Want to Be a CFI
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How and Why I became a CFI; ...Federal Order 5190.6a; …Gene's Experience; … Regarding CFI Checkride Failures Due to Unairworthy Aircraft; …Major CFI Applicant Problem Areas; …Everything Goes in the CFI Checkride; …CFI Instruction Questions; …Why CFIs Fail Checkrides; …CFI Training; …The CFI Checkride; …CFI Checkride Failures (Opinions) ; ...CFI Insurance; ...CFI Checkride; …Transcript of a Failed CFI Employment Checkride; …Instructional Safety; ...Advice to CFI Wantabe; ...Advice to CFI on Checkride; ...CFI Checkride2; …Instructor as PIC; …Kind vs. Amount; …CFI PTS; …CFI Items; … Part 61 Format; … CFI Obligations; …Instructional Methods; … Lesson Plan Judgment; …Instructional Liability; … Testing Techniques; ...AOPA-AFS Policy; …NOTE; ...CFI Questions and Answers; ...Out of the Box Talking Points for Instructing Instructors; ...Instructional Sequence; ...Specific Aircraft;...Preflight Aspects; ...Cockpit Organization; ...Pre- Start; ...Start; ...Taxi Skills; ...Run-up; ...Departure Request; ...Takeoff; ...Climbing Exercises; ...En Route Skills; ...Arrival Procedures; ...Trim; ...Cessna; ...Teaching SVFR; ...Rudder and Brakes; ...Heading Bug; ...Basic Flight Skills; ...Slow flight; ...Turns; ...Stalls; ...Uncontrolled Airport Arrivals; ...Night Training; ...IFR Instruction on Ground; ...IFR Instruction in the Air; ...On Integrated Instruction; ...Training the CFI; ...The Thing about Instructors; Knowing When to Solo a Student; ...A Debt I Owe; ... Sport Pilot CFI. ... Instructional Accountability; ...CFI Requirements; ...After the CFI...What?...CFI Presentation; "The Prediction Principle for New Flight Instructors"; ...Glossary: ...Concerns; ...
How and Why I Became a CFI
Into my first flying lesson I brought a life time of reading and interest in
aviation. I had made model aircraft and ships most of my life. I could
identify most flying and non-flying aircraft since the Wrights. In WWII I
had learned electronics, how to read a chart, use an E6-B and navigate. I
had taught LORAN navigation and radar bombardment as a corporal on
simulators to the most unwilling group imaginable. Officers who resented
learning a new way to navigate or bomb using electronics prone to
I went on after the war and college to teach retarded and learning disabled
children. I find that teaching is much the same regardless of the situation
and subject. Those who can, do. Those who can't teach. Those who can't do
I was a student pilot at age 42. I was my first instructor's first solo. I
went on to another new instructor and became his first private pilot. I
became a ground school instructor when the class instructor suggested that I
take over his program. I taught the program for six years. I was the first
commercial pilot of my next instructor. I was my next instructors first
CFI. I was my next instructors first instrument pilot and my next
instructors first CFII rated instructor.
I became a flight instructor to get even. I tried harder to do a good
instructional job with my first student than ever since. I was very
fortunate in not having to study for or pass the instructional side of the
flight instructor's program. As a credential certified teacher I was
exempt. I would never have passed the test. 99% educational garbage theory
finally discarded a few years ago..
My instructional program is still based upon the little spiral FAA guide of
some 32 lessons that I used in my training. Upon that base I have added
several essentials that have made a recognizable difference in my students.
First requirement is area familiarization and directional knowledge. Second
requirement is using the first requirement to know what to say and when to
say it on the radio. Third requirement is being able to put your aircraft
where you want it, when you want it there and at the exact speed and
configuration best for the situation. All the rest is frosting and I do
teach the frosting at every opportunity.
Federal Order 5190.6a
Mark Blackwell wrote:
Well it has to do with the use of airports that accept federal funding. Call the AOPA and ask for federal order 5190.6a. That order allows local airports to set up minimum standards for any business that operates using that field. These can vary widely. If you do have your 150 and teach out of it without complying, they have the right to bar you and your aircraft from using the airport.
A typical minimum standard might read, you must have x amount of office space, x amount of parking space, so many aircraft available, and so forth. The sad thing is that the airport is under no obligation to provide office space or the other requirements. Often the minimum standards are set up so that the minimums are exactly what is already existing on the field. They would only be under obligation to lease you some land if any is available for you to build your own buildings necessary to meet the standards. (see how this is beginning to work) How often in today's market is building your own building for flight training smart?
Want to put something like a trailer there and use that for office space? They can also control what types of buildings are there. Ok want to rent an office across the street and walk over to your airplane? Good luck but its doubtful. A through the fence operation there not even a requirement from the feds to be fair with you and the feds are discouraging such operations now. If you are willing to build a building or want to lease an office that does comply, often that building space or land is already leased to the current operator, but isn't being used. The term I believe is land banking and its extremely common. What better way to keep the competition out than to have no place for them to go. This can be fought, but it will take some time and resolve to get it done. Often you might win the battle and get the space, but in doing so alienate so many people that your business has no chance of success.
If you are successful expect premium rents, and a percentage of the gross in most places going to the airport. A common figure is 3% of the gross, but again those rates can vary. Again without compliance, your use of the airport can and most likely will be either suspended or revoked.
This also applies to mechanics. Here it can even be more confusing. You do
have the right to use the mechanic of your choice, but you do not have the right
to bring another operator on the field. The definition of operator leaves a big
gray area. It has been used to the cringing of owners across the country. My
personal experience is that every time someone does this its for a reason.
Either the work is substandard or they way overcharge, but again that just my
opinion. You may also base your airplane in one place, have your maintenance
done another, and when your airplane breaks down at home have a problem getting
your regular mechanic on the field to deal with it. It doesn't happen all the
time, but it can. Everyone should get a copy of that order and read it.
I have fought numerous 'windmills' in my life; here is one that may be of interest. Over twenty-five years ago I was arrested for giving ground instruction in the pilots lounge at Buchannan Field. I was teaching a group of students who belonged to my flying club for no charge. The airport manager showed up and said that what I was doing did not meet the requirements the county about having a maintenance facility, rented office space and a hangar. He had been set upon me by the local association of FBO's who objected to what I was doing based upon the local ordinance. He threatened me with arrest if I did not leave. I said that I would wait and when the officer arrived I had to sign an arrest citation that involved a $50 infraction fine.
At the time I was teaching step-son of a former assistant district attorney to fly. I called him and struck a deal for his representation for the cost of the flying lesson. (Yeah, I know barter is taxable.) Forturnately, the week before my case came to court, the attorney came down with the flu and had nothing to do but prepare my case.
The day of the trial the county prosecutor was a young lady who had never had a case before. By the time the case was finished before the judge the lady was in tears and the judge had taken the case under advisement. A couple of weeks later the case against me was dismissed. It cost me $1,200. Since that time, no similar charges have ever been brought against a free-lance flight instructor at a public use airport in California to the best of my knowledge.
Apparently the legal citations given by my attorney were extensive enough to stand as court law for these many years. I doubt if more than a couple of instructors know why they can free-lance with impunity. Had I lost my case the situation at airports would be considerably different. My flying student went on to be an airline pilot.
Regarding CFI Checkride Failures Due to Unairworthy Aircraft
It might be a bit harsh to fault an examiner for asking about these things. There is a line of course, where they begin to look nit picky, but that's rare. The main point here is that regardless of the item selected for discussion by the examiner, what he/she is looking for is an intelligent judgment call on the item, not a detailed answer that requires specific knowledge of the run-out time, or replacement status of the item. What's being asked is a go/no go judgment, based on current condition. In that context, all equipment condition questions are fair game on a flight test.
More than one pilot has been killed by a rusty bolt that failed. When asked about a specific item by a flight examiner, I strongly suggest inspecting the item yourself and give a go/no go call on the basis of that inspection. If an examiner asks a question that requires research in order to supply an answer, simply tell him/her that the answer requires research information, and you will be glad to supply it if given the time to do so. The main thing here is that the examiner will want a go/no go decision from you, and you should be prepared to supply that decision based on a visual inspection of any item on your aircraft at any time during the preflight.
The examiner has every right to ask you about a crazed landing light cover. As PIC, you should have the answer. This situation is no different than a preflight being done on the airplane without the examiner being present. The landing light cover would still be crazed, and you would be making that go/no go decision just the same. Examiners are looking for your preflight habit patterns and your ability to ascertain what's right and what's wrong with your airplane. It's perfectly reasonable, and I suggest that all pilots taking flight tests spend a bit more time concentrating on being prepared, and a lot less time worrying about bad examiners.
Major CFI Applicant Problem
1. Not fitting lesson to student level
2. Too much talking without check on comprehension.
3.Avoiding unknown an answers
4. Not 'hearing' the student
5. Quitting lesson before needed level of proficiency.
6. Instructor loses control of lesson.
7. Incomplete paper work.
Everything Goes in the CFI Checkride.
--May ask you for a detailed technical explanation while flying. Tell him that you will explain later.
---Expect questions while flying to be brief .
--For procedures just teach the steps and techniques not aerodynamics.
CFI, the PTS List of Areas Of Operation
--Technical Subject Areas. Are these topics limited to oral questioning.
--Navigation and flight planning
--Use of checkpoints, ground speed and fuel remaining
CFI Instruction Questions
--Questions come from FAA-H8083-9 and concern the learning process. A few involve endorsements.
--Commercial written questions emphasize night flying.
--Instrument questions concern chart interpretation to obtain runway/airport information.
Why CFIs Fail Checkrides
--80% of CFIs fail on first try
--CFI PTS is over 150 pages.
--CFI applicants must exhibit instructional knowledge of task elements through descriptions, explanations, simulations and common errors.
1. There is a trend of poor performance
2. Unable to find information
3. Sectional knowledge
4. Radio/Radar procedures
6. Weight and Balance.
7. Weather understanding and interpretation
8. Operational features of aircraft used.
I then did the second half of my initial instrument training, along with the 250NM IFR X/C, in a twin. I wanted to have the basics of instrument flight down pat in the C-172 before I started worrying about dragging along a dead engine or the higher speeds involved with a twin. When I took my instrument check-ride I had 26.6tt in the Travel-Air.
I'm now about to take the single-engine Commercial check-ride by flying a C-172 for the flight maneuvers and then flying the twin to demonstrate complex aircraft operations and the short/soft landings. Once I have demonstrated the requirements for the SE Commercial, we'll then go fly the ME Commercial add-on. I'll live with my FBO's insurance restriction for solo flight in the twin until 350tt/25me, which I should be over by the end of January as a CFI.
For all you low-timers looking at getting your ratings and going on in aviation. Study well, read the AIM, and REALLY read the FAR's! Find a good part-61 CFII/MEI and put together a training plan to make your aspirations become reality while you save money. If you get the multi-engine training done while your still training or building hours towards the instrument or commercial, your almost doing it at half price over waiting until your already a commercial pilot. Don't waste time in an Arrow or C-172RG! Read 61.63(c), 61.65, and 61.129 letter-by-letter along with the PTS for each rating. Make each hour in the air count towards a requirement for a rating (or two or three). Please don't take this as an endorsement for taking shortcuts or lowering the quality of your training. You'll have to study right, fly right, and then pass the written and practical test just like everyone else. A "pinked" check-ride won't be the best thing to discuss during a future job interview. CFI References
There are three FAA publications given as references for the written exams and a good resource for the orals.
-- Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3)
--- Aviation Instructors Handbook (FAA-H-8083-9)
--- Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-AC61-23C)
The Flight Instructor Airplane (FIA) knowledge test and the Ground Instructor Advanced (AGI) knowledge test are pulled from the same bank of questions. Once you have studied for one you have studied for the other, so take them one after the other. The Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) knowledge test is also required for both certificates.
For the test I suggest making up your own lesson plans. It's a stickler for most examiners and they want to see how YOU approach the subject, rather than how someone else has done it.
--Being a named pilot on someone's policy does not provide the CFE personal protection.
--To be protected you must be specifically covered by aircraft or your own policy
--Policies must name you as "Additional insured with a Waiver or Subrogation"
--Other option is to by non-owned liability policy that allows you to operate commercially as CFI
The CFI Checkride
A question: What would be wrong with facing up to the examiner and having him give you a run-down on what he expects you the teach? Then, using that as a basis, do your teaching before you even get into the airplane. That is the way I teach. Also, the way I believe you should teach as well.
The cockpit is a terrible classroom either for instruction or demonstration. I will spend nearly as much time on the ground going over what we will be doing, anticipating areas of difficulties, why we are at a particular altitude, what my initial expectations are, why what we are doing is an ingredient important enough to master, how mastery is demonstrated, etc. There are few maneuvers or procedures that cannot be walked through or illustrated on the ground.
I emphasize fundamentals such as how the yoke is touched, how the throttle is moved, rudder use, trimming for minimum pilot input knowing where you are and where to go if...The basics are still Stick and Rudder.
CFI Checkride Failures
"Rick Cremer wrote:
I get the idea that most of the failures (disregarding the airworthiness issue) are simply due to poor preparation. I would say that is a fair assessment. Most CFI applicants I've encountered have been well prepared and did fine on their practical. The relatively few I've failed really did not seem to be very well prepared. They couldn't answer fairly simple questions and, worse, didn't know where to look.
Those that failed during the flying portion also seemed ill-prepared. Doing things like not using the manufacturers recommend configuration or speeds for various maneuvers, etc.
I am in complete agreement with this analysis. CFI applicants, above all others should first of all, arrive for the test in a completely airworthy piece of equipment. Not only that, but they should as well have gone over
the maintenance history and logs of the test aircraft, and be prepared to point out and discuss with the examiner, any and all details within reason, pertaining to the test aircraft, if asked by the examiner to supply this information.
CFI applicants should as well be prepared to discuss all aspects of flight instruction, and be especially prepared to alter their approach to any explanation, as they determine the examiner needs the approach altered to insure complete understanding by the examiner. The key to passing a CFI practical test is the same key that's required to be a good flight instructor; fluidity, the ability to "alter" the explanation of something
complicated, and present it in terms the examiner [later on the student] can accept as understandable. This requires listening hard to the examiner and "adjusting" the presentation on the fly, to reflect the information exactly on the level the examiner is seeking.
Generally, I recommend instructor applicants forget being pedantic with examiners and concentrate instead on simple, basic flying skills accompanied by simple and easily understandable comment, especially while in the flight phase.
Above all else, I recommend that applicants be brutally honest with examiners. Some applicants enter the flight test phase believing that if they make a mistake in flight, the examiner will fail them. Actually, most good examiners realize that the average applicant will most likely make some mistakes and errors during the flight for various reasons. These anticipated errors are learning points for the good examiner. In other words, you can learn more about an applicant by watching him/her fly into an error; analyze that error in real time; and take corrective action, than you ever could had the applicant flown a perfect flight profile from beginning to end. I always tell applicants to be frank and completely honest during the test. If a mistake is made, acknowledge it immediately and explain the corrective action needed as you are initiating that action.
Basically, the CFI practical test isn't all that hard to pass. Just show up prepared, be honest, keep it simple and don't try to impress the examiner, recognize and correct your mistakes as you make them, and be friendly, yet professional.
Good thought process, and I expect you'll get different answers from different examiners. When you come to me - an FAA inspector - for a practical test, you must already KNOW what to teach and how to teach it. It's all there in the Practical Test Standards. I will give you all pertinent details based on the rating for which you are applying. By asking me to give you the rundown on what I expect you to teach me, my "curiosity" might be aroused: are you THOROUGHLY familiar with the PTS? Have you ADEQUATELY been prepared? Are you QUALIFIED to be here in front of me? You really don't want an inspector's "curiosity" to be aroused. I might then put myself in the position of a student pilot, on who knows nothing. Nothing.
My advice to each of you trying to get a flight instructor certificate? Take command of the lesson right from the start. Treat the examiner EXACTLY like you will treat a student. EXACTLY! Be as gruff or smooth as you need to be, as basic or advanced. Watch EVERYTHING the examiner is doing - feet, hands, eyes, fingers - and remember, what you are seeing might be an act or it might not. But it doesn't matter. Your job is to teach and evaluate. Do that and you will be successful. Don't assume and don't ask, "What would you like me to teach you?" You will get all the information you need before the practical test starts. Examiners have wide latitude during the practical test; as long as the maneuver/situation relates directly and clearly to one of the items in the PTS, it's probably OK. It is important to remember that. Don't fight the system; take command and SHOW that command. That's what I want to see.
Allow me to approach that from a different perspective. Considering that you're in the airplane, you have presumably already demonstrated to the examiner your ability to teach. You did that on the ground. One of the most significant issues and daunting challenges confronting new CFI applicants is teaching a complicated maneuver properly demonstrating WHILE FLYING THE AIRPLANE within prescribed standards. It's my experience that most failures after the ground part result from failure to fly. Maybe that's why you were asked to do all the flying. When I do a CFI practical test, I do very little flying, unless I want to show the applicant how bad I am. And remember, I'm LOOKING for something if I do!
Remember, you GOTTA have an airworthy airplane. That little piece of paper is one item required to demonstrate airworthiness. So is some kind of placard indicating fuel type. I've failed applicants and grounded airplanes (well, not ME, exactly; my airworthiness inspector counterparts) for that reason. And remember, as soon as the practical test with an FAA inspector starts, there are only 3 possible results: successful completion, unsuccessful competition, and voluntary termination, usually by the applicant, but not always.
The best teachers seem to be able to demonstrate only as much as necessary to introduce the basics of the skill or subject to the student. Then, after that, the teacher will then proceed immediately to nudge the student into applying the new knowledge or skill in an appropriate context. This way, the student has to think about the information or perform the skill in "real life". This reinforces and cements the learning in the students mind, particularly if mistakes are made (mistakes are a critical component of learning something). Jim Wilkinson, FAA
I am in unqualified agreement with this teaching philosophy, and have used it for all my many years in this business. The most important time in the teaching cycle as it pertains to flying is the time between flights, when the student actually puts together the pieces of the puzzle he/she was dealing with under the stress of flying the airplane. I have always believed, and taught prospective CFI's as well, that it is here, during these periods of reflection, that one really learns to fly an airplane.
Along the same lines, the time spent with the student before and after the flight are paramount in proper teaching philosophy. To simply climb into the airplane with the student and begin teaching as you taxi to the active is not conducive to a good learning curve.
In sum, I've found the best teachers introduce subjects in manageable, learnable pieces (perhaps quizzing the student meanwhile) and then later put them together at the end with the student. This requires not only that the teacher have mastery of the overall task or subject, but also of each individual component that makes up a task or subject. Most crucially, they also understand completely how each of these contributes to that task or subject.
Anyway, after many years in the learning business, those are a couple of the qualities I've found to be important in good teachers. There's no pat answer, IMO, to what you're asking. Teaching is a lot more complicated than it sounds, and doing it effectively requires a lot of skill and talent.
For example, we're typically taught crosswind landings in this way. A good CFI will introduce slips to the student early on and then later require the student to reuse the slip skill when doing crosswind landings. (s)he won't introduce the slip at the same time as the crosswind landing; rather, (s)he'll ensure the slipping skill is in place first before putting it into "real world" use in the crosswind landing. Same thing with slow flight, airspeed control, rudder usage and so on. Each of these is introduced and learned individually, and then required to be put to use in the process of learning the overall larger skill of executing a crosswind landing. Dudley
My biggest piece of advice for this one: tell him *why* you have to do a specific task. For example: why we slow to departure speed first on a take-off stall, why we do our clearing turns to the left first, why we want to enter turns around a point on downwind. Just tell him why we do things! If a student knows why he/she has to do something, they will be able to make the decision as to when it needs to be done.
It's considered by many flight instructors to be harder to "teach" an examiner than it is to actually teach a student. There is no way to separate the fact that you as the applicant are fully aware that the examiner already knows what you are attempting to explain, and is grading you on your presentation. In other words, with the student it's real, and with the examiner, it's a presentation. With a student, you have already observed his/her personality. If you're any good at all, you are at least partially aware of the individual student's knowledge levels and have placed that information into your mental projection of how you plan to deal with this particular student. With an examiner, this pre-instruction data base is missing. As a good instructor, you would talk to, and get to know, the student a bit before starting formal instruction. This gives you an entry point, a place from which you can begin
That being said, the best approach to a CFI flight check is always the prepared approach. Examiners are already aware of the problem I have just described. They have it in reverse playing the role of someone who doesn't know what they are doing. It's hard for them as well. My experience through the years in both seats has been that examiners like complete honesty and a straight forward approach to the problem. One common mistake that applicants make is to become placid and apologetic with the examiner.
Don't do that! Listen to the examiner closely. View him/her as you would view a new student and make the same observations you would have made with a student. Be observant, and take the role the examiner gives you seriously. A quick way to impress an examiner on a CFI ride is for the applicant to demonstrate how serious he/she is about the instructions being given by the examiner. When you are asked to teach something to the examiner, make a serious transition into the role and present your information in a professional yet friendly manner. The secret is being prepared. If you make a mistake, and you probably will at some point, recognize it as soon as possible and state the error in precise terms to the examiner. Most examiners will agree that it is actually better to have an applicant make an error and see how he/she handles it, than to have the applicant do everything right.
My CFI always sounds kind of like this: "...Ok, now you do it. Your airplane. Ok, that was good. All right, now, do it again, but this time I want to see X, Y and Z at the same time. Your airplane. Ok, good, but <explanation of what I did right and what I did wrong>". And so on...
Another strategy is presenting the student with a slightly different (but related) scenario or task than a previous one just explained. The teacher's task then may be to ask the student a related (but different) question about it, or ask that it be done in some applied way with a new twist to it, leading to the new topic. This forces the student to use the original information as a tool to solve a new problem, reinforcing the retention of that subject in the process of introducing another.
If I've explained it right, they'll understand most of what's going on, but question the new thing I threw in there. Then, after all the pieces are explained, I give them and example of the overall topic (linkage) and the punchline and they understand the whole thing (I really don't know if that's effective teaching method for them or not, but it sure works wonders for me.)
This brings up another (what I think is a) quality of a good teacher - the ability to break down the teaching task into learnable modules or building blocks. Most crucially, the teacher understands intimately how the building blocks are related to one another and to the overall skill or subject, because (s)he is going to put them all together at the end with the student's assistance in order to teach the overall skill!
A year ago I decided to get back into aviation after a 25 year layoff. Well on Wednesday I passed my initial
CFI checkride with the local FSDO. Started at 9:00 AM and ended at 5:00 PM with 40 minutes for lunch and two breaks for 5 minutes. It was thorough. The examiner was new, and was also being checked out by another examiner, so they went by the book and covered everything.
Preflight took 1+20. The examiner had restored a similar plane and knew it inside and out. They were fair and reasonable, telling me that a trick question was a trick question most of the time, and let me start over on the steep turns. I had gained 150 feet in the first 90 degrees of turn and told them I was going to start over (thermal- from over water to over land). Nailed the second attempt, it looked like the altimeter was stuck.
Came back home and did a soft field then a short field and then they said they wanted to see a normal landing. (I think we all know what's coming here) I did a nice tight, close abeam pattern and sure enough the engine got pulled. I love these, reminds me of FCLP (Field Carrier Landing Practice). I met them inside after securing and the first words were "You Passed". I think you have to be a CFI to know the feeling I had at that moment.
of Failed CFI Employment Checkride
On the ground:
"What we are going to do is there are just a few maneuvers that I would like to see short and soft field takeoffs and landings, and I'd like to see a power-off stall, steep turns. I can get a very good feel for how they fly and how their student will fly. Before I can put someone on the staff I have to get a feel of how you would fit into the curriculum we use. Then if something should happen, and you can't fly and I have take up right where you are. You are going to have to document what you do. We have sheets and forms, you know, keep a folder and kinda track what you are doing with her. If I have you on my staff I pretty much have the ultimate responsibility for you. Gene: "I was thinking that I would be willing to take on problem students that you might have." We always have problem students.
In the Plane when I finally remembered to activate the tape.
XXX please follow aircraft on the downwind he is for the parallel runway, (acknowledged)...You're using too much rudder in your right turns. cleared for touch and go on (runway) aircraft ahead is for the parallel runway..
(In my acknowledgement I transposed the aircraft identification numbers and confused controller. PIC straighted this out. Sign of tension?) XXX cleared for touch and go aircraft ahead is for the parallel. (Once again I reversed the identification numbers.) O.K. that guys for the parallel, you're going to do a short field landing and put her on the (letter). Gene, "Yeah I can do that. Did he clear you for the option? "XXX request the option" XXX option approved (runway) (acknowledged) Your nose is too high. Gene:"Still didn't get it." (on the letter) Your nose is too high. Gene: "You don't want the nose high? You want a flat nose?" No, stop, stop. (Full stop)This is a short field, flaps up. Lets do a short field takeoff and a right downwind departure. Gene: "Don't you hold the nose high when you are landing?" Not that high. Would you like to see how I land an airplane? Gene: "I would." First, we'll do a soft field takeoff...I've got to get it set up...I never 'bury' the runway with the nose...when you did that landing you were off to the side of the runway...the students have a hard time with that...they have to see where they are going...that's how I do soft-field takeoffs...I'll do a soft field landing for you...Well, I have to tell you, kiddo, that I have some real problems with the way you teach. Gene: "Show me what you want and I can duplicate it." That may be hard for you. You are so used to doing your thing, as I am. I value that, and it's kinda hard to have two real headstrong people in the same airplane. Gene: "One of the most dangerous times to fly is with two instructors."
I just have to show you what I do, o.k.? Gene: "Short or soft?" I'm going to do soft because they're the toughest. I tend to...I have to turn this down (volume)...What I don't want to do is get into a position where the student can't see very well...because that's giving up a lot of anxiety.
Then what I do...I don't do much trimming...I get my student to 950 feet, right here, I just gradually pull this off (power)...because the...usually pretty damn close. O.K., now, flying downwind on a good heading... Gene: "I was looking at the airport." Were you aware that you were flying out at 330 on one of those a...Gene: "No, I wasn't" This is what the examiner looks for. (Fact is I was flying for a wider downwind to compensate for the 7+ knot crosswind.) The examiner is looking at what they fly downwind and what they fly on base. This is a rectangular pattern.
Gene: "I know..." So, if that's...you're teaching...you know...Gene: 'I was not aware I was out there." Well, yeah, you were. O.K. you don't demo much. Maybe you should fly a little more. All right, abeam the numbers, out comes the carb heat. Throttle back to 1500. All right now, I don't do what you do. I don't put the nose way up. I put the flaps down as long as I'm in the white arc and I let this thing stabilize. Now I trim it. (It took one button) I don't like horsing the nose way up. (Like, holding heading and altitude while aircraft decelerates.) It'll get there...It'll get there...this way the plane...you're not going to like my other techniques...I'll put flaps down in the turn which takes care of the back pressure so you can literally let the plane glide...when you roll out you'll have 65 knots. I cannot set up for the soft field way back here. I like to maintain a nice glide. Now, I've had instructors who come to me and do the way you're doing and they have all kinds of trouble because they get too far behind the power curve. Let me show you my technique. O.k., I'm a little high so I'll bring my throttle back, I'm gona put my 30-degrees of flaps down. O.k….Now, I don't think I'm --I'll show you a forward slip, because I think yours is kinda violent, (giggle). I'll gently bring it (the nose) over, throttle's off, and give her a good one. That's bad ...we come down …mine wasn't much better than yours.Gene: "Now what do you want me to do?" It's important to stay on the centerline. Let the plane fly off…67 knots... Gene: You don't fly on Vy on your climb? But, if you've got a hot day out here you'll not fly at 67 because the planes overheat. So, what I like to do, the FAA likes it up to 1000 feet ... if you've got a really hot day ... you can't see a darn thing in front of you. You get to five-hundred feet and it's a really hot day we'd rather cruise climb. We don't have any mountains here like you are used do..so 67 is ... used for climb to 500' and put the nose down a little bit so I can see over my nose a little bit... 77 gives you better visibility. We'll turn at 700' ... I went out a little far. Gene: "O.k., let me do one; the same landing you just did." Well, I hope you don't land as far down the field as I did. Gene: "Well, o.k. I'll get it down sooner. The soft field has unlimited length." There is no length ... it can be as long as you want. You are a little close to the runway, too. You must be used to an 800 foot pattern.Gene: "I'm about right now, am I not?" You're right abeam and if you leave 2000 rpm and hold your altitude you'll be in the white arc. Gene: Doesn't that make it tough on other aircraft? That is their ... problem...you fly this plane the way it was meant to be optimally flown. I don’t fly to please anybody else, unless I'm going into Sacramento or something and you have to do a high speed approach. It's up to them to ...(stay clear). Gene: "xxx would like the option again." 10-degrees flap. You can trim it if you like...but I don't like trimming it way up. That's better. Gene: I'm going for the (visual point on downwind). What you're going to havta watch is this coming down a little bit so there's usually an adjustment that takes place...o.k. Put your flaps down in the turn and then you don't lose ...I'd probably bring my throttle back and get my airspeed and then bring my throttle back in (Soft field flare). You're not really set up for this and I didn't do it real well either. I don't fly 152's much any more. Gene: "I have my least time in a 152." Back on the throttle and bring it back in. We're dropping too fast. There you go. That was better. Don't bury the runway, please. (Don't raise the nose)Let me take off...We can't see the center line, we're about ten-feet right of it. Gene: "I can see my side not your side, not your side." O.K. Lets make a straight out departure. We'll climb up to three thousand and clear the area. I want to see how you teach the power-off stall. I don't like the technique you use when the student is abeam the numbers for landing. I do not believe the nose should come up above level flight to get that airspeed. I don't like that. I think they should transition into a glide at that point. That's kind of risky. Gene: "You start down abeam the numbers?" Yeah! Gene: "At xxxx local authorities ask that no descents begin until turning base." We don't have that over here. Its in a County ordinance. I don't fly that way over there. It's not printed anywhere, is it? Gene: "Yes, it's in their noise abatement procedures." I thought that that was in takeoffs…takeoffs to turn crosswind. I haven't seen it printed there, anywhere. I've never heard of that. Gene: "I'll try to get that sheet for you, no problem." In that case I would not even bring my throttle back abeam the numbers. I would fly on out downwind until I got to the base turn and I would begin my approach at that point. I't just like when they tell you to extend your downwind.I don't like any exaggerated nose high flight. The students get into it, they get mushy ... its just dangerous. Gene: "I would like to reach xx feet before we reach the area of (minimum altitude), here." Well for one thing you're climbing at 80, I would be climbing at70-75. What heading you going to fly? You're not holding your heading. You said straight out. That would be (heading). And that is twenty-five to the left. If you've got a reason to offset, then offset, but you've got to tell the student what you're doing. they have to hold a heading, you can't just let them do it. There's got to be a reason.
No about that (area of minimum altitude), that is not a regulation. That is a request, its nice to do but you're not breaking any regulations if you're not above it. Gene: "Do you think that's true for the entire state?" Yes! All those dotted spaces are the same. There may be a few areas like the Condors or something where they're tighter but I don’t know around here...I don't think. Gene: "I understand there's an area down below Monterey where they have aircraft patrols."I can't even get you to hold a heading. (Laughter) Gene: "I'm making a correction.Do you teach Dutch rolls?" Yes, I do, I do when people have a rudder control problem. If they're very coordinated, I don't bother with it. But if I have people that have their (??)... they don't use their rudders at all, I think about the Dutch roll. About half of people have that sort of problem, but not all of them.
Gene: "Not much of an horizon today.? No, there sure isn't. Not a lot. Gene: "How about 2700 instead of 3000? Nope, 3000, we don't do stalls below 3000 feet. That's a company policy. You're just going to have to tolerate it. I know you're not having any fun. Gene: "You know why they call New Years amateurs night, don't you? New years is called amateurs night because all the non-drinkers get drunk. …and that's sort of the way I look at 3000'." You've got to check for traffic once in a while.You can't just keep climbing up there. Gene: "I did once." Well, you better do it every 500 feet. This thing is really laboring today, don't you think. I believe in leaning it a bit, because it's hot today. Gene: I'm going to level off. I'll reduce the power. No, not on cruise. I lower the nose but I don't trim. I let the speed build up. We don't have to trim twice. You have to trim twice. Gene: "I'll put it down where it was." Just let the speed build to 90, then you're back to 2200, and then I trim. I do it once. I'm not saying trim is not important but you have to be careful...
Gene: "I don't think I turned that airplane but it's off heading." I didn't turn it. Gene: "Laughing, o.k. You were flying." You're flying now. Let's turn to 270 and head west. This is bad out here. I would question whether it is good for flying. We ought to get out of the localizer approach. Fly for about two miles this way and then we can do some steep turns. Gene: "Do you cruise at this power setting?"
No,no, this is for maneuvers. I cruise about 2300/2400. It depends on how much noise I want to listen to. Gene: "Maneuvers?." Yeah, we're not goin' anywhere. Gene: o.k. I have problems with some of my instructors. They were having a student put the nose down (to level) and retard the throttle and trim. They were flying along at 80 knots... and I said, that's not cruise, 80 knots is not cruise. It seems they're going on a cross-country because the nose is up in the air, that's terrible.
O.k. any time your're ready you can… Gene; "What do you want left..." I don't care, it's your call. I want steep turns. There's an airplane, right there. I'm going to leave our lights on. Too bad, we don't have strobes. Gene: Clear left. Is this a steep turn? Now we're getting to 45. Gene: I've got a parallax problem. We'er o.k. now I'll go on around. Let's roll it out. Roll it out. Let's not keep going around. Gene: O.K. The headings over here. I always increase power in the steep turns because otherwise you can't maintain your airspeed. When you start the turn at 80 knots...your're supposed to make the turn plus or minus ten. What are to supposed to enter a steep turn at? Gene: I always enter the turn with more power than what you are suggesting. That isn't the way I do steep turns. I didn't tell you how to do them. You're supposed to use maneuvering speed or cruise...which ever is less. Gene: Maneuvering is 109 as I remember. No, it's 104. I want you to do a steep turn to the right. That's not how I do steep turns. You do steep turns the way you teach them. You tell me what you're doing. Gene: Ah...ah...Let me do it again.
Gene: You've given me some things I've never done before. Well, like what? Gene: I'm trying to place it. I'm having trouble placing it. Let me do a steep turn. I don’t understand what you say. Gene: You start with the power at 2200. Yeah... Gene: You go into the turn and add power in the turn. You're supposed to do the turn the way you.. I'm not trying to teach you how to teach. Gene: All right, then I'll do it the way I would do it. Clear right. All right, that's what I teach. That's better. That was a lot better. Gene: That's the way I would do it. I've never started out with a low power setting. Well, the point is.if you want to keep your airspeed your airspeed constant, o.k. that's what you're supposed to do. Keep the airspeed constant. So, if you don't vary your power then that means that whatever you've got when you started…when you add a lot of back pressure you can't help but to lose a lot of airspeed. Is'nt that correct? Gene: Yep.All right, I'm taking it around. I'm not doing it so good. I don't need to do one. You want me to prove to you that I can do it better? This is not a pissing contest. (laughing) Is it? Gene: All right, o.k. That's the way it is. Gene: I don...know I want to see a power off stall. Gene: o.k. You're doing a clearing turn now? Yep.
Gene: o.k. Definitely! You want to see if I can do it better than you..I know. You're goin'a have to take my word for it. (Laughter) Gene: all right, clearing turn.I wanta see a power off stall the way it's in the PTS. (I do a power off stall with no flaps, holding heading and altitude and recovery at first sign of stall.) Well does that follow the PTS? Gene: I don't know what you would want dif... Well, o.k., this one I'll do for you on the way back. Carb heat, throttle back to 1500, o.k. you're in the white arc, 10 degrees of flap, you're goina go down a little bit. This is like an approach to landing stall. (full flaps in) You're supposed to establishe a glide. O.k., once the student gets to 60 knots…its harder to do with the flaps down. It's got to be a full break, too. Gotta be full break.(Power added) 10 degrees of flap…get your airspeed…start climbing. You have to bring your nose below the horizon. It is not an imminent stall. Gene: The power off stall is done with full flaps? Yep, it's similar to landing. Gene: I thought that was an approach to landing stall. Well they only do..only do one in the PST. The power off stall, I though was either flaps or no flaps, depending on what conditions were.Let's head on back. I'll fly it. Gene: I would be willing to go up with your best instructor to be able to do the things the way you want them. (Getting ATIS radio volume problem.) Sky clear!!? I love it!! O.k. we have uniform. You want to fly, You can fly. We're going to head on back. Gene: xxx Tower Cessna xxx position at 3000 with uniform will report right downwind. ATC: Report right downwind traffic is Erocoupe in right closed traffic. Gene: Looking for traffic.
How do you teach a descent? It's according to what you want. What? It depends on whether you want . . . for most purposes I try to get 500 fpm. You're almost to the yellow arc here. There's no turbulence. WHAT? You tend to dive when you have them doing that. I do a cruise descent at 2100 and a slower descent at 1900 for 500 fpm. At 2100 you'll get a hundred knots. At 1900 you'll get about 90 knots. I like to teach them a controlled descent at a specific airspeed so that when they get into instrument work…they know how to do a lot of this.What kind of entry think it will be I'll make a 45. You're doing a kinda extended downwind. I'm trying to select altitudes that will avoid approach altitudes. What altitude…are the altitudes here? How about 3000. xxxx, xxxx, xxx(Erocoupe making an instrument approach with circle to land.) We have the traffic and will give way. We have him in sight. Boy, he's slow. Well, I'm going 90. (Instructor is handling the radio.) We're on the outside of him, he's abeam us.
There you go again, nose high! I don't want it nose high. There she goes. You did it a lot better. O.k. If you're going to do short field landings. Do you usually fly 80 on this? No, I don't fly at 80 ...70, 65 and 60 ……coming in on a short field. It depends whether we're coming in over an obstacle or not. Don't assume that there's an obstacle. I'm a bit high, now. This is going to be a short field, right. It's almost as though there's a fire out here, doesn't it? Yep.I'd like to take a lesson from your best instructor. You're sittin with it.
Based upon weaknesses of instructor practical tests.
Advice to CFI Wantabe
1. Use a tape recorder for all your ground >and flight instruction. With the tape going >you will never say anything or present a lesson that can subject you to a law suit.
2. Don't charge for ground time but charge more for flight time. Students will not ask the questions that they should if it costs money. Don't scrimp on ground work. Don't fly without going over everything you plan to do in the air. Review all the radio work for out and back to the airport.
3. Do not expect to do much more than break even for the time you spend flight instructing. There are too many CFIs like me who give away more than they charge for. give more value than you charge for and you will never lack for students. The hours will build upon themselves without any padding effort on your part.
4. When teaching flying stops being enjoyable, quit. If you should folllow the lesson sequence that I have for thirty years you will never lose a student and they will survive as pilots.
Advice to Cecil,
Isn't the saying appropriate for a CFI that goes something like this. "You will specialize in knowing more and more about less and less until you know absolutely everything about nothing? The more I 'know' about flying the more uncertain I become about its certainty.
There are very few absolute truths and a very few apply to flying. Suggest that you always leave some wiggle room in what you say. Avoid words like
"always", "never", "perfect",
"round", "straight", ‘level" and 'certain'. Always
teach as though you expect your pupil to exceed what you have accomplished. Even
Fosett will become a historical "has been'.
Day by day you hope that one of your students have an 'a ha' experience from what you have taught. In the classroom children would often praise some part of a math lesson. My response was, come back in two years and let me know if it made a difference.
Keep track of your students in my last years of teaching I asked all my students to write themselves a letter about what they hoped to become and do in a certain time period after leaving my classroom. I kept the letters and mailed them on the appropriate year to the designated address. Results were, a mixture of joy, sadness, hope and disappointment. I wish I had done it with my flying students. Consider this as something you will do with your students. Get letters from your successes and failures because you will get both and learn from both.
Last year I put a stack of my web site CDs on top of my car and drove off.
A few day later there was a knock on the door and a young man introduced himself as a former classroom student of mine that I had taken for an airplane ride. We was an airline pilot on a non-scheduled airline. A neighbor of his had found the CDs and since they were about flying they took them to him. He lives less than a mile from my home. You never know just in what way a reward will come to a teacher.
As with most teaching, your rewards will come mostly after you're gone.
CFI Advice on Checkride
The real key was to go through ALL the PTS's (Private, Commercial AND CFI) and make sure you can present a lesson on each topic (from the CFI PTS) that covers all the elements stated in the other PTS's.
Amazingly there are many inconsistencies-- compare the elements on 'NORMAL and CROSSWIND TAKEOFFs' from the Private,Commercial & CFI Practical Test Standards-- they are not identical. Also make sure your lesson's are based on as much FAA doctrine (Flying Handbook, Aeronautical Knowledge and other
Circulars) wherever possible (The DPE can't quote Kershner or Machado so you shouldn't either). Don't forget to include all the 'common errors' as part of your lessons since the examiner will be checking them off too!
The flying/teaching portion is a bit contrived in that you are making sure you are touching on all the elements there too. It makes for a very vocal process-- calling out EVERY thing you are doing, seeing, feeling, and
thinking. It's not really a demonstration of how you'd do a lesson but that you can fly and teach and cover all the bases on a maneuver. Any normal student would climb at the window if you hit them with all that crap in one mouthful. It's overload but it let's the examiner check off his little boxes. I don't think the FAA would admit that there should be a difference in giving a lesson to an examiner than the same lesson given to a student but I sure as hell would not want me as a teacher if I gave instruction in that overblown manner.
Another important thing to note is to MEMORIZE all the endorsements required for PRIVATE and COMMERCIAL students. You don't have to have them verbatim but they should be servicable as an endorsement. (My DPE showed me the FAA ruling on this requirement) Make sure you have an endorsement (memorized and in your logbook from your recommending CFI) from CFR Part 61.39. There is NOT an example of one in AC61-65D (there should be) but the FAA is starting to require this specifically for all practical test applicants. I called the FSDO and they said my CFI's signature on the 8710 form met this requirement-- WRONG! My DPE actually called them up to set them straight on the matter.Jeff
Actually, my checkride was pretty straightforward. I did it Part 61 with the FAA. My ride got split across two days because the weather was crumby the first day. We did the orals and scheduled the flight for another day. As a result, I got two different inspectors. Both were pretty nice guys, they seemed to be aware of their bad-guy image and made obvious efforts to make me feel comfortable. Also, they were both very knowledgeable and experienced. The first had over 10,000 hours of dual given (I think he said that) and the second had spent 23 years flying bush in Alaska. I don't know why, but I expected bureaucrats not pilots.
Both the oral and flight portion were thorough but not overly difficult. They really followed the PTS to the letter. The only thing that tripped me up was that the Inspector who did the orals expected me to know some of the FARs verbatim. He would read me a part number ("tell me about 61.195 Limitations and Qualifications of a Flight Instructor") and then expect me to regurgitate the contents of the reg. After I stumbled around for a good two minutes I said, "I don't know the regs. like that. I know the limitations and qualifications of the rating, but I can't give them to you verbatim like that." He said, "Fair enough" and then wrote in huge letters on a piece of paper "Candidate does not know limitations of the rating which he is applying for!" I protested saying that I did know the limitations of the rating. He said "No you don't, let's move on." I was stunned for a minute.
But we moved on and he was really pretty fair throughout the exam. One of his testing techniques (I didn't pick up on this at first) was to question me or simply say I was wrong and see what my response was.For example, in explaining left turning tendencies I said "Gyroscopic precession will create a left-turning tendency when you pitch down." He conversationally said, "You mean up." I almost didn't hear what he said. I said, "No, down. Like raising the tail in a tailwheel airplane." He said "Oh, okay," and that was it. It would have been very easy to have just said "Yeah, up," and got dinged there.
The flight portion was even more by the book. The Inspector sat down with me in the restaurant over coffee for about 30 minutes and talked briefly while we looked over paperwork. Then he got out a piece of paper and wrote down every maneuver we were going to do and the order in which we were going to do them. I had preflighted the airplane before he got there, so I asked him if he wanted to go through that with me. He did not (very cold day). He got in the plane and immediately noted that the fuel selector valve was not labeled correctly and that the plane could be grounded for that. I asked him if he still wanted to go. He did.
I started off talking about safety, then I talked about safety for a little while and I made sure that I mentioned safety before ending with a little pitch about safety. In all seriousness, everyone I spoke to said the FAA is very concerned about safety of flight. We talked about safe taxi speeds and crossing runways and checking for approaching airplanes and scanning for traffic and the importance of clearing turns and the proper use of checklists and every safety related thing I could think of.
He had me do almost all the flying. Twice he grabbed the controls and flew a maneuver. He didn't ask, but I critiqued. I don't think he was intentionally screwing up the maneuver. I think he really couldn't fly a steep turn in an Arrow. He pretty much said that and wasn't embarrassed by it.
I nailed every maneuver. I flew almost perfect. After the flight he said, "You'll do well, I can't really point out anything you need to work on." That was it.
I felt extremely well prepared for the test. I can imagine that if you aren't well prepared you won't do very well. It's a very thorough test.
One note on my training, before this I did the CFI I did all my training with the local country airport instructor, but after I couldn't find a complex airplane to rent in our area I signed up with a 141 school. It was probably the best move I could have made. I did it with the University of Oklahoma. The instructor I was assigned had two or three other CFI students at the same time as me. I got the impression I was one of a couple of dozen CFI candidates she had recommended this year (2001). However, even with the high workload, she gave me more than enough attention and was willing to meet at night and on weekends to get me through it. They use a very structured method of instruction and that's exactly what I needed.
But most of all, just being around other people who were about to take the same test or had just taken it really helped. Also, it's interesting to note that most of the other candidates were doing their CFI under 141 while I did mine 61, but the checkrides seemed remarkably similar. In my very limited experience, there is not really a drawback to doing it with the FAA. Alex
Instructor as PIC
--Always when in the cockpit with a student
--NTSB says always when on an instructional flight regardless of trainee experience.
--The FAA interpretations say CFI may give instruction and not be PIC when not required crew.
--FAA says PIC is question of fact and not of law to be determined by circumstances.
--As a CFI be prepared to give advice, take control or lose your license.
The NTSB has always considered the CFI as pilot in command even if in the back seat. The FAA interpretations of the FARs indicate that a CFI can give instruction without being PIC provided the CFI is not serving as a required crew member such as serving as safety pilot. In reality the CFI must be prepared to take control of the aircraft. Who is in command of an aircraft is a matter of fact and not of law.
Kind vs. Amount
--It is not the Amount of instructional experience so much as the Kind that Counts
--How you fly determines how much you know and how qualified you are for any upcoming flight.
--How frequently you fly a given route and the time involved add little to your overall experience.
--Pilots who regularly avoid ice by having a planned option in mind before they start have already thought through the problem
--Regardless of the breadth of experience in hazardous conditions it is the depth that counts.
---At your age, 45, fly as much as you can. Time spent flying is not deducted from your life span. I am the living proof of that.
---The web site is so massive that it would take five volumes to print and editing it is very difficult as is.
---Things in aviation are in such flux that it get replaced in a matter of days. ADS-B is going to make it so that weather, traffic and navigation will be completely changed. ---As it is, we need instructors who can teach glass cockpits, I can't.
---With the advent of digital recorders I would urge you to have both you and your students record all ground and flight conversations and radio work. Have the student load his into his computer and write on his computer what he thinks he learned or was supposed to learn.
---Likewise, you should write from you computer what you thought you were teaching and expected him to learn.
---The running comparisons if shared back and forth will help you teach better and him to learn better.
---I know it takes some time but much of my web site is due to such a sharing program I have used for years. Digital recorders make it easier.
---Watch out for the bright student who thinks he doesn't need this kind of program. ---When you find a specific problem with a student, don't hesitate to contact me for ideas. No need for you to make as many mistakes as I have.
---Greatest handicap you will have is to think that the way you were taught is the way you should teach. Be creative!!
CFI applicants must exhibit instructional knowledge of task elements through descriptions, explanations, simulations and common errors.
CFI Items (Duplicate)
--Use the Aviation Instructor's Handbook as a checklist
--Keep comprehensive training records in more than two words item
--Teach students to ask the right questions.
--Instructors are there to help students learn.
--Why students forget maneuver distinctions: forgetting, repression, disuse
--Students are selective in remembering what they want to remember
--ADM means Aeronautical Decision Making
--CFI PTS 300 pages based on 30 sources and 234 objectives
--Instructors set standards
--You don't need to know everything, just know where to find it.
--CFI must know the arrangement, order and index of every FAR Parts 61, 91, 43, 67 and more
--Instructional focus should be on modifying the pilot's behavior be it instinctive or taught incorrectly.
--Instructional criticism is limited to specifying what existed and how much and which way to maneuver
--CFR must know how the different parts of the FARs are formatted.
--You are your instructor when solo.
--Flying is mostly head and very little hand.
Part 61 Format (Required CFI knowledge)
--Unique requirements (endorsements, expectations)
--Impart knowledge, judgement and attitude by example and instruction
--Fly and teach safety
--Obey the FARs
--Use foundation blocks first
--Then use building blocks
--You will save time and money by using the building block approach to flight instruction.
--Teach why certain things are to be avoided
--Teach a skill as consisting of several levels of satisfactory accomplishment
--A pilot moving either up or down in aircraft complexity requires aircraft specific instruction.
--Teach to standards beyond the PTS which is only minimums.
--The aircraft will fly if we let it.
-- Use the S E T - U P concept for every thing you do. Don't begin until things are setup.
--Use the "before" checklist for the setup procedure
--Setup requires that all elements of a maneuver are known
--Three elements of set up are: CLEAR, CONFIGURE, CONCEPT in any order.
--CLEAR is SWAT: Surface, Weather, airspace, Traffic
--CONFIGURE is Physical and Mental
--Learning to fly a retractable also gives you an opportunity to land gear up.
--Mental has to do with awareness, focus, attitude, visualization (seeing), sun/wind, and entry.
--The commercial level of flying allows you to achieve mastery and feel of flying an aircraft.
--Train for precision flying.
--The standards the CFI builds for will be the standards met.
Lesson Plan Judgment
--Instructor is legally responsible for giving quality, safe instruction and monitoring student flying.
--Law suits occur when there is a breach of duty to provide professional instruction
--Professional instruction includes having a syllabus, equipment and record keeping system
--Good instruction includes setting student limits and expectations.
--If you do not do anything wrong you are unlikely to be found liable
--Follow the regulations and PTS requirements prescribed by the FAA.
--Regardless, your liability ceases when a student or pilot takes a flight review or gets another rating.
--Have a written curriculum and fully document training given
--Best insurance is the exercise of common sense and good judgment
--Carry a legal insurance policy
1. Oral on chart reading, references and weather
2. Preflight items to determine pilot's ability to evaluate airworthiness
3. Flight check on basic procedures with radio, ATC, traffic and performance--Items that are or should be standard in a pilot's 'toobox'.
--Use of checklists
--Use word 'you' when giving favorable information on performance
--Use 'maneuver' when giving unfavorable critique of performance.
--Phase checks help all concerned.
AOPA AFS Study
The study also revealed the two types of instructional accidents with the highest fatality rates: low-level maneuvering flight and midair collisions. "In the one case, instructors are inadvertently allowing a simulated emergency to degenerate into a real one," One-third of fatal accidents during dual instruction occurred during low-level maneuvering, a third of those while practicing emergency procedures, AOPA said. Mid-airs accounted for about one-sixth of all instructional accidents. The ASF analysis showed that the rate of instructional accidents continues to decline along with the overall accident rate, and also that fatal accidents are a very small percentage of the overall number of GA accidents.
The latest revision of the CFI PTS has made many changes in the questions and answers. These are older versions.
CFI Questions and Answers
New written questions require knowledge about lesson plans diagramed in FAA (H8080-9) . Pre-solo questions changed in order and wording of answers.
1. For a test to be considered comprehensive, it would …?
2. How would you use an oral quiz during a lesson?
3. If you wish to made an impression on a student, what law of learning should be used?
4. When a group session has covered the subject completely, what should the instructor do?
5. What is a learning plateau?
6. What is considered the best motivational means available to the instructor?
7. What is the defense mechanism of flight used for?
8. What do we call the learning that takes place that is not part of the lesson.
1. Check samples of everything being tested.
2. The oral quiz is a means of getting student participation.
3. The Law of Intensity means that the student will be more apt to remember the event
4. After a group session, the instructor should give a summary of what was covered.
5. A learning plateau is a situation where the learning rate temporally levels off. It is normal and to be expected.
6.The probability of achievement and/or rewards is the best motivator.
7. The desire to escape a particular situation can result in flight.
8. Incidental learning takes place during every lesson, even though it is not being
1. What defense does a student likely use when his difficulty is weakness in fundamental knowledge?
2. What is the use of excuses to explain inadequate performance by a student called?
3. What is the reason for instructional building blocks by instructors?
4. A student who relates incoming information to previous knowledge is called…
5. What is the transfer means called that allows a student to relate rectangular patterns to traffic patterns?
6. What is the transfer means called where one performance interferes with learning another performance?
7. When one thing learned overshadows other learning , it is called…?
8. Why should instruction expose the relationships between perceptions as they occur?
9. Why should a student practice what has been taught?
10. What is the purpose of giving a student problem solving situations?
2. Excuses are a form of rationalization.
3. Building blocks help insure proper habits and correct techniques.
4. The process of relating new information into old information is called recoding.
5. Positive transfer occurs when training is correlated to real time flying.
6. This is called negative transfer. May occur in use of throttle if boating is involved.
7. This is called interference. The importance of learning correctly from the beginning prevents this.
8. Instructional use of relationships speeds the learning process.
9. The use of exercise reinforces instruction that is directed towards a goal.
10. Problem solving by a student exercises the verbal and conceptual knowledge acquired.
1. For a test to be considered comprehensive, it would …?
2. How would you use an oral quiz during a lesson?
3. If you wish to made an impression on a student, what law of learning should be used?
4. When a group session has covered the subject completely, what should the instructor do?
5. What is a learning plateau?
6. What is considered the best motivational means available to the instructor?
7. What is the defense mechanism of flight used for?
8. What do we call the learning that takes place that is not part of the lesson.
9. If you fail one part of the practical test, how soon can you retake the test?
10. How much time is allowed between the practical test endorsement and taking the test?
11. What is the time period allowed between passing the knowledge test and taking the practical test?
12. What operational limits exist for use of an aircraft during the practical test?
13. Can a student retake a failed practical test on the same day?
14. What are the stall requirements of the practical test?
1. Check samples of everything being tested.
2. The oral quiz is a means of getting student participation.
3. The Law of Intensity means that the student will be more apt to remember the event
4. After a group session, the instructor should give a summary of what was covered.
5. A learning plateau is a situation where the learning rate temporally levels off. It is normal and to be expected.
6.The probability of achievement and/or rewards is the best motivator.
7. The desire to escape a particular situation can result in flight.
8. Incidental learning takes place during every lesson, even though it is not being taught as such.
9. A failed part of the practical test may be retaken as soon as additional instruction has been given and the instructor give the endorsement required for retaking the practical part failed.
10. The practical test must be taken within sixty (60) days of the endorsement to take the test.
11. 24 months (2-years) is allowed between the two tests.
12, The aircraft used for the practical test must have no limitation on doing any of the prescribed test areas.
13. Yes. The only requirement is instruction and endorsement to retake the test.
14. Either a power on or power off stall must be performed on the practical test.
Aeronautical Decision Making (AC 60-22)
1. What is recommended for a pilot who has hazardous attitudes contributing to poor judgment?
2. Risk management relies of what to reduce risks present with each flight?
3. If a pilot flies with attitudes reflecting anti-authority, impulsivity and resignation what can be expected?
4. How is aeronautical decision making (ADM) defined?
5. What can taking a self-assessment Hazardous Attitude Inventory Test tell?
6. How will knowing your personal attitudes toward safe flight help your ADM?
7. Peer pressure, scud running, loss of situational awareness and flying with minimum fuel reserves are examples of what pilot deficiency?
8. What are the four risk elements to be faced in the ADM flight process?
9. When should a student be taught about ADM?
10. What grouping of flight 'traps' include, fly the planned flight, please the passengers, meet schedules, and get it over with?
11. What is the effect of an incomplete evaluation of information when determining risk?
12. What is the key to uncertainty in making flight decisions?
1. An appropriate antidote is recommended (FAA acceptable answer)
2. Situational awareness, problem recognition and good judgment
3. The pilot will fly in a manner that is both hazardous and reflect poor flight judgment.
4. ADM is a systematic mental process used to choose an option to a given problem.
5. It will give a real perspective on a pilot's attitude toward flying.
6. Knowing your ADM problem areas is the first step toward accepting solutions.
7. These are dangerous tendencies or behaviors, which once identified should be eliminated.
8. The risk elements that exist in every flight are pilot, aircraft, environment, and mission.
9. ADM should be taught and learned as soon as the student has mastered the four basics.
10. These are behavioral traps that even experienced pilots can be caught in.
11. An incomplete evaluation of information in determining risk invariably results in a poor decision.
12. The only way to remove uncertainty from the decision making process is to get more meaningful information.
1. What can be said as to the results achieved by extraneous blocks of instruction?
2. What is the first consideration of any instructional planning?
3. What makes a student apathetic?
4. What makes a student willing to take on additional instructional material?
5. What is the sequence of the basic four instructional procedures?
6. What prevents communication more than anything else?
7. How do we measure effective communication?
8. How does a student react to a lesson that has, to him, no visible purpose?
9. What level of learning enables a student to explain how maneuvering speed is affected by gross weight.
10. How is insight for the student helped by the instructor?
1. Anything extraneous will detract from the planned objective of instruction.
2. First consideration of instruction is selection of the objective and standards.
3. A student 'senses' when an instructor is not prepared; this causes an apathetic (non-caring) attitude.
4. Students will learn better when informed of their progress.
5. The instructional process consists of preparation, presentation, application, and review and evaluation.
6. People cannot communicate well due to the wide differences in their experience.
7. Effective communication can be measured by the similarity of the idea sent to the idea received.
8. A student who sees no purpose to a lesson will not be motivated to do well.
9. The relationship between maneuvering speed and gross weight requires correlation by the student.
10. The way a student feels about himself can be helped by good instruction.
1. The basis of all learning is first of all …?
2. What part of learning is very subtle and difficult to determine?
3. The motivation that appears in the performance of stall is usually…?
4. What will effectively motivate a student?
5. When is the use of threat and reproof properly used?
6. What part of the planning involves selection for the length of lesson?
7. What is the sequence order of a lesson?
8. How can an instructor best keep a student motivated?
9. What is the sequence of a lesson introduction?10. What can an instructor do to get a student to believe in the worth of a lesson?
1. Perception is first required before learning can take place.
2. We can never be sure as to what it is that motivates a student.
3. The negative motivation of fear and anxiety affect the learning of stalls.
4. The positive motivation of achievement and reward is the proper motivator.
5. The impulsive and overconfident student can be partially reined in by threat and reproof.
6. The length of the lesson is a primary consideration for any situation. Crosswind landing lessons will be of shorter length than will VOR sessions.
7. Lesson has a sequence of objectives, content, and completion standards.
8. First essential is in the making of each lesson a pleasurable experience.
9. The sequence of the lesson introduction is getting attention, affirming motivation and giving the overview.
10. An instructor must keep a student apprised of any progress made.
Question (Based on FAA-H-8080-9)
1. What learning process can be used to adjust to 'responses'?
2. What distinguishes group learning from other learning processes?
3. What presentation sequence is best used in teaching the E-6B?
4. Effective communication requires what special background?
5. What is taxonomy to education?
6. What is the cognitive domain of learning?
7. How does an instructor know when learning has taken place?
8. What is 'recoding'?
9. Where do we put memory acquired from the environment?
10. Name three elements of the learning process.
1. Computer-based systems can be adapted to student responses.
2. Active participation is a major advantage of group learning.
3. Computer skills are best learned when an example is demonstrated to be followed by student performance.
4. Current interesting material is an instructional requirement.
5. Taxonomy is a listing of educational objectives in proper sequence.
6. The cognitive domain of learning has to do with knowledge.
7. Learning has occurred when the proper student response results.
8. Recoding is finding existing knowledge that is related to the incoming idea.
9. We have a 'sensory register' that keeps a memory of environmental events.
10 The learning process includes verbal, conceptual and problem solving.
Out of the Box Talking Points for Instructing Instructors
3-21-04 I spent three hours talking with a CFI Wantabe I was trying to give all the large and small techniques that I had accumulated over the years to make instruction more successful and less expensive to students.
Everything is recorded on ground and in plane.
Never charge for talking.
Ground instruction and flight instruction of procedures without expecting PTS standards
Ground and flight instruction with PTS standards expected
Teaching above FAA concepts of minimums.
Walking and/or talking to confirm learning of assigned reading
Ground or paper diagrams to give visual presentation of material in the flight
Calif. Airports Guide
A valuable study guide of airport procedures
Presentation is designed around the student background and experience
Unlearning vs. Learning
Previous concepts are the greatest single problem in aviation instruction
Use of checklists
Designed for the person and the individual aircraft and its equipment
Use of recorder
Makes it possible for student to review and even hear some things for the first time.
Up wind departures
Reduces student costs by speeding return home.
Inadequate for most older aircraft and lawyer-ized for newer aircraft.
At least five revisions before lamination.
Preflight and emergency back to back and around neck cord.
Differences and similarities
Instructor must know
Even more important that instructor know
One of a kind installations
Way to go
Which way is North?
Which way to (destination)
Economy of effort and time
Use finger count of checklist items to reduce look-down time
Current charts, E6-B, plotter, other
Available and used.
Paper towels, rags, rubber gloves, more
Released and placed by tires.
Flow chart for checklist (s)
Group related activities for minimum time and movement
Tire pressure, windshield
Initial in cockpit, paper work, settings
Hobbs, tach, master, fuel, flaps, other
Minimum movement, time, wasted effort
Specifics, similarities, differences
Know your aircraft
Most common unairworthy aspect is pressure
Things specific to aircraft
Must be able to easily move controls to the maximum
Common factor to poor flying. Check
Flow Chart for checklist
Sequence several items in a line or curve in one direction then check list.
Locate all switches, dials, knobs, etc.
Lighting, switches, radios
All frequencies sequenced
When you go on flights make a practice of writing your frequencies.
Subsequent flights will require less preparation.
Counting clicks on radio
Familiar radios make changing frequencies easier.
Departures and Arrivals planned
Make 270 departures to ease adjusting lines drawn between airports.
Radio calls that request on course to destination airport serve as mini-flight plans.
Do not keep aircraft keys in pocket, hang in cockpit
Seats, belts, doors and windows
Adjust seats before putting on seatbelts.
Keep hand on throttle when not needed elsewhere
Priming (2), throttle setting,
Learn the throttle setting as part of priming procedure.
"Clear", window, brakes
Don't waste time checking everything twice.
Mixture, RPM, flaps, radio,
ATIS, Ground or Clearance, Ground
Monitor for traffic conflicts
Know your audience far and near
Suggestive Level route and runway
Call-up with ATIS last
Diagram of route
Getting route assistance
S-turns, doughnuts, into wind stopping
Power, brakes, yoke for wind later
Smoothness is competence sign
Every aircraft taxies differently
Use heading bug or ATIS to position yoke for wind
Always full depression on Cessnas before use of brakes.
Power control is major element of smooth taxiing.
90-degree turns 45-degreess off wind yoke practice
Stopping and reversing directions of turns.
Stopping with wheel straight
Taxiing is last skill mastered
Most critical for tightly cowled high-powered engines
Conservation of space
Go to space that allows best clearing of final and base approaches
Room to make clearing turn
Brakes, controls, power, magnetos, C.H., gauges
Cessna throttles go from 800 rpm to 1700 rpm with a fingernail length of movement.
Practice until you can move the throttle the correct amount every first time.
Learn how to burn oout and clean fouled spark plugs
The time you save will last your entire flying life.
Configuration check and trim set
Learn the sound of your engine at different settings.
Reposition clearance + read-back
Monitor frequency for traffic
Awareness of traffic conflicts
On course route w/efficiency departure
Know your audience far and near
Takeoff Clearance (Readback?)
Variety of types and direction
Practice traffic clearing Dutch rolls and banks on climb out.
Lift off speeds as slow as possible
Normal is to accelerate to Vy, then climb
Short to Vx and climb a 10-count before Vy
30-degree banks back and forth after
Bank angle and airspeed skills
En Route Skills
Sum of the digits
Equal sums on all 90-degree angles from any other heading
Holds true for 45-degree heading except they always end in 5.
Using HI for heading changes and 45 entries
Easier with heading bug
Avoiding aircraft, birds airways and airspace
Right side rule
Fly the right side of roads and valleys
Safest airspace altitude rules
Within 3000 AGL avoid even 1000 and 500 foot altitudes.
Leveling off skills
Practice to cut the time it takes to level off at cruise every time you do it.
Small ifr VFR
I follow roads, caution for airborne police.
Inefficient to descend too close or too soon
Anticipate radio communications
Save your old frequencies, they will be the same next time
Remember frequencies are combined in low traffic periods
Practice what you are going to say before saying it.
Know your audience far and near
Sidestep call-up points
HI to make 45-degree entries
Course reversals applied
Suggestive assertiveness level radio
Variety of procedures
Gene Whitt pizza
ATIS last part of call-up
Engineered differences critical
Patents limit improvements and changes.
Pinch vs. Finger Tip
You should work out a fairly accurate trim setting for every situation to another.
No trim pattern operations
Cessna FBOs teach no trim changes for initial training. (Very poor training)
Trim turn to flap movement ratios = airspeed in Cessnas
Standard arrival and departure clearances
Only in improving conditions for training
Avoid IFR approach routes
Know the area
Fly minimum levels in good weather
Know the local ‘gotchas’
Clearance altitude from Class D is not good outside unless 3-mile visibility
Make overhead arrivals and departures
Rudder and Brakes
Rudder and nose wheel linkages differ. Teach the differences.
Cessna use of bungee springs means left/right are usually different
Different crosswind techniques required by type.
Do not let Piper nose wheel touch without straightening the nose wheel
Seating is key to taxiing capability
Aircraft pedals and linkage have design differences subject to misuse.
In the pattern
Taxiing in winds
Basic Flight Skills
Learn your trim settings
Trim is type and airplane specific
Rudder turns improves your skills
Two finger VFR makes IFR easier
Hands-off skills makes flying easier
Learn the takeoff trim setting for the load.
Learn takeoff trim change after a full flap landing
Cessnas need a finger poised on the shaft of the throttle
Make an airspeed power setting chart for every aircraft
Check trim setting by moving arms forward and backward
Different types of throttle movements require different hand holding.
Other types need to be flown enough to get a precision trim program
Cessnas I move the trim with my fingertip and full movement of wheel..
You must develop a smooth way to move the throttle even in turbulence.
Work to reduce the time required every time you make a change. Anticipate
Once trimmed Pipers tend to fly the airspeeds needed with only small adjustments
Pipers need the thumb over the handle with the palm-up fingers braced on the console.
Practice holding altitude at all speeds from cruise to Vso
Practice changing speeds without altitude chances.
Practice turns of 90 degrees at all speeds
Ideally, the ball should remain centered at all times during entry, turn and recovery.
Banks beyond 30-degrees tend to continue unless countered by aileron and rudder.
Turns should be practiced in climb, level and descent for appropriate rudder use.
Banks less than 30-degrees require aileron held into the bank to prevent leveling.
Depending on the power applied the rudder application in a turn will vary.
Students should develop a smooth move into the 30-degree bank
The 30-degree bank is the most stable possible for light aircraft.
The standard rate bank is directly related to airspeed.
Calibrate your turn coordinator for various airspeeds.
Slow aircraft holding heading and altitude before advancing power to 2000. Accept altitude gain.
Make multiple stalls without changing power. Stalls and recovery within 100 foot range.
Second series reviews power off and introduces power on at 2000 rpm
Emphasis on holding wings level with aileron and heading with rudder.
Most people have misconception as to what occurs during a stall.
Students will scare themselves by over-reacting in stall recovery
Trim stall more dangerous downwind base to final stall. (opinion)
I have never scared a student demonstrating stalls. I think.
Power off talk through demo holding heading and altitude
Emphasis on level clearing turns initially to the left.
All recoveries with full power and climbing at Vy
Full power stalls at proficiency stage of training.
Recovery at or slightly below horizon
Uncontrolled Airport Arrivals
Over-fly at twice pattern altitude to select runway
Circle runway so as to over-fly numbers in either left or right turns on circumference of turn
Fly right turns for left 45 entry patterns; left turns for right 45 entry patterns.
On crossing numbers at right angles to runway note 45-degree pip on runway side of HI.
A turn to the pip heading will give outbound 45 heading;
Note inbound heading at bottom of HI and select course reversal procedure
Descend outbound, make course reversal descent to pattern altitude
Inbound heading is 45 entry; aim for the runway numbers.
Turn downwind when midfield of longer runways
Turn downwind at departure end of shorter runways to provide pattern size.
Initial flight consists of left and right turns from sunset to one hour after sunset
Use mix of five to seven airports one of which is over 50 NM from home field.
A planned 2-hour flight with taxiing and delays will make 3-hour requirement
Stop-and-go as required to meet 10 full stop landings as needed.
All night PTS standards can be met in one three hour night flight.
Taxi back on as many airports as possible at least once.
Alternate use of landing lights on all night training.
IFR Instruction on Ground
Emphasis on anticipation and imagination
Talk and walk through route
Talk and walk through altitudes
Talk and walk through navigation settings
Talk and walk through radio procedures
Search for ‘what-ifs’
IFR Instruction in the Air
Develop airspeed profile
Develop airspeed change procedures
Pressures rather than movements
Configuration selection and effects
Vertical S, Pattern A, B, etc.
Course reversals over VORs
Safe area and altitude selection
Seating, yoke and throttle
On Integrated Instruction
The difficulty I see for any program past or future lies in the inherent inability of flight instruction to be integrated. It is an individual teaching an individual. Regardless of good intentions or available materials, the instructor teaches very much the way he was taught. I like to think that I have been different in that as a trained mature educator (42) I was able to be selective in what constituted a good lesson.
Still I use some elements in my teaching traceable to every instructor I ever had. Either in inclusion or exclusion. I do believe you will do the same. The military and FAA have structured programs that are called 'integrated'. I hope you have looked at the FAA's FITS program.
I had a student early this year who had been taught under the first FITS program. I would liken it to teaching a driver by going round and round the block. He was totally incapable of the most rudimentary flight without the total SR-22 glass cockpit working, which it seldom did. Even the semi-FADEC throttle was a problem. This was the only aircraft he had ever flown. He came to me because he had failed the IFR checkride. Considering the accident rate of the early FITS program trainees, I feel that I saved his life in teaching him how to deal with inoperative equipment, how to lean the mixture, etc.
Not wishing to shoot down your desire for a good flight training program but
in my thirty years of public school teaching and longer than that teaching
flying but all systems seem to work better for the designer than for anyone
else. My site is a collection of ideas. The user should be selective and cherry
pick according to the needs of the student and background of the instructor. I
do hope that you have (or get) both gliding and aerobatic experience. The more
you explore the outer edges of flight the better you can teach toward the
middle. Remember PTS standards are only MINIMUMS.
Training the CFI
--CFI applicants get little experience in practice training of students.
--Initial pass rate is 85% nationwide.
--If a CFR can get a ride with an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector there is no charge.
--Any notice of disapproval goes to the instructor approving the student CFI an on his record.
--The criteria for taking and passing the test is in the PTS.
--The PTS divides the material into subject areas and tasks.
--Knowledge is required of various spins, stalls, slips and skids origin, awareness and prevention.
The Thing About Instructors
In the fighter community, when the ever present "question" comes up as it always does at the O club each night on a fighter base, as to which fighter in the world is the best of all those out there. You'll get a hundred answers; each one stressing the good points of that pilot's favorite. In almost every one of these "favorite fighter" fests I've been involved in through my career in aviation, the REAL answer gets missed almost every time. It gets lost in all the yelling and shouting about which airplane has the tightest turn radius, turn rate, and the highest delta Ps against someone's else's favorite. The simple truth of it is that within reason, the REAL answer to this question can't be defined without a comparison of the "difference between the cockpits".
In other words, who's flying what?
What has this to do with CFI's? Well, I'll tell ya.
It has to do with specifics, and specifics is what flying.....and flight instructors as well....is all about.
First of all, let me take you down the road of my experience with the flight instructor issue as I've lived it through my career in this business.
If you really take a long hard look at the flight instructor issues, the first thing you'll notice is the money trail. The REAL money in aviation is at the top end of the ladder be it in civil aviation or in the military. You make big bucks pushing the big and fast iron with all the ratings, and that's the end of it...period! You can also take note at this juncture that nobody makes it to the fast track and subsequently the big bucks without going through a flight instructor somewhere along that path.
Now, assuming this, one might figure that the CFI, being an absolute must in this chain to get to the top, would be an extremely valuable component in the equation. Actually, the reality of this factor can be
split in two parts and presented either way.
Yes, the CFI is, or at least should be, an extremely valuable factor in this equation, as the role of the instructor is directly linked to not only training, but the development of a pilot in many of the assets that will be needed later on when reaching for those big buck flying jobs.
But there's another way to answer the CFI question, and that is the unfortunate fact that aviation.....especially professional aviation, has chosen to place the value and subsequently the dollar value of the instructor's link in the professional chain at an extremely low level.
So what does this give us in evaluating the true value of the instructor? Well, you don't get to first base on that trip up to the big bucks without one that's for sure. So why are instructor's so poorly paid...and let's face it.....generally poorly thought of in the industry?
The answer is in their plight. Because of the low value professional aviation places on the CFI rating, instructors are poorly paid.
Also, because of the flying time requirements for the better paying positions, the CFI rating became from the beginning a means for those seeking to advance themselves, one of the fastest methods available to
meet these requirements.
This all adds up to the CFI situation as I've lived it and seen it for fifty years in this business; a serious lacking of professional flight instructors being paid a professional wage. I can tell you that for a job with such serious responsibilities, this is a sad state of affairs.
The result has been an influx of part time instructors into professional aviation, and for all intents and purposes, the job description today, except for a few exceptions, can be considered not so much a profession,
but simply a part time job.
It's because of all this that finding the right instructor is a difficult task for a new student. If the new student starts out with an overall understanding about the conditions that prevail in the CFI community, it makes it a lot easier for that student to seek out and find the right instructor.
The student shouldn't discount say..... the aircraft owner instructor who takes part in his own maintenance and has a thousand hours under his belt....but the student shouldn't be misled into thinking that because of these factors, this pilot is a better instructor than say a specific part timer. These factors pale in comparison to instructor motivation, teaching skills, and general attitude toward doing a credible job for the student. If this pilot has these assets, by all means sign him on, but first find out if this pilot indeed HAS these assets before doing so.
When picking a CFI, the right one could very well be that part timer sitting out there trying to rack up hours so that he can take the next step up that ladder to the big bucks.
So where does all this leave the student with trying to pick a good instructor?
Well, as I said up front; it's a matter of specifics, not generalities, when it comes to finding a good instructor.
Experience is definitely a plus, but experience isn't the prime consideration when choosing a flight instructor. You will find out there pilots with huge amounts of experience who are lousy instructors. You can also find out there part timers who have a Commercial and a CFI and have minimal experience who are excellent instructors.
As I've told you in this little "report". the nature of the job leans heavily toward attracting those seeking to build hours. You can realistically think of the CFI rating as a stepping stone position on the way up to where the real money is in this business. Because of these things you will find extremes in the CFI business...both good and bad. It's up to each individual student to take the time to separate the good from the bad. In my opinion; and I've been dealing with flight instruction issues almost every day of my life for over fifty years, if you students take the time to pick the right instructor, you will do just fine at the local level.
Knowing When to Solo a Student
From a CFI seminar in 1971 given by D.A. Henriques.
As instructors, it goes without saying that all of you will be dealing with the issue of deciding when a student is ready to solo, and what to do when this stage of training is reached. There are many methods a CFI can use to determine when the student is ready to go it alone. Let me explain one method to you. This method has never failed me. As you form your own method, it might give you a starting block at least in understanding the issue.
Somewhere during the takeoff and landing stage, using full stops and NOT touch and go's, I will reach a decision on solo based on a demonstrated consistency and performance level from the student. This is
the easy part! As the solo decision is reached, I inform the student in acalm and quiet manner while taxiing back to take off again that in my opinion, solo is now possible WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY, AND TELLS ME SO!!!. This is stage one of the solo process. It informs the student and begins the student's mental preparation for what is to come next.
Stage two now begins. By informing the student of possible solo, I have
effectively changed the student's thinking process from a dual scenario into a
solo scenario so that as the airplane takes the active for the next takeoff, the
student is now thinking in that all important solo perspective. I now repeat to
the student, "I feel you can fly this airplane. When YOU feel you can fly
it, let me know and I'll get out". I have always considered this statement
critical to the solo equation .Telling the student that the student is ready
opens the door for the critical change from dual thinking to solo
thinking....and that change is CRITICAL!!
Now stage three. The student is now on the active and ready to takeoff. In his/her mind I'm not really there. The student, whether or not he/she actually realizes it, is thinking as though I wasn't there. At this juncture I make it a point to avoid all physical contact with the airplane; letting the student do everything.
If the student has a question, the answer I give is something like " What do YOU think you should do?" The student should be required to solve and perform with the instructor keeping a watchful eye but not interfering. Any physical interference at all constitutes a solo abort until the problem can be addressed with
I should note here that if such a failure occurs, the CFI has made an initial error in the solo judgment going into the problem and should seriously evaluate his/her own performance! Assuming no CFI error at this point, as the student applies power to the airplane after being told that solo is his/her choice, his/her entire mental process will now be focused at the solo level. Mentally, the student will now be filling in the gaps in confidence that are a must before a safe solo can be accomplished. Some students will breeze right through this process, but many need this last extra step to firm up what the instructor should already know...that they are ready to fly the airplane without the CFI being there!!! The key here is that although the student is thinking on a solo level, the CFI is still in the airplane.
This last time around the pattern will be critical. The instructor should make every effort not to interfere PHYSICALLY at this point. Every effort should be made to allow the student to solve any problem encountered during this last pattern. Verbal prompting should be kept to a minimum, and encouragement should be freely given as the student enters into and solves a problem of altitude/airspeed/ configuration/and position.
Assuming a good landing; on the way back the instructor should ask, "Well, what do you think?" If the answer is positive at this point, (as well it should be ) the student can be soloed.
This procedure is what I have used with all the students I have soloed and it has never once failed to produce a successful solo. Every CFI will find their own personal method for making the solo decision. This decision is one of the most important single decisions made by any pilot at any time in aviation. It deserves careful and serious study and a constant self evaluation by a CFI to fine tune the factors that go into the making of this decision.
About Instruction Technique;
As a CFI, the most important thing you can do is to never teach any two students the same way. Remember that students are not IBUs (interchangable biological units). Each and everyone is different. Each one will require more time in certain areas and less in others, don't ry to wedge every student into the same mold. Above all, go out of your way to show extream patients. Students really appreciate that. If a student is taking some time learning a certain aspect, give them the time. Don't rush them through it.
I believe that what you have said here is the most important aspect of flight instruction; that being the ability of the instructor to adapt the teaching style and method to an individual student. o become a CFI, the FAA requirements don't get anywhere near the meat of what's required to be a GOOD CFI. The program gives you nothing but the basics. It's what you do AFTER you get the rating that determines how good or bad you will be as an instructor.
In my experience, I've run into, flown with, and flight checked almost every type of instructor you can imagine. In flight checking and discussing instruction with these people, it's been my experience that
the really good CFI's I've known were the ones who simply learned and projected the FAA requirements. They obtained the rating; then used all that simply as a base from which they began to build their own individual style and technique. In EVERY case I've ever run across, resulted in techniques, style, and projection of material not even remotely resembling what the FAA required in preparation to get the rating.
My sense of this issue is that you become a flight instructor in the true since
of the word as the direct result of what you do with yourself and the way you
view the rating AFTER the rating is in your pocket!
A Debt I Owe
Near the very end of my IFR stuff on my web site, I tell about a dying CFII who inspired and helped me find what I was looking for when teaching a pilot. His first name was Jay. He loved flying and would pay for the plane while teaching me and letting me fly from the right seat.. He gave me the WWII instrument flying handbook.
Jay's primary emphasis was always ability to be smooth at the low end of the aircraft's performance curve. This is what I look for when I am getting ready to solo a student. I have never soloed a student who did not want to solo and could say he was ready. I once soloed a student after he had made every mistake possible on a landing. When he asked as to why I thought he was ready. My answer was, "You made many mistakes but you detected the errors and corrected them in the safest possible way even to the making of a go-around.
I should also warn you that I have always freelanced and never went by the opinion of another instructor as to whether one of my students was ready. Nor have I every phase-checked another instructor's student. My concern is that my standards are too high.
Sport Pilot CFI
An online sport pilot checkride guide. It includes the practical test standards (PTS), eligibility and flight time requirements, required endorsements, and a quick reference.
---5-hours in time to give instructionInstructional Accountability
The "process" of becoming an instructor is different for everybody, however, the requirements to become a CFI are the same. How you get from beginning to end is and should be tailored to the individual.
Be at least 18 years old
Be able to read/write/speak English
Hold a Commercial or ATP Certificate with Instrument Rating
Pass 2 written/computerized tests, (Fundamentals of Instruction and the
Flight Instructor knowledge exam)
Receive flight and ground training in the required areas listed in FAR 61.187
Receive training in spins and receive a logbook endorsement as such.
Pass a practical test successfully completing all requirements of the CFI PTS.
You can do this all on your own with the help of a CFI who has more than 200 hours of flight instruction, or you can enroll in a flight school that has a dedicated CFI program, such as a Part 141 school.
After the CFI...What?
Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) — An every two years educational seminar for flight instructors, which may be used for renewal purposes, provided the CFI certificate has not expired. It consists of ground training, flight training, or a combination of both. The FIRC must be completed within the three calendar months preceding the expiration month of the current flight instructor certificate, and usually consists of at least 16 hours of ground and/or flight training.
Gold Seal Flight Instructor Certificate — A flight instructor certificate printed with a distinctive gold seal to recognize excellence in flight training based on a CFI’s record of performance. To obtain a gold seal certificate, a CFI must have trained and recommended at least 10 students for practical tests within the previous 24 months, and at least 8 of these students must have passed on their first attempt. A CFI must also hold a ground instructor certificate with an advanced or instrument rating.
Affective Domain — A grouping of learning levels associated with a person’s attitudes, personal beliefs, and values, which range from receiving through responding, valuing, and organization to characterization. Explanation: The way an individual’s unique background perceives and relates teaching to what he will remember
Application — A basic level of learning, where the student puts something to use that has been learned and understood. The application may be derived from the same basic level of learning where the student puts something to use that is presumed to have been learned and is misunderstood. Explanation: Using what you think you know.
Auditory Learner — Students who acquire knowledge best by listening. As I recall from college many years ago the retention level is about 8%.
Bottom-Up Thinkers — (also called serialists) A learning style that starts with the components and pieces them together to understand the whole. Serialists prefer to start at the beginning and examine the material in order. Explanation: One of the several different ways all people use to learn in some situations.
Cognitive Domain — A grouping of levels of learning associated with
mental activity which range from knowledge through comprehension, application,
analysis, and synthesis to evaluation.
Explanation: The way an individual uses a collection of skills to try and remember what is taught.
Correlation — A basic level of learning where the student can
associate what has been learned, understood, and applied with previous or
subsequent learning. Explanation: Where what you think you know can be
transferred and applied to a different situation.(GW)
Critique — Informal appraisals of student performance, designed to quickly convey feedback. Use critiques to summarize and complete a lesson, as well as to prepare students for the next lesson. Explanation: One way an instructor finds out if the student has learned what the instructor thinks has been taught.
Demonstration-Performance Method — An educational presentation where an instructor first shows the student the correct way to perform an activity, and then has the student attempt the same activity. Explanation: Monkey see; monkey do, instruction.
Effect — A principle of learning which states that learning is strengthened when accompanied by a pleasant or satisfying feeling, and that learning is weakened when associated with an unpleasant feeling. Explanation: Success builds on success.
Exercise — A principle of learning which states that those things most often repeated are best remembered. Explanation: Only practice of the right kind is successful. (Repeated efforts in front of a mirror will not make you appear younger.)Feedback — Another way to gauge whether students are receiving the correct message. Students must interpret and evaluate the information received, and then respond. The transmission of evaluative or corrective information to the original or controlling source about an action, event, or process. Explanation: Student’s effort to show acquisition of knowledge or skill.
Impulsive — A learning style where a student makes a quick assessment and then decides to take action. Impulsive students may not read each question or all of the answer choices entirely. As a result, they tend to select the first choice that appears correct. Explanation: Leaping before you look at all the choices.
Human Factors — A multidisciplinary field devoted to optimizing human performance and reducing human error. It incorporates the methods and principles of the behavioral and social sciences, engineering, and physiology. Human factors may be described as the applied science which studies people working together in concert with machines. It involves variables that influence individual performance, as well as team or crew performance. Explanation: The study of the way & why humans do what they do in most every activity.
Intensity — A principle of learning where a dramatic or exciting learning experience is likely to be remembered longer than a boring experience. Students experiencing the real thing will learn more than when they are merely told about the real thing. Explanation: The greater the survivable mistake the better it will be remembered.
Judgment — The mental process of recognizing and analyzing all
pertinent information in a particular situation, performing a rational
evaluation of alternative actions in response to it, and making a timely
decision about which action to take. Explanation: Lucky selection of the
safest option of all available options.
Kinesthetic Learner — People who prefer to be doing something, and primarily absorb information through actual hands-on experience. Kinesthetic learners ascertain more from performing a preflight inspection than from studying a checklist. Explanation: Walking through flight procedures as a teaching/learning method.
Learning Plateau — A learning phenomenon where progress appears to cease or slow down for a significant period of time before once again increasing. Explanation: A sense by student that progress has leveled off.
Learning Style — The concept that how a person learns is dependent on that person’s background and personality, as well as the instructional methods used. Explanation: A delusion by both student and teacher that one particular method works best.
Lesson Plan — An organized outline for a single instructional period. It is a necessary guide for the instructor in that it tells what to do, in what order to do it, and what procedure to use in teaching the material of a lesson. Explanation: The more experience you have the less need you will have for a written lesson plan. As a school teacher early on you wonder what you are going to do all day to keep things moving. Very shortly you find that there is just not enough time to teach all that needs to be taught. The same is true about flying.
Long-Term Memory — The portion of the brain that stores information
which has been determined to be of sufficient value to be retained. In order for
information to be retained in long-term memory, it must have been processed or
coded in the working memory. Explanation: The idea that every individual
has the ability to set aside specific material to be remembered
Primacy — A principle of learning where the first experience of something often creates a strong, almost unshakable impression. The importance to an instructor is that the first time something is demonstrated, it must be shown correctly, since that experience is the one most likely to be remembered by the student. Explanation: Regardless of the subsequent training, the way a person first learned to behave in a sufficiently stressful situation will revert to the learning behavior first experienced.
Principles of Learning — Concepts that provide insight into effective learning and can provide a foundation for basic instructional techniques. These principles are derived from the work of E. L. Thorndike, who first proposed the principles of effect, exercise, and readiness. Three later principles were added: primacy, recency, and intensity. Explanation: Touch a hot stove, practice writing a letter, and riding a bike are examples of the first three. Can you recall your first great scare and your reaction? How are you at recalling old vs new phone numbers, and do you have any difficulty recalling the events related to your first accident in an automobile? Tr the next three.
Pychomotor Domain — A grouping of levels of learning associated with
physical skill levels which range from perception through set, guided response,
mechanism, complex overt response, and adaptation to origination. Explanation:
In some instances special instructional attention must be given to overcome many
instinctive reactions derived from previous life experiences.
Readiness — A principle of learning where the eagerness and single-
mindedness of a person toward learning affect the outcome of the learning experience. Explanation: A student who has success in another field of endeavor may not be ready to accept instruction in flying without special time and effort on the part of the instructor.
Receiver — In communication, the listener, reader, or student who takes in a message containing information from a source, processes it, reacts with understanding, and changes behavior in accordance with the message. Explanation: The receiver must develop a trust, respect and receptive attitudes towards the instructor. False praise is not the way to go for an instructor.
Recency — A principle of learning which states that things learned today are remembered better than things that were learned some time ago. The longer time passes, the less that will be remembered. Instructors use this principle when summarizing the important points at the end of a lecture in order for students to better remember them. Explanation; The advantage of frequent flight lessons is directly related to recency.
Reflective — A learning style where the student considers all possibilities or alternatives before making a decision.
Retention — There are five principles that promote deep learning and enhance your student’s retention of course material.
The principles are:
1) Praise stimulates remembering;
2) Recall is promoted by association;
3) Favorable attitudes aid retention;
4) Learning with all the senses is most effective; and,
5) Meaningful repetition aids recall.
Rote — A basic level of learning where the student has the ability to repeat back something learned, with no understanding or ability to apply what was learned. Explanation: Also the basic method used by the FAA in its early instructional textbooks while claiming it to be a very poor method of instruction..
Sensory Register — That portion of the brain which receives input from
the five senses. The individual’s preconceived concept of what is important
will determine how much priority the register will give in passing the
information on to the rest of the brain for action. Explanation: Your
senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste feed information into the brain
to stimulate reactions based on preconceived priorities.
Source — In communication, the sender, speaker, transmitter, or instructor who composes or transmits a message made up of symbols that are meaningful to listeners and readers. Explanation: Where most everything comes from.
Symbols — In communication, simple oral and visual codes, such as words, gestures, and facial expressions, which are formed into sentences, paragraphs, lectures, or chapters to compose or transmit a message that means something to the receiver of the information. Explanation: The means that beings use to send/receive data and information.
Teaching — The systematic and deliberate creation of practical instructional events (experiences) that are conducive to learning. More importantly, retention. Explanation: System for transferal of information and skills meant to be retained.
Technique — The manner of teaching that an instructor chooses to make his or her style of teaching unique. Explanation: The manner in which something is done.
Top-Down Thinkers —A religious approach where everything is known and
then explained by selective use of only the components that support the original
premise. Explanation: You are expected to accept all my teachings without
Understanding — A basic level of learning where a student comprehends or grasps the nature or meaning of something. Explanation: Best displayed by use of ‘own words to depict the meaning.
After my exam (a couple of hours later) I had the ground session with my instructor scheduled to 'teach' him about aircraft performance - off to San Jose, CA I drove! :)
Those of you that may know are well-aware I was really 'punishing' myself over concern about getting all the right information in the right proportion with the proper scope into my presentation. I toiled and fraught over the details until a day or so before I was to give the presentation an 'epiphany' washed over me <g>. I was making this process into something big, complex and involved when all I was really being asked to do was just explain some of the basic aspects of aircraft performance to someone who wanted to know about it. I've always liked helping people figure stuff out and that is all I really needed to do.
I know the latter may seem like a realization that should have seemed 'obvious'; but I guess I was just getting so intimidated by the notion of some sort of 'official teacher' role I was to fulfill that I overlooked what was a much simpler task: I was a human being with some knowledge that a fellow human being was trying to understand. I've been explaining things all of my life (in my I.T. work I've had to describe some of the most seemingly mundane aspects of computers and networks to clients all the way up to the most complex concepts). I've taught music (theory, guitar and basic piano) in college to make pocket money to pay for dates back in my college dorm days. So, I had done this 'teaching', already. I suddenly felt myself relax, recognizing that I would do fine, because I understood the concepts I was to teach and in my own learning of them had learned various approaches that helped me assimilate the knowledge.
Suddenly, I didn't feel the (self-imposed) 'ominous' weight of providing the instruction. I was going to have a 'talk' with someone to help them learn more about a subject and in the process I'd be getting to share something that I've loved all my life; flying. How cool is that! I wasn't expected to be some scholarly professor with a tightly-pressed suit, stepping up to some chalkboard to present a lecture in some very staid manner. Not at all; I was just helping someone understand something that I've come to learn and all I needed for that was a clear idea of what I wanted to share and a good ear to make sure my student was grasping what I was communicating. That was all I needed to teach! :)
The session went well, not without a hitch, but no major 'bumps'. My CFI seemed very pleased that at one point after discussing the performance charts in the Cessna 172 POH that I was using as an example, that I went on to stress that these figures represented values that were achieved with a
spanking-brand-new aircraft with a 'test pilot' on-board; whose sole duty was to produce the best possible results for his employer (the aircraft manufacturer).
I fielded most of my student's questions quite well (IMHO) although I did get a little out of step when I was talking about why humidity affects aircraft performance (that is after a discussion on how temperature and altitude affect aircraft). Rather than beginning with the explanation that water vapor molecules displace the air molecules, somewhat; creating spaces between the air molecules making the air less dense with air molecules -
I first started in on how molecular water was 'lighter' than molecular air. The original reason I had planned to even get into that aspect of the discussion was that I (thought) it would help address any thoughts the student may have about molecules of water being 'heavier' than molecules of air. A better way of doing it (my CFI later pointed out to me) was to present the fact that the presence of water vapor takes up some space that would have been occupied my air molecules - effectively making the air less dense and THEN if the student asked the question; "Doesn't water weigh more than air?",, go on with the discussion about molecular water versus molecules of air. Wasn't the worst thing I could have done but I did see how I might be needlessly complicating things for the student.
For the most part I felt REALLY good about my presentation; wasn't perfect, but then again the whole purpose of these presentations is for me to learn and I'm bound to make some mistakes along the way.
Well, next Tuesday I 'teach' an in-flight session to my 'student' (played as always by my ever intrepid CFII <g>. It will consist of teaching a short-field takeoff and landing to a primary student followed by teaching some of the Commercial Maneuvers to a Commercial student. Then later that week I'll teach a ground session on airspace, charts and airport signage, etc.
My work is cut out for me, but at least now with my 'revelation' I can approach it with less trepidation!
Cecil E. Chapman
CP-ASEL-IA Student - C.F.I.
As seems to be my fate I once again arrive at the tail end of the thread. First, I have a teaching theory that I was taught by many groups of children over the years. These were the 'mentally retarded' children with whom I spent many hours trying to get the 'Ah, Ha" reaction of understanding. My wife also had a proclivity for telling others that I was a 'mentally retarded' teacher.
One thing the children taught me was that I did not truly understand anything until I could explain it to a ten-year old. I had found this concept verified many years previously while teaching senior military officers LORAN at the 58th Bomb Wing Training Center on Tinian toward the end of WWII as a 21-year old corporal. Great experience for those who would deal with the retarded. Insult intended. That said, here is what I do to explain and demonstrate the working elements of this discussion.
I suspend sheets of paper between L/R thumb and forefingers of each hand so that they are parallel and I can blow between them. Then I blow. Vola' a demonstration of venturi effect. However, I initially ask for an opinion as to what is going to happen. Most often the incorrect response results.
Hold the one end of a single sheet of paper between both thumbs and forefingers so that it droops away from you making a curved airfoil on top. Again load the student by asking what to expect if you blow below your fingers compared with blowing above your fingers. Again, anticipate that an incorrect response will result. Students can learn just a much from a mistake as from correct answers. No math, no physics just proof by demonstration without smoke or mirror.
A contrary opinion
Gene, while I admire you and your writings, in this case, you've used fallacious explanations on your students.....
sections 18.4.1 - 18.4.4 for why this analogy is incorrect.
Also has a good explanation.
Students can learm just a much from a mistake as from correct answers.
They can learn what ISN'T the case, anyway.--
Marc J. Zeitlin mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright (c) 2006
"The Prediction Principle for New Flight Instructors"
By Dudley Henriques CFI (Retired)
From time to time I'll do a post on some issue that seems to be a constant in my back channel weekly email. Lately, I've gotten a lot of mail asking about what I consider the optimum method for giving dual.
What follows are my general comments on this issue as I've passed them on during my years involved with flight instruction and flight instructors.
Please accept my comments simply as one instructor's opinion. It's my sincere hope that some of you thinking about becoming CFI's might find the information useful.
Good teaching in the general sense can arguably be defined as a skill exercised somewhere between science and a finely honed art form. Rather that state all the qualities that define good teaching. We're going to be discussing the teaching that relates to the subject of flight instructors. Let's just assume for the purpose of discussion that for the flight instructor, all the qualities required of any good teacher also apply to the flight instructor.
There are very distinct differences however, between a classroom environment and the environment we find in the confines of a cramped aircraft cockpit in flight. Notice I have specifically stated "in flight". There is a reason for this, and it's this reason I want to stress to you in this discussion on what I call the "Prediction Principle".
I think we can all agree that as CFI's, when we're teaching a student on the ground such as ground school or a pre-flight or post-flight briefing, the general principles of good teaching shall apply.
But what about the teaching that takes place in the aircraft? Are there any changes in our manner of teaching presentation that will have to take place as we transition into the actual dual session with a student? Are there any adjustments that we will have to make?
The answer to these questions in my opinion is an unqualified YES! There ARE differences in the way we should approach the manner of presentation in the air as opposed to our presentation on the ground, and it's this transition of methodology that I call the Prediction Principle".
All right, just what is the Prediction Principle and how should it be understood and implemented by a CFI? In its most oversimplified form, the Prediction Principle in flight instruction is a method of teaching a student pilot to fly. This is done by maximizing the confidence of the student through maximum physical interaction by the student with the airplane and minimum physical intervention by the instructor with the airplane while a dual session is in progress.
The Prediction Principle is NOT the easiest method to master as a flight instructor. It takes great skill to perform properly and requires the development of sound judgment on the part of the instructor using this method to teach a student.
What the Prediction Principle does do is optimize the instruction equation so that it maximizes the learning curve for the student. It also in my opinion turns out a more confident student.
O.K.; so we're new CFI's and we want to try using the Prediction Principle when giving dual. How is this method of teaching any different from what we might do ordinarily?
First of all, we have to thoroughly understand the basic premise for the Prediction Principle, and that premise states that from the moment we get in the airplane with a student, the student will be performing everything necessary to operate the airplane. We as instructors will be monitoring what
is happening and correcting as needed with minimal intervention with the controls.
Naturally, we as CFI's are responsible for the safety of the airplane and the safety of the flight in general. This always is understood and in no way interferes with our teaching method!
The mechanics of the Prediction Principle require minimum physical action with the aircraft by the instructor. This is easy to say, but as you will see, it takes a bit of skill to implement.
I will go so far as to say that in my opinion, the best of the best CFI's use the Prediction Principle when teaching in the air. Some do it naturally. Others have to be made aware of it's existence; thus the purpose of this tutorial. It's a manner of looking at how you teach as a CFI and a roadmap for what's involved for those willing to learn more about it.
The mechanics of the Prediction Principle;
It's easy to lump the Prediction Principle into one nice neat little ball and say that what it amounts to is for the instructor to stay ahead of the airplane. That's a gross understatement of what's involved. I think we all can safely assume that when giving dual to a student, the instructor has to be ahead of the airplane. The Prediction Principle demands a lot more from the instructor.
Using this method of teaching while in the air with a student, the instructor not only has to be ahead of the airplane, but also now has the added factor of wishing to minimize physical intervention with the student's flying of the airplane. This can be directly equated into a formula that is based on one side with a verbal command or request by the CFI. This to be followed by an action or corrective action by the student vs. the other side of the equation. The other side includes an error parameter for the aircraft defining any corrective action required within an maneuver parameters based on the present flight dynamics of the aircraft. This includes the projected flight dynamics of the aircraft to a point in space and time where corrective action will be too late.
What this means is that an instructor flying with a student and using a Prediction Principle method of teaching that student will be doing is a job. The job consists of super monitoring the aircraft's flight dynamics to the point where verbal interaction with the student will allow time for action or correction of an error. This to be accomplished before the aircraft reaches a point in time or space
where that action won't solve the issue.
The farther ahead of the airplane's present flight dynamics the instructor is mentally flying the aircraft, the more effective the instructor's verbal input to the student will be.
This brings up a VERY important point about the Prediction Principle. That point is that any instructional method stressing a verbal interface over a physical intervention with a student must be completely understood to exist in a cone with the apex of that cone at ground level. The cone represents the real time available for corrective action in an error situation while in flight. All instructors should be aware that what this means is that the higher you are, the more time you have for verbal intervention.
This will be made perfectly clear to any new CFI as they attempt their first instruction in landings with a student. Just remember, you have to be ahead of the airplane at 1000 feet. At 10 feet in the flare you have to be WAY in front of the airplane. Don't sweat it however, every GOOD instructor using the Prediction Principle method for giving flight instruction soon learns to handle the situation approaching the ground when teaching landings.
The same theory applies, only the margin for error narrows. The verbal request for action comes sooner, and monitoring of the exact flight dynamics and prediction of the aircraft's future position in space by the instructor intensifies accordingly.
(Minor changes by GW)
Cecil, Welcome to the accountability situation. I have had two of my former students go down.
#1 was a banker with six kids. I found that he lacked the ability to make
safe decisions related to weather and shortly after solo recommended that he
give up flying. He did, for three years and went to a near by FBO and unknown to
me completed his training and flew to a nearby airport and passed his flight
test. Flew directly over a hill and under a thunder storm on his way back. Two
days later we found the nosewheel faring on top of a hill and that was all.
# 2 Was an older student with 135 hours taken from multiple instructors. I took him on, conditional that he promised to complete his training and take the flight test. He did this and a week after the flight test took one of his sons into the low Sierra foot hills to a family reunion with one of his sons as a passenger.
He was unable to find the private dirt runway he was supposed to use. He landed at Oakdale and phoned for directions while indicating that he would overfly the house and his family would drive a car for him to follow to the runway. He stalled and spun in with all his family watching while killing hemself and is passenger son.
Subsequent to this I continued instructing but when a student was ready to solo I would turn him over to another instructor to continue the remainder of required instruction. I did this for nearly ten years. Until I could no longer tolerate the poor instruction some of my former students were getting. I, with my wife's approval began taking students all the way to completion. I have been essentially teaching naked, without total insurance coverage ever since. It is not wise to place everything you own in jeopardy for so little reward. I have tried a unique protective shield.
My shield is a recording of everything I say to a student on the ground and in the air. I have recorded far more hours on the ground than in the air. My students get to keep the recordings as a teaching-learning aid. Some of my students never use them but most of them have found the recording useful and have kept them for many years to my knowledge.
All the good lessons and bad lessons are there but most importantly I have made it a point never to violate an FAR or reasonable safety consideration. At the seme time my lessons consist of multiple opportunities to make judgments related to procedures, weather, performance, etc. Many of which have been discussed as possibilities prior to the flight Others are pop-up teaching/learning opportunities. I do have some confidential advice that I would rather give you privately.
Finally, you cannot teach flying in winds without flying into winds. You cannot teach how to judge weather and visibility without flying into conditions worse than VFR. I do not want any of my students to experience SVFR without my having shown them when and how to both get in and out safely. Basic premises: Only SVFR in improving conditions. I recent weeks I have taken an inexperienced pilot out into marginal but improving or known conditions just to show how alternatives exist if you learn what to look for and do.
You are not teaching your students judgement until you present them with the
hazards and choices available. If nothing else it will get them into IFR
training and through the dangerous period of self instruction so common in
today's aviation. There is no easy way for an instructor to avoid responsibility
or even liability in today's legal and aviation environment. Staying poor is one
way and perhaps the only way.
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Continues on 7.81 Flight Instructor Training Module