My CFII Failed 4 Check Rides... Should I get a new one?

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Abe, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. Abe

    Abe Guest

    I just started a flight training program that will take me through my IR, multi, and CPL within the next six months. I found out a couple of days ago that my CFII (who I'll have throughout the entire program) has failed 4 check rides. Do you think it's in my best interest to switch? Am I basically destined to fail some rides if I stay with him? I'm slightly worried about stepping on someone's toes if I tell the school I want to change instructors.

    As an aside, it took 4 drawings and another CFII to draw a correct holding pattern entry and a couple of other similar mishaps within the last week. I'm curious if anyone else has had similar instructors and how it's worked out for them.
     
  2. Wade

    Wade Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well he\she should be really good at checkrides after 4 tries.
     
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  3. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I know a CFI who failed a few rides and when on to passed many students on their first try. I'd give him a try before you ditch him/her.
     
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  4. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Can you state this again more clearly? I don't really understand what you are talking about.
     
  5. Abe

    Abe Guest

    We were going over how to enter holding patterns and he could not draw a proper diagram. He drew/erased the holding pattern and entry procedure three different times before he thought he had it correct (the third time he used the AIM and still had it wrong). I had studied up prior and kept saying I didn't think it was correct. Another instructor overheard my questions/confusion, walked over, and correctly drew the entry procedures.

    What really worries me is that he stumbles through each explanation (similar experiences with an ILS explanation and VOR explanation) almost as though he is taking guesses until he gets it correct. I don't expect him to know everything, but I do expect to be told the correct information the first time around 95% of the time--whether that be through memory or through consultation of the AIM, IFH, IPH, etc..

    I should also mention I am his first student. I don't want to quit on him so early on, but I'm scheduled to take my IR check ride in one month and I don't want to fall behind/fail.

    The way I see it, he had his chance and he failed four rides. IMO, that either points to lack of skill or effort, but I'm no expert.
     
  6. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Personally, I couldn't care less how many check rides he failed. But not knowing the material he's supposed to be teaching you would be a major issue for me.
     
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  7. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    It's ur money, if u are not comfortable with him and cannot trust him I doubt u will learn anything. A cockpit is not a place to second guess every decision ur CFII is making. If i have doubts with my CFI, I would switch

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  8. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    No idea how many checkrides my instructors over the years failed. But as a new CFII he should be able to draw a holding pattern. I have barely used my double-I and I'm pretty sure I could walk up to a whiteboard right now and draw it correctly...and if I had an instrument student tomorrow I would make damn well sure to brush up on the topics I was about to teach him or her. Seems like your money is better spent on someone else.
     
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  9. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, as much as I hate to say this, I'm with Wannafly. However, from what you're written it appears he/she is just an inexperienced CFII with no real world experience either, maybe as a CFI period. If you change now, you'll indirectly hinder and slow his development as an instructor. It does take time and a few students to get going. But damn, he should be able to explain holding pattern entries in his sleep almost. 4 failures of check rides is concerning also. Hard call to make but in the end your money and your expectations for quality instruction. No one would blame you if you do switch.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I don't get it. Why would anyone pay for an instructor that isn't able to instruct? Again, could care less about inexperience, or failing check rides. If they can't do the job, what are you paying them for?
     
  11. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

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    "If you change now, you'll indirectly hinder and slow his development as an instructor. "

    I hope you're kidding.....

    Abe,
    I would RUN....let him learn on someone else. When you buy a new car is it ok if it works some of the time. You want someone that is going to teach you solid skills without F'in up.

    Good luck!
     
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  12. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Understand Salty, and I'm not disagreeing with you. Just explaining it from another angle. But yes, your hard earned money.
     
  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, I am not kidding. But I also wrote I understand expectations for quality instruction too. If no one chooses this person as a CFI, he'll never gain experience and become a good CFI. Not to say not everyone is cut out to be an instructor, or a pilot for that matter, and this one may well fall into that category. Just throwing another way to look at it, that's all.

    Oh yeah, and it's not a student's responsibility to be subjected to someone so they can gain experience and hopefully become competent.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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  14. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    It's an old joke....."give him another chance, give him another chance...."
     
  15. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    What were the checkrides that he failed and why?

    I failed my instrument ride on the NDB approach. We finished the ride and all I had to do was come back and do the NDB approach again.

    I failed my ATP ride because I forgot to flip the suicide switch, that is I used the localizer instead of the gps on a gps approach. Something I have never done since.

    I probably should have failed my CFII checkride oral, but I was able to find my mistake and explain my way out in a way the examiner liked. Or rather he enjoyed seeing me sweat it out....

    In all examples I learned and have never made the same mistakes again. However I haven't done a NDB approach on over 10 years.
     
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  16. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Let me ask this, how much is your CFI paid per hour?
     
  17. Abe

    Abe Guest

    Not much I'm sure....
     
  18. Abe

    Abe Guest

    Yea, to be clear, I'm his first student ever--instrument, PPL, or commercial. I get that it does take time, and I would like to be able to help him out cause, ultimately, I'll be in his shoes at some point, but I'm beginning to think he just doesn't care. Not sure if every instructor goes through this phase at some point or not. Maybe I should just sit down with him and say that he can't recite things from memory if he isn't 100% confident and that I feel like he needs to prepare more prior to the lesson... but that conversation might not go too well.
     
  19. Abe

    Abe Guest

    Honestly, I don't remember cause there were too many of them... I do know he failed his PPL though.
     
  20. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    It doesn't seem like the problem with OP's instructor is a lack of "experience".
     
  21. Abe

    Abe Guest

    That's a good point. I definitely find myself asking "is this really true" for everything he tells me--whether that be on the ground or in the air.
     
  22. Abe

    Abe Guest

    Yea, I'm ok with lack of experience. Everyone has to start somewhere and I'll be in his shoes shortly. But when he's failed four rides, I'm beginning to think he's unprepared/not knowledgeable, and I'm his first student, I get pretty worried.
     
  23. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Well, not telling u what to do, but I trust my CFII blindly. I think there is one time I questioned him, it was funny, first simulated engine out, he asks me to close the throttle, I turned to words him and asked him ... Are you sure? He smiled and said yes.

    On a serious note, if u are questioning every thing he is saying...this is not going to work out. You will eventually try to verify from other sources, here, YouTube and do something dangerous because u don't know what u don't know and u can't trust one person who is responsible for you knowing everything about getting ur butt down safely. This equation is not good.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
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  24. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I am not in your position and I don't know your instructor, but I went to an accelerated flight school. In my private class, 10 out of 11 failed their PPL ride on the first try. Some of the others had countless numbers of hours flying manipulating the controls with a parent.

    As I said earlier, I failed my first instrument checkride, but I have passed many pt 135 checkrides since.

    And it's not unusual for a CFI candidate to fail a flight instructor ride. And I had instructors that failed checkrides previous to them becoming an instructor.

    But it is your decision. No one can make that decision for you.
     
  25. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I changed primary instructor when it became obvious that the guy I had wasn't going to solo me in the near future. I went back to that instructor for a FR and mountain training.

    The past doesn't matter. Are you learning to fly in an efficient manner? If not move on.
     
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  26. Clip4

    Clip4 Pattern Altitude

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    Sounds like you are training at a puppy mill. The only thing a CFI can teach you is what the last CFI taught him. No one has any real flight experance. Dump your current CFI if you want, but the rest aren't going to be much better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  27. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe the CFII's examiner held him to the highest possible standards to make him an amazing CFII, thus failing him 4 times.
    Lol..nah...that would include knowing how to draw a pattern.
    I mean damn, I've never drawn one, and I am just a 30hr student, but I feel like I could.
    How the hell you going to fly one if you can't even draw it?
    Am I crazy for thinking like this?

    If you want to switch and be easy on the guy, just state that other pilots have suggested you try out multiple instructors for different views/opinions of your skills and learning habits, and you think that's a good idea for a few lessons. Then decide.
    If he can't cut the mustard, (which is sounding somewhat likely) he'll be gone anyway and you'll, 1. have learned from a crappy instructor, and 2. have to change anyway.
    So, do what you want, it's your money, your time, your life.
    You may well teach him something by switching...meaning "I better know what the hell I'm doing if I want to keep any students" and make him buckle down and get his shiit together.

    4 failures and can't draw a pattern?
    If that company is anything like the place I work for, he may be promoted soon.
     
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  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Screw up to move up.... I have seen that before..:confused:
     
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  29. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Pattern Altitude

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    That's five rides, failed four, can't draw a holding pattern?
    (I admit that he/she might have a couple more if they added multi engine privileges, but still)

    I'd run. It's your money. You choose how to spend it.
     
  30. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Find a better CFI, don't ask for the best school, as for the best CFI and go to him, ask on here for recommendations. A CFI is the single most important facet in your journey to become a pilot
     
  31. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

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    Failure is also part of learning and improving. Having a few clients walk because he sucks might help him out.
     
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  32. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    He doesn't know what he's supposed to be teaching, dump him. He has no teaching experience, dump him. You are the customer, buying training. You are not some kind of charitable organization whose job it is to train him. The failed rides are the least of it.

    Much more importantly, IMO, is finding an instructor who has actually flown for a living. IIRC a new CFII has to have landed at only three airports and may not ever have flown in a cloud. For a PPL maybe a lot of real world experience is not critical, but for an instrument rating (again IMO) the instructor has to have significant experience in the system. There is a lot that goes on that is not in the textbooks or on the written tests. There is a lot of really stupid stuff ("all traffic please advise" "Denver Center, N1234 is with you level at 6000.") that an instructor need to recognize and point out to you. He/she also needs to recognize approach clearances instantly and accurately. There is a standardization to those and to other communications that he/she needs to have down cold in order to teach you. There are also tricks and tips for clearances that are not written down anywhere. And on, and on ... None of that is going to happen with a novice instructor.
     
  33. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I had no teaching experience prior to becoming a CFI. I didn't have any "real world experience" either. I'm glad my first students gave me a shot otherwise I'd still be at 250 hours! The reality is there aren't a lot of opportunities around for a 250TT commercial pilot besides getting their CFI. We want them to have real world experience but how do they get it? Not saying it's impossible but the options are definitely limited. Kind of reminds me of this meme

    [​IMG]
     
  34. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Yes. Life is not fair.

    But no student should feel obligated to pay for inferior instruction in order to "give an instructor a shot." A student should have only his own self interest in mind when shopping instructors. Seeking wisdom and real-world experience is part of that. You can get killed doing this stuff, so having anything but the highest standards for the training experience is just plain stupid.
     
  35. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Pattern Altitude

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    There's a difference between inexperienced and just not good.
     
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  36. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yep I agree. Just a different perspective. I'm glad I got my big break. Hiring a newbie CFI doesn't mean you're not getting the highest standards.
     
  37. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    And I agree with that. A newbie CFI can teach to high standards and may even be a really talented teacher. But even if a student finds that needle in the haystack, that newbie still doesn't know all the stuff you can only learn by flying in the system.

    In my case, after I got my CPL I decided that I would wait for the 1,000 hour point before I'd evaluate whether I had enough experience to, in good conscience, offer instructing services. At 1K I had over 100 airports in my logbook and over 30 tail numbers. I'd run into ice a few times, but did not have a lot of night cross-country time, and only about 35 hours of hard IMC, maybe half of that solo. I had a couple of hundred approaches, but most of them were practice approaches in IMC or under a hood. In looking at all that, I decided that I was marginal but probably could offer instruction in good conscience, but I also decided that instruction was not something I wanted to get into. So I never did it. I would advise the OP to seek out an instructor with at least twice the experience that I had at that point.
     
  38. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Exactly. You don't know why you don't know. It would be nice to somehow bridge the gap between commercial and CFI like being able to sit right seat in a 135 operation to get some experience. I think the 135 SIC minimum requirement is 500TT.
     
  39. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I probably couldn't draw the hold entry diagrams off the top of my head either, mostly because (1) I don't enter holds according to a formula, but what works best in the current situation, and (2) the 480 suggests an entry type according to the standard formula.

    But I'm not a CFII. If I was, you can be damned sure I would review the book and make sure I knew how to draw the diagram, and teach it properly. That's the one thing the OP mentioned that makes me think this CFII is not worth his hourly rate. I don't care if he failed some checkrides, lots of people fail checkrides the first time and pass the next time around. But if he can't teach, ditch him.

    So yes, bottom line, my advice would be to find someone else.
     
  40. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You should never blindly trust a CFI. They're not infallible and you should always double check their answers if they don't give you a reference.

    Too many bad CFIs out there that guess or give wrong info because they heard it elsewhere.

    But this guy takes the cake. You should not care how many checkrides he failed. He also passed those four checkrides, so clearly he has he skill and knowledge to have gotten his ratings.

    What you SHOULD care about is the lack of knowledge on the subject you are currently learning. He should not be guessing on anything. He should be teaching you and giving you references so that you can answer the question yourself if someone asks.

    This guy is gonna kill someone someday. Don't let that someone be you.
     
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