Should I get a different instructor?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by RalphInCA, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    I'm a newbie looking for a good flight instructor as well. I'm 43 years old (44 in Nov). I went up with an older guy and we didn't get along well. When I invest that kind of money for the PPL plus instrument I want to enjoy flying with the person because I'm going to be spending a lot of time with them. Why spend time with someone who don't like or see eye to eye? :yes:

    I just purchased a Go Pro camera. This will help me remember exactly what was taught in the airplane. If you are still going to stay with your CFI then think about getting one or borrow one. Upload it into your computer and go over the lessons when you have free time. With that you have the sounds and video of what was done. Also you can upload it on you tube so we can all see. :yes:

    IMO I do believe that it is rude to text while you are trying to learn, that means his attention is elsewhere all it takes is a split second for something bad to happen in an airplane the same as in a car yet people still do it :dunno:
     
  2. RalphInCA

    RalphInCA Cleared for Takeoff

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    I agree, especially with your number TWO.
     
  3. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    True enough. But raw talent with no experience is not a good combination either. Although I learn something from everyone I fly with, for serious training I seek out instructors with significant and recent experience flying for hire. IIRC it is possible to get a CFII having landed at only three airports and never having flown in a cloud. No matter how talented he might be, this guy does not have a bag of tricks and experience to transfer to me. His bag is empty.

    Life's a tradeoff.
     
  4. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    First you seem to whine about his phone use, then you stick up for him. You seem confused. It's really your decision. Get used to making them alone if you intend to fly much.
     
  5. Dean

    Dean Pattern Altitude

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    As many others have stated, sit him down and tell him what you want. He is employed by you to provide a service, if he is not meeting your expectations, then look elsewhere. I too had a young instructor that was building hours to get to the airlines. He did a good job, but left me 3/4 of the way through my training. I finished up with an instructor about my age, he taught me more in the short amount of time we were together, than the youngster did. If I were you, I would find someone closer in age.
     
  6. RalphInCA

    RalphInCA Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am aware it's my decision Jim. I was just looking to the people on this board for some advice.

    And at this point I am sorry I mentioned the phone thing.
     
  7. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    I agree, although My instructor was older than me, (56) I would find another around the same age. Interview them and find out why they are instructing, that will give a clue as to how long you have with them.
     
  8. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Talk to the instructor first about your needs; if he won't adjust find a different one.

    There are people I fly with that want what you want and there are other people that want exactly what that instructor is providing. It's hard as an instructor sometimes to meet all expectations..so communicate first.

    It makes no difference what so ever if someone is instructing to build time or instructing because they want to. Either can be a great instructor.
     
  9. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I'd be more interested in his resume.

    Plenty of 50+ yr old CFIs who have very little experience outside of $100 burger runs.

    Good signs, past freight or EMS experience, ATP & Gold Seal CFI, lots of tail wheel time, 137 experience, glider experience, aerobatic experience.

    Most of all it's just matching personalities.

    Picking a CFI based on age is much like picking one based on race or the type of dog he has, might give you some common ground to talk about, but it's not going to help in the air, shy of you feeling uncomfortable with other demographics or something :dunno:
     
  10. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    This. Who cares if they are just doing it to build time? They can be just as good or even better than the guy who isn't doing it to build time
     
  11. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    That is NOT what I was implying,

    That is why I said to interview the potential person. You will interview them for experience and see if they have a love for teaching new students not because they are building hours. When you love something and have an interest it's infectious and you can tell right away, you can also tell if you are going to get along as well. I have interviewed CFI's that was "Just in it for the hours" and I wouldn't fly with them.

    IMO The older guys have a lot of stories to tell and if they have been flying for a long time consistently they are doing something right but no way would I discriminate based on age just experience.
     
  12. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Quite a few young CFIs are excited to fly and love doing what they are currently doing, as well as trying to build their hours up.

    There are also plenty of old guys who have just been buzzing around a 50nm circle from the ol' home drome for decades and would be a hot mess if they had to actually go somewhere new.



    Careful with those wide statements, it shows inexperience in the industry.
     
  13. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FWIW the only instructors around here I have ever heard a pilot complain about are the two old grey hair instructors. The complaint is always the same, that they scared them too early in their training and rushed things. YYMV, do your homework and ignore stereotypes.
     
  14. StinkBug

    StinkBug Cleared for Takeoff

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    Before I decided to put any real money down I went for intro flights with 2 of the schools at my local airport, as well as with an independent CFI. In the end I went with the independent for several reasons. The first and biggest was that I liked his personality and felt we'd get along in the cockpit. Both of the schools had a number of instructors, and I would be signing up not knowing who I'd be paired with. Second was that he is instructing because he really enjoys it. He flys for one of the big airlines a couple days a week and instructs the rest. He's already got all the time, and isn't trying to get anywhere. This can sometimes get in the way when his schedule doesn't match with mine, but it's not a big issue. The last reason was cost, it wasn't a huge deciding factor for me, but it was a factor. Flying with him is a bit cheaper than the schools.

    I'm only about 15 hours in, but I'm glad I took the time to check out a few different options. I think it might be worth your time and money to do an hour with 2 or 3 others just to see.
     
  15. hook_dupin

    hook_dupin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How'd you find out about the independent guy?
     
  16. Shdw1

    Shdw1 Filing Flight Plan

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    Why not approach the instructor first. We try to be mind readers, but like everyone else we are pretty bad at it. So tell "the kid" what it is you're looking for and perhaps he can adjust. Try asking to book extra time, ask for homework to read up on and tell him you'd like to discuss that work before you fly. He is learning from you too, give him a chance to do so before shoving off or heading straight to his boss.

    Edit: Disregard, appears I was late to the party.
     
  17. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Wise action and wise advice.

    Disagree. It is impossible for anyone to personally screen all the instructors that they might fly with. Generalizations are very useful, as long as it is understood that they are not ironclad. For example, "It is unlikely that there are very many black swans, because I have never seen one" is fine. "There are no black swans because I have never seen one" is not.

    Making sound "wide statements" comes from experience in the industry, not from inexperience. So, I would suggest:

    "It is more likely that I will find a good instructor if I concentrate on instructors who are in it for the pleasure of instructing than if I consider those who are building time."

    "It is more likely that I will get breadth and depth of instruction if I concentrate on instructors that have been flying for a long time."

    Example that's far beyond the statue of limitations: My instrument instructor called me one morning and suggested that we go fly. He had just returned in a FIKI light twin and found a ~2,000 foot icing layer with beautiful sunlight above and 1,000+ feet of clear, above-freezing air below. So we went out and he showed me what icing was like. Incredibly valuable, but (here comes the generalization) "a kind of experience that I probably would not have gotten from a flight school, a low-time instructor, or a time-builder." (Edit: Yes, we broke the rules. Hold your fire.)
     
  18. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    There are some rules I'll flirt with, but taking (I'm guessing) a non FIKI small cessna trainer into icing just to see what it's like, that's dumb on a whole nother' level. I've had instructors at my old school with not even 400hrs tt who know better then that.

    Maybe for your next lesson he could bring a torch and some kerosene and teach you "what a engine fire was like".

    You two might want to fill out NASA forms if it ain't too late, also might want to inform the certificate mgmt of the (guessing) 135 he works for before that great decision making of his gets some poor pax killed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  19. drotto

    drotto Cleared for Takeoff

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    The flight school I use has about 6 different CFI's they "employ," and I do use that term loosely. I have not noticed any real logic to who gets assigned to which CFI, but the do attempt to match personalities along with availability to the students scheduled. My CFI, I know had medical issues a few years back, but again has his class 2, and is a middle aged pilot. Because of this, I know he is not in the just flying to gain time to go fly for the big boys. I do not think he would be able to get a job with them at this point.

    He does however fly for a small charter company 4 to 5 days per week in the summer, so flying is his job. I asked him outright about continuing to teach, and he said he likes it and would never give it up 100%, both for the people and getting continued time in small planes. He feels too many commercial pilots lose touch with what it is like in light aircraft. Plus it gives me some confidence that his pass ration is pretty damn good, of his last 15 students, 14 have passed their check ride first time out. He said the last week or so before the check ride he will hammer the stuff needed for both the flight and oral test into me.
     
  20. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    You're certainly entitled to your opinion. Though your not having the slightest idea of what the details of the situation were makes it at least a little likely that your opinion is off base. In the northern part of the country it is almost inevitable that unforeseen icing will be encountered at one time or another, so I was and am happy to have first seen some ice with an experienced pilot/instructor in the right seat. My instructor knew exactly what it was like, having just flown through it. He wanted to show me. There was absolutely no risk and the benefit to me was huge. But, enough thread drift.
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Technically people sue their lawyers and Doctors all the time. And both have Board certification for redress via that route also, where one can appeal particularly bad behavior to their peers.

    Not really any parallel in aviation instructing.
     
  22. GCA319

    GCA319 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Taking you out to see "what icing is like"? Unless you were in a FIKI airplane, that was really dumb. Though, I'll agree that the conditions you described sound doable, things can deteriorate pretty quickly and what might have been an easy out an hour ago in the FIKI twin could cease to exist suddenly giving you no outs
     
  23. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Yes, get a new CFI. Your current CFI does not know how to teach.
     
  24. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Sure I know the facts, as you stated them.

    Your instructor was just flying and KNEW there was icing

    Your instructor took you up in a non FIKI (it was non FIKI right?) plane into KNOWN icing (as you put it he "knew exactly what it was like").

    Your instructor demonstrated wanton disregard for the FARs (most written in blood BTW) and demonstrated poor decision making to a IFR student.

    I lived in the PNW, I have encountered ice in non FIKI planes, and got the he11 out of it, I would NEVER go back into it, especially just to "see what it was like".

    As far as the statue of limitations, those start once the Feds learn that it occurred.

    If you think he was in the right, go talk to your local FSDO, maybe you could recommend him for instructor of the year, I'm guessing it would more likely be a 709 ride and/or the suspension or revoking of a ticket or two.

    Understand this a non FIKI plane in ICE is S T U P I D, every time and twice on Sundays. Quite a few pilots who are far better then you and certainly better then your "CFI" have died to prove that fact.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  25. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    James331, you should probably talk to your doctor. They have drugs that will reduce your blood pressure so you don't blow a gasket. I don't know if they have drugs for self-righteousness, though. Have a nice day.
     
  26. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Lol my BP is more than fine.

    Enjoy your icing and please don't fly over my house or hangar, I just put a new roof on.

    Good talk.
     
  27. Flymeariver

    Flymeariver Pattern Altitude

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    Where is Dr. Laura when we need her lol. Calm down you two.
     
  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Hey Ralph. One old guy to another...

    Check the online Urban Dictionary for the modern slang meaning of the term "hook up".

    You probably have the kids wondering. ;) ;) ;)
     
  29. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    :popcorn:
    Interesting discussion topic likely worthy of a new thread. Let me know if someone creates one.
     
  30. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Legalities aside - in this part of the country - it's not uncommon for people trying to operate in the real world that are trying to actually accomplish something with their airplanes to fly non-fiki aircraft into conditions where they might pick up ice provided there are good outs.

    Thousands of feet of clear air between the cloud bases and the ground provides a pretty good out. There are certainly instructors out there that recognize the above and will expose the appropriate students to such conditions so that they can see what it looks like to take on ice and how to deal with things when it occurs.

    I would rather someone see it first hand with an instructor that knows what they're doing and is ensuring there are appropriate outs versus running into it for the first time when they're solo.

    Fly enough IMC and it's just a matter of time before you take on some ice. Better to have a clue then be afraid of training for that when the situations are appropriate.
     
  31. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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  32. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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  33. CTLSi

    CTLSi Ejection Handle Pulled

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    When picking a CFI.
    1. ya gotta be able to tolerate each other, you will spend a lot of time in the air often frustrated and struggling.
    2. get a sense of his currency and expertise
    3. avoid guys that are kinda macho and egotistical, you want the skills not the hot dog stories
    4. don't be afraid to change, or get someone else for one or two things you are not getting from your main guy (i did that for breaking thru my landing block).
    5. get a guy that expects you to fly the plane unless you are being unsafe. if he takes control too much, you won't progress very fast.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  34. hook_dupin

    hook_dupin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll add a 6th one: Get a guy where your schedules match.

    My clientele is virtually all working professionals because I, like them, have a week-day job.
     
  35. matthammer

    matthammer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As a former active CFI, thank you for posting this. While I disagree with your instructor for texting while under power, especially while airborne, it's nice to see folks out there standing up for the fact that paying $30 dollars an hour doesn't make your CFI your personal slave.

    The key to having a good experience as a student (or, for that matter, as a CFI) is and always will be good communication. It sounds like you're doing the right thing by expressing your concerns and demands. Whether it's time to jump ship and find a new CFI is something every student has to decide for themselves, although a good CFI may make the recommendation him or herself if things don't appear to be working out. It's one of the more awkward issues frequently encountered in an industry that forces two people to occupy a small space in an aluminum can with wings.
     
  36. ferrari-tech

    ferrari-tech Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had the choice of three or four instructors at my school.... all very good pilots and good instructors... So I just went with the girl with the biggest boobs.......:D


    its your money spent it how you want and with whom you want...
     
  37. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    x2

    You are wise enough to know how you learn best. There are tons of instructors out there and I am confident you'll be able to find one who works for you.

    I am 42 and recently finished instrument training. I am a thinker and a processor by nature (engineer). I like to think things through before doing them if possible - which would make me 'slow' to some instructors. But I also come prepared and I ask a lot of questions and I focus. I read a lot at home.

    I told all this to the chief instructor and he paired me with a young kid fresh out of AZ State's flying program who had about 100 hours more than me. :no:

    I thought it wouldn't work, but I gave it a chance and it turns out that "kid" was ex-Army so he was a very hard worker, he came prepared and was very willing to let me learn however worked best for me. Great instructor, patient and flexible and a damn hard worker. I ended up acing my checkride after exactly 40.0 hours of instrument flying.

    You might talk to your current instructor and see if anything changes. If not, move on.