#Rant: Biannual Flight Review instead of Aircraft Checkout?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by RyanLikesFlying, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can use whatever DPE you desire.
     
  2. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Line Up and Wait

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    Several comments:

    Background: I was an instructor with 1800 hrs. dual given and I've done plenty a/c checkouts. I worked with 6-10 military guys wanting to get their ATP. Airline background with training department experience.

    What do you need to work on? There are several items that were not checked off on the form you shared. I assume that either you ran out of time or were deficient in those areas. I assume the reason why you needed a second hop is to get those items checked off.

    Do you normally need a BFR vs. a typical rental checkout. This varies widely. I have been asked to do effectively a BFR and I've had checkouts where it was a couple of laps of the pattern. In the future, you need to call and ask what a rental checkout entails. Some are extremely formal and yes, the 141 places tend to go in this direction. Buyer beware. This is one area where it pays to due some research. Do you expect me to fly the airplane safely or do you expect me to fly it exactly the way you want it flown? What are the norms when it comes to checkouts? I think that most folks going to a G1000 equipped aircraft would expect multiple hops. I flew one once with a CFI friend and I could fly it VFR just OK. Maybe you were expecting your G300 experience to carry you further than it really did and/or those aren't the areas where the instructor felt you needed more work.

    The prices are right in line of what I'd expect to pay for a restart Cessna 172 w/G1000 and the instructor rate is inline with most 141 schools. I don't think you were gouged.

    Instructor comments. As a high time pilot, I expect that sometimes an instructor will have difficulty communicating deficient areas. I try to put the instructor at ease and let him know that I'm here for a learning experience and that I expect and welcome negative feedback. Think of it as if you were giving your squadron commander a check ride.

    Training expectations: The modern flight school is nothing like a formal training program that you saw in the military or at the airlines. Unfortunately, the civilian standard is much lower and varies widely with each instructor. I find that the best way to handle this is to be proactive with the instructor. I'd call ahead of time and ask what exactly will be covered? What materials is he/she using as a baseline? I'd ask in a polite way what my progress was and how it compared to the standards that he was using. What did you think of that steep turn? How did it compare with the PTS or ACS? What can I do to improve? I would always expect my performance to meet or exceed the standards for the rating I hold.

    I wasn't there, so I can't comment on how you flew. You need to take a mirror and look hard at your performance and how it compares to the ASC or PTS. What I can give you is an honest opinion based on my experience with other military pilots. I generally found that most military pilots were overall good pilots. However, there are big differences between what a military pilot does and what is needed to fly a general aviation plane. Most military pilots needed help in certain areas where the military experience didn't translate well into civilian flying. Most military pilots were very receptive to this and a few were not. Those could not understand why their military experience didn't cover everything in the civilian world. Those guys were a pain and gave military pilots a bad reputation.

    What to do going forward? With the prices being inline, I'd finish the checkout, but I'd call or stop by and get a lesson plan or at least an idea of what was needed. If you're thinking of getting additional training, I'd either look elsewhere or really sit down with the chief instructor. Let him know what the schools reputation is. Ask him to defend the program. Become active in the process and don't just expect to show up. It's a buyers market in aviation.
     
  3. woodchucker

    woodchucker Line Up and Wait

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    I think a poll question is in order: Has anyone ever NOT been signed off on a flight review? I've only done one, and anything in flight that wasn't to satisfaction was done again. Same thing on the ground. This smells of bs.
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    As a CFI I’ve refused to sign only 2 people off. We did another flight and they flew fine and got the sign off.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  5. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think I didn't sign one off, maybe two, flew another flight and they were fine like Jordan mentioned.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  6. gasfiltered

    gasfiltered Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This place clearly sounds like a rip-off. That said the number of good 141 schools is greater than the number of cheaters. I used Post 9/11 GI bill twice. The second time was after the helo-schools debacle and I can tell you, the vetting of programs was thorough and completed by aviation professionals, not just VA bureaucrats. I have also worked for a company that provided initial flight training to military pilot hopefuls, the DoD was extremely detailed in their requirements.
    This honestly sounds like a place that has gotten rich bilking foreign governments for money, managed to fake it and slime through a VA audit once, and has no idea about the comeuppance the VA could deliver.
    I just don't want everyone on PoA to get the idea that all 141 is ineffective or wasteful or that those of us who used it responsibly are stealing your tax money for joyrides.
     
  7. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Pattern Altitude

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    In 4000 hours of dual given, yeah, I've had a few. Most agreed and even expected that more than one flight was needed. Others had no clue or ability to self assess their skills. Those are never fun conversations.

    As far as rental checkout vs. flight review, I don't see it as that big a deal. If you can't pass a flight review, I'm not renting you a plane. This is not a business where "the customer is always right". As a flight instructor, my job is to give you the training required to insure that you are safe. But I also have a responsibility to the flight school and leaseback owners to protect their assets. There are two common questions used to describe the evaluation process: "would you let your family fly with them?" Or "if it was your airplane, would you toss them the keys?" Sometimes, it's tough to make that assessment in just one flight. And yes, sometimes it is just a feeling as opposed to a deficiency in specific tasks.

    Some common reasons why I have wanted more than one flight for a rental checkout in the past even though the skills seemed to be ok:

    1. Pilot is new to the area, and could use a little more familiarization.
    2. Transitioning to the G1000. This can easily take more than one flight.
    3. Transitioning from carbureted to fuel injection. It's a different starting process, you want to see them do it more than once.
    4. Directional control. Sure those landings looked acceptable, but I couldn't quite assess I you are really up to par because it seemed like you were able to "get away with it" because the winds were calm. I need to see what you can do when it's blowing 15 knots, and we just can't do that today.

    The worst are the guys who walk in off the street and want to get checked out "in the fastest thing you've got because I'm taking my family on vacation next week". You would be surprised how often we get this. I had one guy attempting to get checked out in our retract. In the course of our first flight, he had forgot to bring the gear up twice and forgot to put it down once. He then couldn't understand why I told him he needed a little more work. He got very ****ed off and stormed out never to be seen again. Know what my boss said? THANK YOU!

    Before you label me a hardass, I'm just explaining some reasons why a checkout or flight review may take more than one flight. In twenty years of instructing, I have done many in the minimum time, and don't believe in dragging it out any longer than necessary. I personally don't do it for the time or money, so if I tell someone they need more training, it is sincere.

    To the OP, I'd say give them one more flight, and if you still feel like you are being taken advantage of, take your money somewhere else.
     
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  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did you ever not sign someone off and not be able to tell them why?
     
  9. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Pattern Altitude

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    No. I always explain what I am thinking. Had a few that didn't agree with me though. Many folks are weak in self assessment.

    And I'm also just trying to point out, that sometimes just performing all the maneuvers up to ACS standards isn't enough. Sure you physically flew the airplane just fine, but if I had to coach you through everything and you just weren't acting in a PIC manner, guess what, I'm not tossing you the keys so you can go kill your family. Let's work on it. But you will know exactly what I'm looking for.

    In the OP's case, was the instructor a jerk? Maybe, maybe not. We are only hearing from the side a pilot who was disappointed he didn't get the expected result. Maybe he's getting fleeced, maybe he truly does need another flight. We don't know, we weren't there. Should he have been told exactly what he needed work on? Most definitely.

    I'm not saying this happened in this case, but I have seen this both students and first officers I have flown with: as soon as you start telling them that they fell short of the desired result, they shut down. I've had conversations as to exactly what I was looking for and what they need to do to improve, and by the time they go talk to the chief pilot, their version has no resemblance of what we actually talked about.
     
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  10. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ether way, not signing him off and not being able to articulate why, there just is no excuse for that, and if that's what happened and the OP didn't make it up, put and fork in that, NOOOOPE
     
  11. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Line Up and Wait

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    The sheet showed items as not complete. Not sure if they ran out of time or if they were attempted and not satisfactory.
     
  12. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    If everything on that sheet is "mandatory" for a flight review, that's another strike against the school.
     
  13. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Seasonal flight review humor:
    upload_2017-12-23_8-32-5.png
     
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  14. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Line Up and Wait

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    i didnt sign one off just because I wanted to see her again, it worked, we have been married 18 years.......
     
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  15. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You dog, good for ya! ;)
     
  16. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner En-Route

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    Does she know?
     
  17. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    If she looks at POA, she does now. :p