trim, clear the turn and bank thirty degrees to base. We will be adding flaps on every leg and trimming for hands-off. Aircraft will be allowed to descend at 80 knots.
--On base we will use another count of four to get 20 degrees of flaps and take off another full turn of trim and check for hands off descending flight at 70 knots. Clear the turn and on coming to the South (runway) heading we will add full flaps and aircraft will descend at 60 knots, hands-off. No change n trim.
--The design of the C-172 is such that the above procedure will prepare the
aircraft for the coming go-around. When I tell you, put the throttle all the
way in and push with your right leg/foot to keep the nose from yawing left.
Hold forward pressure on the yoke with your elbow braced against the door
while keeping the wings level.
--With your right hand reach over and feel for the flap lever (no peeking) While holding the aircraft in level flight we will 'milk' l(a little at a time) up the flaps. Once the speed reaches 70-75 you will allow the nose to rise and bring up the rest of the flaps. No change is required of the trim if we do it right. Plane will climb at 75 knots hands-off but right rudder required to prevent left turn.
--Tell your Dad that there will be two C-150s coming on line shortly. When they do we will begin giving you some flights separately. I would like to do lthe next ground reference work individually in the C-150.
--The only differences in landing a C-150 consist of bringing the power back to 1500 since it is so slow. You trim off one turn when going to 40-degrees of flap so the plane is trimmed for level flight instead of climb. Everything happens more slowly. After we have gone through the above exercise we will go to Napa. I will place you over Benicia at 2300 and the ATIS (124.05) is Alpha. Runway 18 is in use. Set the altimeter using the ATIS
"Napa tower Cessna 734FR Benicia at 2300 with Alpha will report left downwind requesting the option" Say it right and the tower will reply, "Approved as requested"
On turning downwind say, "4FR downwind".
I will handle the radio from there until we head home.
On our last go-around you will say,
"4FR request on course Concord."
After we get the ATIS at Concord we will say the following:
"Concord tower Cessna 734FR Benicia at 2300 with Alpha...
--For runway 1..."will report left downwind."
--for runways 32..."will report left downwind."
--For runways 19..."request right base will report two-mile base."
(2-mile base is when crossing the freeway)
Take a look at the California airports (blue book) diagram to see why these work.
Just a few things about today's flight--
--I'm going to try and get the trim wheel made easier to turn. Otherwise keep doing what works for you by pinching it land giving a bit more at the end.
--Flying with the pen in your hand is something that you will get used to. Not easy but it will protect you from not having a pen when you need it.
--Remind me to bring a smaller clip for your yoke board. I have one and two banker's clips to make it easier for you to keep your checklists in place.
--Rework your checklists to make them smaller.
--Any time you are flying alone try and schedule the C-150. You will like it. When you preflight try to group the things you do and then compare them with the checklist. Glad you picked up on the missing fuel checks.
--Listen to the tape and make your in-cockpit checklist. Remember to keep
the things you will need in front, not in back. Fannypack, gloves, rags, paper
wipes, etc. You might want to get some small rags on which you can wipe the
oil stick with and then use the oily rag to clean the nose strut. Change the
order you do things to make this work. try to organize the preflight list so
that it goes faster.
--Make a note of what you learned on the radio today. You can use Unicom as a phone service if it is important. You could order at taxi or leave a message for someone We could have done it in the air instead of on the ground. Nice to know. Might be a good idea to put your Mother's phone number on the information sheet at Sterling. Always carry extra everything that you can. Paper, post-its, pens, rubber bands, flashlights, etc.
--I hope the tape has on it some or all of the radio work we did at Napa and going back to CCR. Don't try to say too much too fast. Take a deep breath and let it all come out in a steady, smooth stream. As you learned , slow up for phone numbers.
--Use the California Airports book to study all the areas around Concord, Napa, Livermore, and Oakland. Won't be much shown about Rio Vista. Use road maps to learn all the highway numbers. The more places you can identify on the ground from the air the easier it will be to make your radio calls.
--When we went into Napa (APC) and back to CCR we had departing aircraft coming toward us. We saw both of then off to the side. We knew this because we were on the radio early. Very important to begin listening a few miles away from airports.
--Did you pick-up on what we did on downwind for the right when the Bonanza
made the straight-in. When we/I did not see him we did not turn base. Instead
we asked ATC to 'call our base'. You never want to turn toward an aircraft you
can't see. Incidentally, your last go-around and landing approach into CCR
were very well done
--The arrival into CCR was particularly difficult but I don't think you picked up on it from the ATIS. The wind was variable at 6. That means the wind could have been from any direction at six knots. When we turned final I noticed and mentioned that we had a tail wind. That is why I had you go to full flaps right away. Otherwise we might have made a go-around. A 10-knot wind doubles your required landing distance. Always take a look at the windsock on final.
--When we flew our left pattern I hope you heard all the airplanes that were coming into the left runway. That's the reason ATC sent us to the right. Always acknowledge an instruction.
--Take note that if you don't use enough right rudder you will drift to the left on a go-around. That could become a serious problem if you have another runway to your left as we did.
--Work on looking over the nose of the aircraft instead of around to the side during a turn. Learn to feel for the trim, C.H. Throttle, and flap switch without looking. Next time you get a chance close your eyes and see how many items you can touch and identify just by feel. Someday, you may need to do it at night for real. Gene
We finally got to Rio Vista. Yolur arrival and radio procedures were fine. After the full-stop, we did some touch and go's before heading back to CCR. I showed you the basics of the VOR on the way back. Good work.
I got on your case a bit today. I had to go over the entire route, radio, and altitudes from CCR to LVK. You should have spent your time sitting in the pilot's lounge making sure the aircraft was fueled, doing the preflight and reading the POH. The net effect was that we only had enough time to fly to LVK do a touch-and-go and return to CCR. Now we need to repeat the flight next week.
Flight to LVK went well today. We need to build up your endurance. We were able to get in two right and two left patterns before heading back to CCR. Flight and radio went well.
Flight cancelled due to ground fog and low visibility.
Six weeks of not flying due to weather, scheduling and aircraft problems12-22-02
Ground introduction to reading S.F. TRerminal Area Chart and introduction to short field and soft field takeoffs and landings preparatory to flying to Napa. Reviewed radio procedures and use of checkpoints between CCR and APC.
First good lesson after engine start was to find that none of the radio frequency knobs would work. Student was astounded when I went into my pocket, took out my Leatherman tool, and proceeded to set the ATIS Frequency. We flew the remainder of the flight by changing frequencies this way. Mike did all the radio work during the flight until we landed back at CCR and I advised ATC that we were missing radio knobs.
Student chose direct flight to Napa over the hills and experienced some uncomfortable turbulence. He also used the proper name for a golf course instead of the geographical location and confused the controller. Both valuable lessons to be avoided in the future.
Due to the extended layoff, Mike made several mistakes that I allowed to extend in time until they would certainly become obvious. I waited in vain. One time he forgot to bring up the flaps when ATC called for a go-around. Once he forgot to remove the carburetor heat on takeoff. We were well beyond the end of the runway and still below 400'. On another arrival he was quite high and still had not reduced the power even though he had added full flaps. On one of these he climbed 300' above pattern altitude because of failue to properly level off with trim and power reduction. I talked him through soft field takeoffs, soft field landings as well as short field takeoffs and short field landings before we returned to CCR.
At CCR he made a different arrival than he had been taught previously. Throughout the lesson I emphasized that I was deliberately pressuring him to make independed PIC decisions. Worked fine until he descended 300' below pattern altitude on downwind but failed, until coached, to make any adjustments in his application of flaps and power. He's learning and progressing fine. A year and four months before solo.
--Get your weather updates early
--After setting a flip-flop frequency set the standby before talking
--Write down your frequencies so you can preset the next one on your flip-flop
--Keep your Ident codes droning low so you know NAVs are working
--Give values to what you do. Killer items come first.
--Keep the scan ball in the air all the time.
--Organize your cockpit, frequencies, charts, tools
--Check your times en route at intersections, figure the winds
--Get the ATIS early, early, early.
--Maintain traffic watch and radio watch for traffic.
--It never hurts to ask where vectors are taking you.
--Use your right seater
--Use your checklists
--Keep your cockpit sterile
--Become a collector of outside the box (airplane) information
--Distractions and distracting or not, your choice.
--Scan quickly, fly lightly
Living Through the
Mistakes of Others
--Avoid those areas that produce TFRs.
--Bad decisions breed more bad decisions.
--Monitor 122.0 to keep track of how others are doing.
--A quarter moon and extra altitude increases night safety.
--Only by training can increasing the risk be held in check.
--Declaring an emergency is better than most other options.
--Fails to recognize how confidence may actually increase the risks of flying.
--Minor uncertainties and small transgressions can have serious consequences.
--Flying knowingly into weather that is getting worse is the worst possible decision.
--Make the cancellation of flight early as means of avoiding being too late to cancel.
--Practice flying constants with your hands off the controls only using rudder inputs.
--The same decision made at night will be much worse than that made during daylight.
--Flying above a cloud layer reduces your safe emergency landing options significantly.
--Standards designed around the latest technology are likely to leave pilots unprepared.
--Only a course reversal, not a 180, will take you back where you were in better conditions.
--If you can't tell when weather is getting worse, spend more time outside standing in the rain
--How to descend through a hole in the clouds with flaps, slow, steep bank and without power.
--An emergency (may/will) make you forget to fly the airplane and over-control or lose control.
--Believes that he is too skilled and experienced to become spatially disoriented and lose control.
--You take the second step toward being a safer pilot by following the rules of preflight and flying.
--The third step toward being a safer pilot is by getting the training needed to make safe decisions.
--Due to the variables existing in every emergency, there can never be an absolute correct solution.
--You must expect to return to your first learned procedure when faced with a high stress situation
--Fly with aircraft constants of power, trim, and airspeed for basic climb, level, and descent attitudes
--A two-hour delay on the ground is an opportunity to make a better decision. Bad storms move fast.
--Your use of the aircraft is reduced proportionately to your reduction of risk. 100% safety = no flying.
--You take the first step toward being a safer pilot when you accept that bad things can happen to you.
Skill Deficiencies I
Have Found in New Pilots
--Have never been flying in rain
--Have never been in turbulence.
--Have never made a course reversal
--Have never practiced flying hands-off.
--Have never experienced carburetor ice.
--Have never landed without a landing light.
--Have never landed in 25-knot crosswinds
--Have never been truly lost without navaids.
--Have never landed in a Class C or B airport.
--Have never had the ASRS program explained
--Have never used a 'fanny-pack' during preflight.
--Have never practiced flying using just the rudder.
--Have never been taught skills for finding airports
--Are uncertain as to how to clear a rough magneto.
--Have never had a radio failure (actual or simulated).
--Have never flown under SVFR rules and conditions.
--Have never visited a Flight Service Station or tower.
--Have never given a PIREP or talked to Flight Watch
--Have never landed on a dirt, gravel, or grass runway
--Have never used a light touch when flying turbulence.
--Have never taken a series of aerobatic or glider flights.
--Have never tried to find out what they are doing wrong
--Have never been exposed to maximum range operations
--Have never had the ANR headset life time value clarified.
--Have never flown with the entire instrument panel covered.
--Have never realized that they may be doing something wrong.
--Have never been exposed to maximum density altitude conditions.
--Have never had the need for non-owned aircraft insurance explained.
--Have never had the use and value of oxygen at altitude demonstrated.
--Have never done the Dutch roll as a necessary crosswind landing skill.
--Have never made legal minimum altitude flights as a learning experience.
--Have never known that pre-folding charts improves cockpit organization.
--Have never set standards for holding headings and altitudes on every flight.
--Have never realized the mental incapacity that occurs when being truly 'lost'.
--Have never made a NORDO arrival, simulated or actual, to a towered airport.
--Never learned that flying requires you to overcome both real and imagined fears.
--Have never understood the relationships between the numbers of the heading indicator.
--Have never been impressed and amused when recognizing the mistake of another pilot.
--Have never had the nose-wheel differences between Cessna and Piper aircraft explained.
--Have never had the importance of knowing the local instrument approaches and altitudes.
--Have never searched a chart for at least five symbols that they cannot recognize or identify.
--Have never known the safety aspects of avoiding certain altitudes and local reporting points.
--Have never learned the radio differences when contacting radar, tower, flight watch and the FSS.
--Have never used the heading bug for wind direction on the ground and runway headings in the pattern.
Instructional Challenges in the Glass Cockpit
Why is learning to fly so difficult?
All my opinions are a blending of over three-quarters of a century of teaching and learning. I will endeavor not to make inflammatory or contentious statements but sometimes I get lucky.
Is learning to fly rocket science? No, it's much, much more difficult. No, because of the complexity of what we know about flying, but rather the complexity of what we don't know and the complexity of what we can't know. Contrary to the conventional wisdom collected in my previous writings www.whittsflying.com there will be no profound visions of brilliance and clarity.
The absence of graphics characteristic in my previous writings will continue. There appears to be an inverse relationship between the quality of graphics and the content of the presentation (my first inflammatory and/or contentious statement.)
Proactive fitting of policies and procedures to integrate sensors, data, databases of newer aircraft, avionics and technologies The disparity of capable and/or equipped aircraft negates most of the available technology. Consider giving away what is required much as has been done with cell phones.
FAA minimums, ATC elements systems and human factors of past aviation to be changed to fit new technological requirements. The problem lies in the term minimums. I have never taught to minimums. Further on in this document I will discuss my experience with a FITS pilot trained to minimums. Training
on simulators will only succeed if approxiately equipped aircraft are also available.
Technology is changing faster than present system, pilots and older equipment can adapt. I have found that in-flight hazards occur when operation of GPS or LORAN distract the pilot from the basic flight requirements of altitude, heading and situational awareness. The set-up of a flight should be as simple as a one plug download followed by a one button start.
There are data consumers and data producers from which decisions are derived. We have yet to design a computer system that will prevent the human entry of improper data. Rule makers must anticipate training and systemic changes faster than has been possible in the past. On the ground programs are just as necessary as are those for in the air.
Areas where misconceptions affect flight instruction.
--Products are a solution (wrong)
--Technology is a solution (wrong)
--70% solutions are good enough (wrong)
--Re-certification of pilots and aircraft (possible?)
Progress in sensors, cockpit integration and decentralization of airports
--Extended range, reduce error, improved precision, positive transmission and exchange of information.
--Faster/better processing and algorithms. Taxi routes could be wirelessly sent to the cockpit.
--Improvement's order of magnitude year over year increasing. Cockpit wireless PDAs.
--More small fast aircraft to outlying areas. Designated routes and minimum speeds.
--Remotely routed aircraft with pilot supervision only. Why not?
Where the 'buck' stops
--A new generation of teachers required in conjunction with old teachers. Emphasis on failure modes.
--Inability of personnel to quantify/resolve uncertainty of conflicting information. 'Go-back' capability
--Needed is list of unknown problems expected. Knowing the unknown knowables. (Impossible)
--The required cement, disbursement and knowledge are not available. Required equipment list?
--Even the glass cockpit requires ‘old’ back-up instrumentation and pilot capability. 'nough said.
--Increased complexity of cockpit and regulation. Re-certification by installed equipment.
--Any planning must be 'outside the box' specific aircraft/equipment will never be enough.
--Minimal change in fundamentals of instruction and performance. Heads-up displays
--Failure modes of most basic elements as well as the most complex must be taught.
--Technology capable of recalling past events corrected, to deal with next event.
--Voice communications are a limiting factor that requires automation.
Math and physics, uncertainty can be measured and processed. Alert sensors attached to pilots not just to aircraft. Sensors could be programmed to do the 'canned' communications typical to most operations with pilot overrides where required. One incompetent pilot or misdirected computer can mess up the entire system.
Information technology is leaving pilot and system behind but system (ATC) has failed to adapt to the increasing demands. Only dispersal of arrivals and departures will be able to decrease the concentration of aircraft traffic. Flown in or out of an Air Show lately?
Some things are known; far more is unknown or unknowable. But radio communications could be pre-programmed using sensor information and coded for input into ATC sensors. Code could notify receiver but verbally advise sender. I see a need for a heads-up touch screen at least for radio frequencies. Too much head-down time in the cockpit. Heads-up displays.
Differences of degree and kind. This project (FITS) is so important that other projects of greater importance cannot be allowed to interfere with it. Communications is the weak link in the system. It can and should be automated via available sensors for automatic transmission, verification and response.
It is not enough to have a display that tells the pilot where he is. Equally important is that the pilot know when to say what. Even if the 'when to say what' is a one button automated communication code.
Can FITS be fully understood as a combination of simple components, by decomposing the process of design and implementation into a raft of quick steps and clearly defined deliverables? Can a taxonomy or an XML schema or a publish and subscribe repository be all that's needed? The truth of the matter is that FITS demands more of the following integration, data management, process control, business logic and uniformity, not less. Training MUST focus on failure modes and use of back-up instrumentation. Detection and selection when conflicts occur is a pilot problem. Most aircraft accidents occur on the ground prior to takeoff or after landing but not because of the runway incursions which are the FAA's present area of interest.
Successful systems are defined by clear vision, precise goals, engineering dictums, perseverance (and much more) where the development of the component parts is disciplined by understanding of the whole. Successful "distributed" systems will challenge the best technology and best talent available over the next few decades. The pilot must know if systems are communicating properly and when they are not. A Sandel HIS that is not useable from both seats is an accident waiting to happen.
What we have is an aviation system built upon the bodies of dead pilots and passengers. Even deaths have not prevented governmental lethargy from prolonging the agony of more to come. One or more deaths are required for every NTSB recommendation or a Federal Air Regulation.
Technology, more specifically intelligence technology can
provide significant improvements but the devils awaiting is in those pilots
who chose not to improve, agencies that chose not to finance and regulators
who are too rigid to bend. Those in a position to decide or not to
decide are reluctant to either. I once tried to get a white line on a
roadway moved one foot to one side to make for better traffic flow.
Person in a position to recommend or make the change was unwilling because the
'difference' might result in
a 'liability' accident.
The classic case is based upon the ILS. Capable of operating as well in 1930 as it is today, the ILS languished because of the zero-zero expectations of those unwilling to accept 200' accuracy. Seat restraints and seat direction remains an unnecessary people killer where it need not exist. Some things just need to be done for pilots and passengers just as we do things for the safety of children. How long will our government continue to knowingly kill pilots and smokers by not doing the right thing?
The pilot training environment and system is not enjoying the same rate of improvement, as is information technology. It fact, it could be argued that the capability and effectiveness of the of the newer flight systems, though improving in the 'small', is actually eroding in the 'large' due to increased cockpit requirements such as data loading, increased data flow and expectations of the user. Head in the cockpit time is increasing both in practice and requirement.
The single most uncovered flying problem in training and practice lies in time between equipment failures. I first learned and taught with electronics using vacuum tubes with frequent failures. I initially faced the technology difficulty in the waning months of WWII when I was a LORAN instructor. Those WWII navigators trained in celestial navigation were rightfully suspicious as to electronic reliability. Tto survive you had to learn to work around equipment and system failures. The same skills are still required today but are less likely to be taught.
Radio failure that was once a standard feature of flight
instruction has nearly ceased to exist in practice.
Since the advent of the transistor and microchip the failure rate of electronics has improved markedly at least as well as the jet/turbine has improved over the reciprocating engine. The microchip and miniaturization of cockpit instrumentation have left power plant technology behind. Still the reduction of failures has been made the overall casualties per accident to become more horrific because of the size, speed, and failure to anticipate the event. Only occasionally has the actual accident been made less tragic because of the basic and essential knowledge and flying skills of the crew. It is my contention that the knowledge and skills of dealing with equipment failure should be in the toolkit of every pilot. I feel that FITS needs another drawer or so in its toolbox in order to produce a competent pilot.
Why will FITS be a breeding ground for accidents?
--The problem lies in deficiencies of instructors, undue reliance on technology and misplaced faith.
--The problem lies in the mismatch in architecture of the systems and not interface definitions.
--The pilot needs to be able to download his planning and flight before starting the aircraft
--There should be a "let's start over from the beginning" button and pre-loading capability
--The problem lies in levels of understanding between basics, essentials and probabilities
--A regulatory system consisting of ‘minimums’ does not make a pilot into all he can be.
--Problem items are pilot assimilation of timely data, sufficient data, or complete data
--Communication from the users to the FAA is a problem. Discussion not allowed.
--Much of the cockpit process is what to do, in what sequence and when to do it
--The complexity of flying is misstated, misunderstood and in part unknown
--Once understood, most things are considered easy.
--Misplaced trust will undo the best planning.
The complexity of flying instruction is asymmetric and nonlinear
--Killer events are seldom taught sequentially.
--Human factor influence on programs is 'unknown'
--Programs fail to present magnitude and dynamics of flying logic.
--Programs have too much uncertainty associated with information.
--The 20% unknown or unknowable not mitigated by technology advances.
--Instructional situations can be planned and created. The best are 'pop-ups'.
--Zero error tolerance only sounds good, survival depends on luck and perseverance.
--Programs are unable to specify logic for data processing that includes possible human error.
--Never under estimate the ability of a student to find a new way to do something dangerously wrong.
Asymmetric means that the ease of specifying requirements belies complexity of underlying logic and implementation of the task.
Nonlinear means that serial thinking and behavior is inconsistent with real world flying. (e.g. no sequence of regulations or structured procedures addresses the diversity and complexity of the tasks of flying in a context-independent and time-independent manner).
Model instructional complexity of flying to reality. Require use of full motion simulators for 'killer' failure mode and emergency simulation training.
Technology will not resolve poor basic and essential skills of aircraft control, communications and orientation. For any technology, it is equally important to decide appropriate use as well as inappropriate use The devil of these decisions rests in the exterior influences and motivations involved. that circumvent the 'what's best for aviation' requirement..
These can mitigate some elements of complexity, but do not address fundamental reason for complexity. Experiment was performed whereby perfect, relevant data with zero latency was provided to the flying pilot decision makers only to find that significant flying problems will persist. Example: Garmin/moving map interface is designed to arrange flight and provide solutions. The present VOR airway system is being force-fitted into areas for which it is ill suited. The present airway system does not provide random access to data elements; instead it provides serial access. So, dynamic, rapidly changing data is not suited to the present system. Present logic systems cannot cope with ability of pilots to make computer mistakes but they could and should..
Pilots need to be trained for departure and arrival procedures commensurate to the aircraft and equipment. Communications from the pilot must be at the suggestive level of assertiveness to present the PIC options. The passive pilot surrenders all to the system and goes along for the ride. Aircraft and airport efficiency decreases with every decrease in pilot and system options. An easy one button system override must be available to the pilot all the time.
Picking weather, what makes 'safe' ? Different rules for different pilots, very context sensitive, rules vary over time and upon repetition. Today' right decision is tomorrow's wrong decision or both the right and the wrong is a matter of degree. Survival and longevity is a matter of timing and luck. Everything you do right only has to save your life once to be considered effective. Do something wrong and survive may be an invitation to try again expecting the same outcome. This essentially means you are insane. With this as a criteria, insanity permeates the entire aviation system.
A faster computer does not provide significant benefit, unless the underlying logic is complete, consistent and relevant. This means the difficult is accomplished quickly, it is the impossible that takes longer. Voluntary consensus standards designed around the latest technology are likely to leave pilots unprepared. The basics of pilotage, pattern procedures, weather options and communication skills are left wanting due to emphasis on utilizing the glass cockpit for navigation and airway operations while neglecting the airport operations. Should mention that GPS is used to designate airline parking places as a first step towards what is really needed..
Even if computer logic is defined completely and accurately, it may yield a self-contradictory set of decisions. The proposed evolutionary FITS program will leave pilots with blanks in their flight education. The 80-percent pilot related accident rate would increase, as FITS initial records already seem to indicate. Jump starting instructors into the new technology to the neglect of the basics is what I see as the problem. Present-day pilots have good reason to be suspicious of programming and the interaction of system components.
The FAA’s FITS program is facing the same situation as the military in adapting the human to the technology. General Aviation instruction has not been able to keep up with the newer developments of technology. because the aircraft are not or cannot be appropriately equipped. Cost is a factor but just one of many made 'required' by regulation.. Much of aeronautical instruction is one on one and little different from that since the beginning of mankind where the teaching of skills are involved.
For nearly two months in early 2003 I had the opportunity to
work with a pilot on his IFR rating
following a failure of his flight test. This pilot had learned to fly in this high-performance aircraft
from the very beginning. Both he and his instructors had participated in an early form of the FITS
instructional program. The cockpit instrumentation was totally state of the art glass with dual
GPS, moving map and electronic Sandel HSI. Back up consisted of a single VOR, attitude indicator and turn coordinator.
The following is a partial collection of weaknesses discovered in a pilot who was taught to fly
using the initial FITS program.
Areas of weakness and endangerment
--Use of AF/D had to be explained and taught.
--Unfamiliar with procedures and use of Flight Watch
--What I found was a pilot taught to fly to the FAA minimums
--Uncontrolled airport procedures were weak to non-existent.
--Pilot had never made a NORDO arrival, actual or simulated.
--Weak ground radio skills when seeking assistance while taxiing.
--Radio work tended to be more conversational than standard terminology.
--Relatively abrupt ground maneuvers may cause unexpected fuel overflows.
--Had to be introduced to departures that included the words, "on course…".
--Had never been taught procedures related to SVFR arrivals and departures.
--Lacked ability to request from ATC an unknown but necessary radio frequency.
--The landing stall attitude is unusually flat, holding the nose wheel off is not used?
--Was unable to identify even the most common call-up landmarks at his home field.
--Could verbalize SVFR FAR requirements but had never actually experienced them.
--Pilot able to give ‘book’ answers to airspace situations but unable to perform in them.
--Pilot was totally passive in dealing with ATC and unable to properly word any request.
--Learning to fly in Oregon did not prepare him for VFR or IFR in the Greater Bay Area.
--No multiple IFR approaches flown IFR repeatedly to a full stops and re-filed departures.
--Unable to plan for, ask for and perform any runway arrivals other than downwind entries.
--Was unfamiliar with the common runway reporting points or distances requested by ATC.
--Use of suggestive level of assertiveness in radio communications had not be taught or used.
--All arrivals and departures had to be the same and passively accepted as assigned by ATC.
--Neglect of preparing the pilot for existence in an environment of low-tech aircraft. and ATC
--Airport departure and arrival procedures were not for high performance aircraft requirements.
--The 'talking airplane' skills were neglected with reliance focused on interaction of technologies.
--The proposed evolutionary FITS program will leave pilots with blanks in their flight education.
--I had to teach pilot how to manually lean on shut down so that no starting difficulty now exists.
--We flew thrice a week, it took two months before the moving map and Sandel would perform
--The possibility of a GPS/Moving Map shutdown exists. Pilots need to be prepared for failures.
--This was fortunate, since he was completely unable to prepare a flight using a single VOR head.
--The FADEC throttle did not lean the engine on shutdown, making restarts difficult to impossible.
--Inoperative GPSs and moving maps necessitated the use of pilotage and sectional interpretation.
--Had never realized that all of his ground and flight instruction could be recorded for later review.
--Chart reading and interpretation were neglected with reliance focused on GPS and moving maps.
--All IFR flight planning had been by pre-filing. No tower en route or route negotiations ever done.
--No IFR approaches flown visually and then hooded or actual to emphasize situational awareness.
--The FADEC throttle indent made it difficult for the pilot to select an appropriate approach speed.
--What I found with FITS was a pilot who was not equipped to handle his aircraft if a system failed.
--Instructors new to the technology will tend to neglect the basics. That is what I see as the problem.
--Present-day pilots have reason to be suspicious of system component programming and interaction.
--This pilot learned to fly in high performance and was inadequately prepared for unfamiliar situations.
--Pilot had never been lost without GPS/moving map capability and used VOR to determine location.
--For IFR training he had never been taught to prepare a flight with frequencies, courses, altitudes, etc.
--Operations at unfamiliar airports had been taught haphazardly. He could not word requests properly.
--The basics of pilotage, pattern procedures, weather options and communication skills are left wanting.
--Could give rote responses regarding airspace requirements but had little experience or practical usage.
--Pilot had to be shown procedures that would give arrival sequencing commensurate with performance.
Six Months Later
Had a few moments before a flying lesson to meet with my Cirrus Student six
months later. I had always been concerned that he would not be a survivor.
He has discovered that the starting problem was somehow associated with the
engine operation were either in the manufacture or maintenance. The starting problem was traced to a defective starter. The throttle indent problem was due to a faulty wiring installation. Finally the various electronic navigation systems began to communicate correctly. All is well.
I have been innovative in my instruction through the use of a tape recorder for over 8000 hours of flight instruction and perhaps more than that in pre-flight and post-flight analysis. My efforts to get other instructors to do likewise has been a failure. We tend to teach as we have been taught.
The decision-making process that decided what should be taught fundamentally includes elements that are intangible. The pilot is much like a musician who has to perform a complex series of procedures while thinking and planning ahead for what is going to happen two procedures ahead.
Another view of complexity is the whole vs. the part. What part of an airplane is responsible for flight? What part of an airplane is hard to build? The use of coded waypoints in the flight computer does little to program the pilot for what to say and when to say it.
Punting on complexity
Instructional evasion such as an instructor having a student try a couple landings prior to giving his demonstration as to how it should be done.
Q: How will the complexity of the flight environment be
A: By doing the right thing according to safety and the FARs
Q. Is there a need to code the communications as well?
A. There are a minimum of 32 basic arrivals into an airport with dual parallel runways and over
twice as many departures all of which can easily be coded as are airway intersections.
Q Why not?
A. Because it has never been tried in part or whole.
Q: What does the pilot need?
A. Whatever is required to provide safety. It would include codes for initial call-up with aircraft ID, position, altitude, requested arrival and reporting point. ATC acknowledgement and any codes for traffic and changes that could be visual or oral.
Q: What is required?
A. The right equipment and training for the situation will be relatively easy. Willingness to try is
-- model and quantify the complexity, develop competent instructors (still very difficult) - if we can't define the complexity well enough to determine the required logic, how can we program software to define the logic.
Certainly progress is relative. Sometimes we measure
progress, the number of users or isolated
incidents (accidents) (kudos from a few users or a failure of a few interface applications) .…
Is it the system, the aircraft, instructors or the pilot? There are many ways to count the steps since the Wrights. We need to eliminate mystical measurements that game the system, in Liar's poker, the biggest liar wins. The NTSB is allowed only recommendations. The FAA' s FARs are based upon actual or anticipated tombstones. To the point, we need to develop a pool of safety measures that will take the history of aviation from the very beginning to the present day land then extend it into the future in the cause of safety. We are desperately in need of a well-defined measure of safety that will afford an accurate measurement of where zero tolerance lies about lies.. I have a mantra that used about teaching and instructors for years and it well applies here. "Pupils don't fail; teachers do".
Are we looking for the silver bullet or the golden bb or can the goal ever be reached? The prime source for operational requirements, system implementation, developer feed-back, etc. must be the users. The users consist of pilots, instructors, and ATC specialists. Likewise, the measures of safety progress must focus on the users.
It is difficult to define success and identify the completion end point of successful training or safety. By comparison the projected failure rate of individual parts of the system are well defined. Pumps, gyros, gauges, radios, transponders, radars, VORs, ILSs, satellites, LORANs and GPS all have statically known but individually unknown failure rates. Does the deployment and installation of GPS satellites, radars, and ATC facilities constitute success? Examples of the difficulty in defining viable metrics to measure safety abound. Hence, product trumps process. Is the half-loaf BRITE radar enough?
Defining the present point of safety is just as elusive as is the endpoint. As long as there is a price fixed for safety measures, life limits, system performance, and a safety program regulated by the setting of minimums instead of maximums we will never know where we are, where we are going or when we get there. So long as there is a price on aviation safety, there is none. How do we measure system integration, do the same measures apply to system development. It wasn't useable, i.e.; it didn't provide the safety improvement that needed to be provided.
I do not believe that there is any FITS training program that is prepared to teach the pilot the most rudimentary use of the electronic equipment. It is not adequate to perform in a simulator or on a desktop. Use of equipment must be done in actual situations when the additional load of radio, flying, and orientation are part of the workload. Anything less is not enough.
No real infrastructure of effective and dynamic improvement in the FAA. Just more shuffling of the staff, magazine articles and meetings.
Continued use of antiquated equipment, second-hand military and old-timers at the top.
Outer space networked to provide navigation. No backup for which level of pilot competence exists.
The 'system' provides data that can be shared. Without
inherent control logic and management logic, serious problems will ensue. Data
conflicts, acquisition failures and linkage interrupts. Success is
dependent upon all nodes of software being compatible, Why is
interoperability elusive in Civil Aviation?
--Data processing based on math and physics
--Sensors and bureaucracy are relatively autonomous
--Interoperability is achieved primarily through data structures
--Weak link is pilot programmer's ability to confuse logic of the system.
Flying systems are inherently networked, but...
--Ignored wisdom: consistency trumps 'better'
--Interoperability is not well defined so ATC's elements have questionable interoperability
--Significant potential for conflicting logic governing data processing of satellites and airways.
Would Network-Centric Common Operating Environment Help
--No set of business logic ensures interoperability
--Is FAA even allowed to know let alone use available technology?
--Will FAA be saddled with expensive but outmoded technology as in the past?
--No set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) ensure interoperability for FAA
--FAA's available technology lacks common implementation interfaces to give interoperability
Establish models for interoperability across heterogeneous aviation domains.
Someone who knows 3 things more than anyone else in the room.
To ignore (or not to know) what preceded is to be forever a novice. He who knows not history, is doomed to repeat it.
Avoid bravado to avoid being perceived as arrogant. Arrogance and ignorance is the worst of combinations.
Vision is easy and cheap, yet highly valued. Implementation is hard and expensive, yet grossly undervalued.
Let's not be distracted by implementation details. If you hear this, then run away. Avoid approaches that "punt" on hard issues. For example, use of web services, publish and subscribe web-based needs to be substantiated with significant architectural underpinnings. In lieu of design rules and well-defined business logic, system problems and conflicts will certainly arise. Left to breed without constraint, system integrity and stability will be jeopardized. In all cases, it is preferable to institutionalize engineer discipline early in the process. Addressing anticipated/pending problems early on than very much later when problems are endemic and serious.
Balance the virtue of caution with the value of opportunity. We must not be coerced into accepting a culture of political or technical correctness where every concept, approach, or architecture has equal virtue and merit…..where the flawed is viewed as just another candidate design..
Lacking in the planning is expertise in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence, Surveillance which is the basis for the infrastructure consisting of data repositories, web services, and conflicting logic. These will grow into a managed Byzantine Empire (Think FAA)….indeed, today’s infrastructure can be made much worse without discipline, focus, vision, expertise, and experience. Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, and Surveillance is an ecology, with hidden inter-dependencies, where the impact of change or disruption may ripple through with serious and unexpected consequences. (Think instruction)
Simplistic approaches lead to significant and costly
re-engineering…but over-engineering is equally problematic. Identify and
target the sweet spots, but recognize there are no silver bullet
technologies or silver bullet processes or silver bullet products. A balance of technologies, architectures, products and instruction is the path to success.
Integration with existing systems
--Balance instruction to insert older procedures when newer procedures fail
--Balance certification requirements of pilots, aircraft and equipment
--Balance design requirements, e.g., for performance and reliability
--Implement increasing levels of integration using both old and new
--Balance operational requirements to cover systemic failures
--Teach conflict resolution when information is contradictory.
--Balance technology and component upgrades
Integration with sensors
--Control data rates and information overload to prevent concentration in cockpit
--Provide high performance processing, visualization and alerts to cockpit sensors
--Provide high performance processing, visualization and alerts using pilot sensors
--Implement increasing levels of integration of the old and the new in training programs.
Integrate across enclaves or power
--Balance re-implementation of capability vs better system integration
--No balancing act: Either certified for use as state-of-the-art or not deployed
--Instruction must provide for misuse, in as many ways as possible.
--Do not underestimate the ability of a pilot to screw-up a computer.
--Design of screens has high performance and time before failure requirements
--Older installations remain as back-up with competence a training requirement
--Certified instruments have hard certification requirements and associated costs.
--Certified instructors, pilots and installations have hard certification requirements
--Implement needed software command and control for minimum in cockpit workload
--Operations performed by well-trained users, well-defined workflow, and no surprises
--Operations performed by poorly trained users, poorly defined workflow and surprises
--Innovation based upon needed upgrades to unit, integration into system and planned instructional programs
Must be able to share processed data seamlessly and avoid distributing raw data. A taxiing program for the most complex of airports should be diced and spliced until useable at any airport.
Must collaborate across ATC boundaries seamlessly with appropriate pilot training.
of FITS (FAA/Industry Training Standards)
--A pro-active way to fit policies and procedures with newer aircraft, avionics and flight technologies.
--Past generic aircraft systems and requisite training must be changed to fit new technological requirements.
--FITS seeks an evolutionary approach to change that 's responsive to the speed of change.
-- FITS seeks to identify future training needs and create what is needed to give that training.
--The FAA's 10-year plans OEP and NAS expects 'Safer Skies' training facilities to produce better pilots.
--Selected facilities exist as repositories of advanced knowledge, CGAR, (www.cgar.org) to train GA pilots.
--The Center for Excellence for General Aviation intends to set generic standards for the latest GA aircraft.
--Specific FITS programs and standards will be designed for specific aircraft requirements.
--Specific FITS programs will be developed for retrofitted aircraft with high-tech technology.
--14 CFR 61.31(h) is the FAR to require specific training for aircraft and/or equipment via the POH.
--Recurrent flight review type training is likely to be required in 6-month intervals tailored to the area.
--Insurance incentives are expected from such training.
--FITS is aware that GA pilot needs a broader flight program beyond the mission specifics of ATPs.
--The proposed evolutionary FITS program could leave pilots with blanks in their flight education.
--The lack of uniformity in new technology is an underlying problem for pilots and instructors.
--Thomas Glista (author) admits that all possibilities have not been researched
---Syllabus shows reduction of heads down time for glass competent pilots..
FITS Pilot Competence
--Pilot had to spend far too much time with his head down in the cockpit while trying to make things work.
--This pilot first learned to fly in his SR-22 only after instructor(s) were taught in same aircraft.
--I had to teach pilot how to manually lean on shut down so that starting difficulty no longer existed.
--Relatively abrupt ground maneuvers may cause unexpected fuel overflows from fuel tanks.
--Flew with full fist 'death grip' on stick at all times. Excessive altitude and course deviations
--Never taught or shown that aircraft could be trimmed and flown with two fingers or hands-off.
--Had never been taught the Dutch roll as a basic X-wing landing skill.
--Had never been taught to turn aircraft to clear bases and final prior to taking a runway.
--Had never been taught that a runway different than ATC assigned could be requested.
--Had never been taught about 270s, 360s, short approaches, or the options available to ATC or request.
--He was completely unable to prepare a flight using a single VOR for navigation VFR or IFR.
--Appeared to be unaware of the distinction between an intercept heading and a tracking heading.
--Inoperative GPSs and moving maps necessitated the use of pilotage and sectional interpretation. Problems!
--The possibility of a GPS/Moving Map shutdown exists. Pilots need to be prepared for failures.
--With the moving map frozen on 'acquiring', pilot was effectively 'lost' because of poor chart reading skills.
--All VFR arrivals and departures had to be the same and passively accepted as assigned by ATC.
--Chart reading and interpretation were neglected with reliance focused on GPS and moving maps.
--Could give rote responses regarding airspace requirements but had little experience or practical usage.
--Failing his IFR checkride probably saved his life.
--Initial instruction related his aircraft control not a part of the problem. He knew how to fly.
--All IFR flight planning had been by pre-filing. No tower-en route or pop-ups procedures taught.
--Pilot had never been walked, talked through courses, altitudes, frequencies, and talking prior to flight.
--ATC planning and communications completely passive with en route negotiations never attempted
--No IFR approaches flown visually and then hooded or actual to emphasize situational awareness.
--No multiple IFR approaches flown . IFR repeatedly to a full stops and re-filed departures.
--For IFR training he had never been taught to prepare a flight with frequencies, courses, altitudes, etc.
--Unaware many ATC procedures are unpublished, not in database and will vary from initial clearances.
--Learning to fly in Oregon did not prepare him for VFR or IFR in the greater Bay Area.
--Pilot was totally passive in dealing with ATC and unable to properly word any request.
--Use of suggestive level of assertiveness in radio communications had not be taught or used.
--The 'talking airplane' skills were neglected with reliance focused on interaction of technologies.
--The basics of pilotage, pattern procedures, weather options and communication skills are left wanting.
--General Aviation instruction has not been able to keep up with the developments of technology.
-- G.A. hi-tech aircraft are not appropriately equipped for FITS instruction of failure modes.
--Feasibility of having trainer high-tech aircraft initially equipped for primitive ATC system operations?
--Alternative, initiate instruction without hi-tech equipment activated. Teach basics first!
Teaching is the Same Everywhere for Everything
Had a wonderful teaching/learning experience yesterday without looking for it. My property had a new cable conduit put in over a year ago. Saw the cable installer working nearby and asked what it would take to get my hook-up completed. He offered to do it next.
He came over and began to work a ‘snake’ through the conduit (pipe) so he could fish the cable through. He could only get part way before it hung up on something. He tried again from the other direction; again without success. He worked at getting the snake through for a half-hour before I came back and asked if I could make a suggestion. He agreed.
The spring steel ‘snake’ he was using had been folded over about an inch on the end. This was to make it easier for the wire to be forced through the pipe without sticking. But it was sticking. I suggested that we re-bend the fold to make it slightly more oval. My thinking that it would allow it to ride over the obstruction. To his amazement it worked on the first try.
This morning as I was slowly waking up, the ‘snake’ experience came to my mind. I suddenly realized that many of my successful teaching experiences had occurred only because I had been able to locate and make a very small change in the entire process. My older son has a saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a change in the results." I have seen instruction where giving the same advice in a louder voice is thought to be the required change. The assumption being that louder will improve understanding. It doesn’t unless there is a hearing problem.
Is not arrogance, overconfidence or guessing for decisions,
Experience gives you readymade answers to problematic situations
What-if scenarios are used to reduce the guessimate (sic) of hope for the best
The highest level of experience acquisition is learning from the experiences of others.
Good training in judgment and knowledge can give a low time pilot high time experience
Flying hours count for more when the time is used to upgrade the airmanship of your experience
Have a plan that includes www.faa.gov for advisory circulars, PTS, written test questions and NASA reports
Experience does not make you smarter, it just means you remember having been in this situation before
Airmanship consists of judgment, knowledge, skill, confidence ,experience, memory and decision making skills
An hour spent getting familiar with the unfamiliar or a rating upgrade is worth more than the same time joy-riding.
Things to worry About
Pilots who learn to fly earlier in life, fly with less risk later in life.
Lack of adaptability increases with age.
A pilot who can’t perform well on a flight test is unlikely to do well otherwise when under stress.
Pilots with a history of accident/incident events is more likely to have a weather accident.
Having electronic awareness of weather conditions may not positively influence pilot decisions.
Ground proximity knowledge is of no value until you need it more than anything else.
Not all traffic is shown electronically so be both vigilant and lucky.
Pilot examiners have observed a decrease in stick and rudder skills.
The pilot who accepts ‘close enough’ in any performance parameter has given up high standards.
Where perfection is not possible, deviation is not acceptable either
Demand timely and smooth corrections to modify imperfections detected sooner rather than later.
Just enough fuel is never enough.
The wise pilot learns many things from other pilots they dislike.
Don’t let others stop you from doing what you know is safe.
Flying is not a place to take a chance at something new, in hopes for a big payoff.
The view changes only for the leading dog.
Return to whittsflying
Continued on Page 2.15 Performance Test Standards