Joined: May 09, 2005 Posts: 7 Location: Wisconsin USA
Posted: Sun May 15, 2005 4:35 pm Post subject: Why become an instructor
Well apart from the obvious hour building etc I think its a good thing to pass on your skills and knowledge to others.
You should particularly think about doing this if you went to a really good safety minded flight school.
I really didn't realise until I moved on from the flight school I trained at just how good it was. I came across all manner of people whom although they had their licences, should never have been flying commercially and were in fact a danger to themselves and the public.
I question the examiners who passed them in the first place.
I currently have two students who have come to me to become CFIs, how they even got their private licence never mind the commercial is beyond me, they fly like beginners and their knowledge base is appalling.
I now kind of consider it my public duty to more or less re-train these guys without them realising what I'm doing. I must say I find it difficult on some days to find an excuse to take them back to basics although flying from the other seat is usually the reason I use.
I actually enjoy being an instructor, my flying isn't limited to just that though, I also fly commercially for the company I work for, several other operators and for a TV station so I guess I have the best of both worlds.
I would say that if you are a good, safe pilot, pass some of those skills on if you can, it may not pay very well or be very glamorous, but the satisfaction level when they leave you safe to take on any mission thrown at them is worth it.
Joined: Apr 27, 2005 Posts: 518 Location: SE England
Posted: Mon May 16, 2005 8:21 am Post subject:
Yours is an interesting post. What sort of bad habits do you find these commercial pilots have developed, or in what areas is their knowledge or ability lacking? I ask as an interested future CPL(H) and instructor.
Instucting is good for the logbook....but you must enjoy it to be a good Instructor.There is nothing better than taking someone from nothing and watching them walk out with a Cpl at the end of it.You get great satisfaction watching your student's progress and confidence build.You have a great responsability also as what you teach someone will stay with them for thier flying career and this isnt just limited to time behind the stick.I am also lucky enough to work as an Instructor and a Line Pilot.So get to go out Helifishing,filming etc.This is great for the students at our school as they get to see and talk to working pilots on a day to day basis.Also they get to fill the empty seats and if the dual's are in then some free Turbine is in order
Joined: May 09, 2005 Posts: 7 Location: Wisconsin USA
Posted: Sun May 29, 2005 2:18 pm Post subject: Bad Habits and other stuff
Sorry to take so long to come back to you, its been mad, mad busy.
This is the time of year we pick up new students and our season of tour flights has kicked in too.
Bad habits, mostly its things like 'stirring the cyclic' this gets them nowhere and in gusty conditions causes violent heading and attitude changes, another biggy is being out of trim, yet another is being scared to use the radio and then getting the calls wrong.
With the fixed wing guys who convert over, its the danger of the pushover, they mostly dive the aircarft in a descending turn instead of coming down in a level attitude, oh! and of course they try to use the pedals to assist their turns, they cant get used to the fact that a helicopter has no adverse aileron yaw.
On the knowledge side, airspace is the big one, give them a chart and ask them how to get in to somwhere unfamiliar to them in bad weather and they usually cannot tell you and would get busted by the FAA if they had to do it for real. Lost procedures are another big issue, 'who are you going to call'? I'm waiting for one of them to say 'ghostbusters'.
If you are going to instruct, make sure your student can get 100% on at least 4-5 mock tests on the use of charts, airspace and weather minimums, you will be doing them the biggest favour of their flying career.
I have several pilots at commercial level who hope to become CFIs, all I can say is that its going to be a long haul. I'm just happy that they chose me and I can get them back to the standard they should be at before anybody turns them loose on the general public.
But hey, its fun, its a challenge and it pays the bills!!!!
Joined: Aug 23, 2005 Posts: 266 Location: On a course.... golf course
Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:48 am Post subject:
I wanted to have an instructor rating to progress in the military. Usually, you need one operational tour and 1000 hours to be considered, whether you came from the rotary or fixed-wing world. (We had all done training to Wings standard on pistons and jets before heading off to fighters, transport, maritime or helos) After the 4-month course, there was at least 2 years of instructing on basic piston planks or advanced jet trainers. I took the jets.
After the instructing tour would come another tour on your original type, as a squadron instructor, doing type endorsements and currency checks.
The skills learned are not entirely forgotten, and translate easily to the civvy world.
BUT! I cannot understand how the regulatory authorities allow brand new CPLs and even PPLs to turn around and teach new pilots. A new CPL is almost useless in the real world of operations, and they need a lot of mentoring and training to become useful pilots.
There was a saying around some time ago, and I will try to give you the gist of it:
"There are three stages in a pilot's development. The first stage finishes around 100 hours, while the student is in training and has been taught all the basics. He thinks he knows everything, and he is truly dangerous.
The second stage, assuming he survives the first, is around 400 hours, when he realises just how little he really knows.
The third happens around 1000 hours, when the pilot realises that to control the aircraft, he only needs to form the thought, and it happens effortlessly. The pilot and the aircraft have grown together, and if a surgeon were to take a scalpel and attempt to separate the two, he wouldn't know where to start."
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