The most difficult thing I have to do when providing flight instruction....

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by AggieMike88, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    ... Just STFU already and let the student who knows what to do and has already mastered the skill just do his thing and do it well....

    I also teach GA's version of sterile cockpit. But boy am I one of the worst violators of this....

    Maybe I need a placard on my side that says, "Overtalking and over teaching prohibited"

    Learning to be a CFI, I had the problem of slowly going quiet as I did the maneuver. My instructor would friendly poke fun at me saying I was like the talking toys with the string you pulled, but I was out of string.

    Who knew with students, I would develop the opposite habit.


    Private pilot license might be "a license to learn". But with a CFI, it's a whole other universe. I feel like I'm learning what I already know all over again.

    And enjoying every loving minute of it.
     
  2. crash7

    crash7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’ve been teaching for about 14 years. Love it. I still have to remind myself to STFU.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I always thought once the skill is mastered the CFIs mission is to talk like two old ladies at a flea market, just not about flying.

    Seriously though, the best instructor I've had so far just lets things unfold without comment then steps in if needed. This is obviously not for a newb pilot, but for things that should be known. He keeps great notes and debriefs as necessary during the flight, then a complete debrief after the flight.
     
  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I'm doing this with my student. And totally agree that it is the best way to learn skills.

    First lesson, after talking about what makes a good takeoff, it was all his doing with me just aiding a bit more right rudder and coaching on pitch.

    I really wish I had a camera ready to capture the grin he had as we roared into the sky.
     
  5. Floyd

    Floyd Pre-Flight

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    Stay off the flight controls. "Your aircraft" or "my aircraft" but not "our aircraft". If you are putting in control inputs how does the student know he is not doing it right? If you need to put in control inputs to stay alive, "I have the aircraft."
     
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  6. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Mike, do a "comatose 8", 400 foot vertical profile. Things happen so slowly you can recover your description and always make stds on the demonstration.
     
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  7. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Show them what you know, don't tell them what you know.

    Running your yap is what ground instruction is for.
     
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  8. Tools

    Tools Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It really wasn’t until I became an instructor did I REALLY gain confidence and better understanding.

    My biggest revelation was noting that when you do talk, the student becomes a voice activated autopilot. Especially true when you’re a fleet qualified Lieutenant and they’re a brand new Ensign... So when you quit talking, they quit flying. Gotta ween them off the coaching! I flatly agree with my own philosophy when remembering back to being a student....

    So like a turd, should probably be tapered on the end! Just sayin...
     
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  9. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    Many CFI feel they need to talk on stop. Due to human nature the student no longer hears what you are saying, they just hear talking. My rule is talk when I need to talk, let the student absorb the sounds of the engine, the wind, the radios, etc.

    I think of it this way, I hear my wife, but do I know what she is saying. Nope!
     
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  10. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Realistic distractions are always in play,
     
  11. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    I tell my students, If I am quiet it means one of two things, either you are doing everything acceptably or I am waiting to see if you will figure out what you are doing wrong and what you will do about it.:) Or I might just be working on my shopping list for when we get done.

    Brian
     
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  12. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    Funny the things one learns while flight instructing:At any given time most swimming pools are not being used. In the SF Bay area, it used to be every TV antenna pointed at Sutro Tower. Or, more importantly, until a student SEES clearly what it is the point his/her instructor is trying to get across, they’ll never be able to perform adequately.
     
  13. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    This was the feedback I gave my instrument instructor. He was a very good teacher, but he never let me screw up in a safe setting. He’d always warn me, usually with an indirect comment that would get me thinking long before I came close to busting a limit, so I never got very far off track. I told him last two times I flew with him to keep his mouth shut unless it’s a safety issue and let me screw up or catch it myself.
     
  14. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    Be aware that your student is not ready to hear many of the things that you are telling them. This is particularly true of primary students who are overwhelmed with all the new information and experiences that they are encountering. You will repeat the same thing to a student multiple times over the course of several lessons then, when he's ready, he'll suddenly hear it for the first time and training will have occurred. Remember that this is normal.

    Give the student time to think. If you are talking most of the time, they can't think because they are trying to listen. If they are thinking, they've stopped listening. Wait, and watch, the student think through something that they are close to being able to do. When they get as far as they can, teach the missing links that they couldn't do on their own.

    By now you are probably starting to understand how important pitch control is. As a CFI, you sit there watching the nose wander up, down, and all around while the student struggles to get the airplane to do what he wants. Show your student where the nose should be and how by keeping it there all of the other pieces fall into place.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  15. crash7

    crash7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’ll second this. I’ve found that if I need to explain something that requires 10-20 seconds, they’re not listening that long. They’re so busy flying.

    So, I will take the controls for just that 20 seconds, fly level, make them look at me while I explain whatever it is, make sure it sunk in, then give them back the plane.

    It really helps.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    I was lucky my initial instructor was great. Didn't touch the controls unless he was demonstrating something or I was going to do something to kill us. Didn't talk too much and when we did it was mostly the ground school stuff. I got my cert and never paid for any ground time passed the written no problem although I did do one of those weekend hotel classes that were popular back in the day. I flew with a different instructor a couple times he was awful. All over the controls. My other pet peeve is instructors talking down or criticizing everything you do.
     
  17. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    Being a good CFI is a real art. I tip my hat to the lot of you!
     
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  18. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Pattern Altitude

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    For all the fears I had that getting the rust off would be a long road.... Say an hour for every year away.... 20 hours +- ... I sat and had coffee with the referred to me CFII.

    He stated that I had to realize I already am a pilot. That it was his job to make sure I was safe and competent for my flight review.

    Now, it took some time... No where near the 20 hours... But adequate briefings and de-briefings made the process shorter and IME, better.

    I'm no where near excellent, and frankly, "just" proficient. So I pre fly all of my flights. Carefully. And think about possible emergent situations... And if I display weakness in an actual flight alone or with company... I go back and try to recreate the anomaly alone, and fix it...

    I am a pilot. I am always learning. I try to share my love of aviation with others... I try to do so in the safest possible manner.

    I appreciate good instructors. If I should be fortunate enough to afford more (much more) flying time... I would someday like to instruct... But, I'm afraid it's unlikely.

    Thanks to all the CFIs and above who made it possible for me to fly.... Even when I tried to kill us both!
     
  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Maybe helpful...

    Briefings / Talking are done on the ground.

    Mentoring and observing is done in the air while they practice what you already talked about.

    :) :) :)
     
  20. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I normally tell students that I will say three things in the cockpit:
    1. "I have the controls"
    2. "You have the controls"
    3. "I'm on light"
    The first two are obvious.

    The last is briefed extensively before we get to the aircraft. I explain that "I'm on light' does not mean I am flying. It means that they may feel my hands on the controls IF they are manipulating them in a manner than might cause an exceedance. This works well since I teach both in airplanes and helicopters. The comment is usually used more in helicopters since you can over torque very quickly and all of our movements are made within a 3" circle with the cyclic.

    In an airplane, it is normally said right at the flare portion when the nose is coming up a little too much. The student normally doesn't even see my hand movement to block an aggressive flare or other crazy manipulation of the flight controls.

    Outside of that I try to NOT talk about flying when having a discussion in the aircraft. It's a bit of divided attention.
     
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  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    You forgot...
    “Clear right.”

    And...
    “I’ll distract the ugly one for you.”

    LOL.

    (And no the bottom one isn’t sexist, everybody needs a wingman or wingwoman! Hahaha! Plus... joke...) :)
     
  22. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ha!

    Unless it's a brand new student, I actually will not verbalize clearing turns. I do look but I want the student to understand what is necessary to fly single pilot.

    I was teaching an IIMC recovery the other day and the pilot asked me to tune in the approach on the GPS. I played dumb and said "how?" As he tried to explain what to do I saw that this was just enough additional distraction for the pilot to lose about 1000' in altitude and start into a 10 degree right hand turn.
     
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  23. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The 3rd is a good thing, especially with a licensed pilot. I bring this up every time now when I fly with an instructor for a check out or lesson. I make it clear that I am PIC, I'll handle the flight and radios like he is a passenger. Then I say, but you are an instructor, you can touch the controls at any time you feel you need to. If I tell you "I got it, I got it" that means "I'm fixing it". It doesn't mean "don't touch the controls, you are welcome to shadow me on the controls." " If you want the controls, just give me a firm "My controls" and I'll give them up."
     
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  24. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've never been an actual instructor, except for illegally teaching a handful of people the basics of flight. But when I was a student, it seemed like I was a magnet for terrible instructors. One guy wouldn't shut up about his latest conquest of bimbo after bimbo he got drunk enough to sleep with him. Then there was the smoker, more than 15 minutes without a cigarette and he went bonkers. We would stop at little airports for him to get out and smoke, because I refused to let him smoke in the plane, then there was the guy who was always late, and when he did show up, was just along for the scenic ride, he didn't teach me a thing. But I had 2 ladies who were good, only did about 3 hours with the 1 woman, but she was fun. The other woman is who I did most of my time with, what an amazing instructor, and great person. We are still good friends now, and I was her student way back in 1999.
     
  25. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I took about 15 years off from instruction give or take the odd IPC or BFR (yes, I'm aware of the name change.) I have since taken two pilots from zero time to commercial in helicopters and have enjoyed every minute. I have also done a bit of dual in a PA32 for insurance check outs. I honestly forgot how nice it was just to sit and watch.
     
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  26. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    There’s a good mix. You need to know when to and when to shut up. Seems like you already figured out what to do!
     
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  27. Paul Hamilton CFI

    Paul Hamilton CFI Filing Flight Plan

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    Use the building block approach, start simple and slowly add tasks as they are learned. A training syllabus is the key to work through an organized progression. Everyone knows where you are and where you are going. Back to the basics.
     
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  28. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The most difficult thing as a CFI is to tell a student that they suck and shouldn't be flying. I've only had one.


    I first learned the art of teaching when I worked on an engineering floor and they had just bought some computers and CAD software (this was the mid 80s so that was a new thing for most companies). The guy who would serve as my mentor had been an educator and on our first lesson he told me there's no such thing as a stupid question, and that if I had to ask the same question several times it was his fault, because he hadn't figured out how to explain it to me.

    Then my CFI for my PPL was a young guy that told me on our first lesson that if it didn't bend the airplane, kill us or risk a call from the FAA that he would let me hang myself. I would learn to appreciate that he never once took the plane for me, which really helps your confidence down the road when there's no one in the right seat.

    I appreciated it enough that it's the first thing I have told every one of my students.
     
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  29. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have done this on two occasions. I simply explained to them that they were not getting the concepts and that they might eventually but the cost associated with continued training would be astronomical. I offered to fly with both of these students occasionally if they just wanted to get into the air.

    Both of the students understood and thanked me. One was in his mid 70's and died of a medical event not long after. The other would call me up every 3-4 months and we would go fly for an hour.
     
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  30. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    And you know why they're tapered?

    So yer butt doesn't slam shut. ;)
     
  31. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I like this as long as you tell a student what inputs you made and more importantly if you didn't have to do anything at all. I had an instructor that would "back me up" on every landing and it was more of a distraction than anything else. If the instructor is providing control input however slight it may be, let the student know, how much, and why.
     
  32. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I found it interesting that all of the training for the CFI checkride focused on learning how to talk your way through maneuvers and learning to talk more. Once you are a CFI, you have to learn how to shut up.
     
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  33. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Teaching is fun. Enjoy the ride Mike.
     
  34. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In my experience, I don't like male instructors, and did like both female instructors. Now I do realize that many guys are probably great at it, so don't be hating on me for saying that. But I do wish there were more women doing it, they seem to get it naturally, where as too many men struggle with the social aspect of the job, even if they are actually okay at flying. Don't try to be macho, don't be too quiet, or just babble on for no reason. Also don't be late, if you are booked to fly at a certain time, be there 3 minutes early, not 30 minutes late. Also have meticulous personal hygiene, we students have to sit very close to you, and don't want you to stink. Especially if you are a smoker, you stink really bad, so at least smoke long before you go fly, and change coats if wearing one. Have a smelly coat to smoke in, then if its cold enough you need a coat to fly, make it a coat you never smoke in. Lastly, if you view yourself as some sort of stud, keep it to yourself, we don't care about your latest bimbo you nailed. Me, I would travel an hour to fly with a woman, even if 30 male instructors were only 1 minute away.
     
  35. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    Makes sense about women instructors. Until I started reading this thread, I thought I had bad instructors but they were better than the worst ones described here.

    I found a good list of questions to ask when interviewing CFIs on Rod Machados blog.
     
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  36. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've liked all (four) instructors that I've flown with, three guys and a gal, but it takes a lot for me to dislike someone who is generally a decent human.

    My instructor talks a lot...though I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be distracting me, since most of it doesn't relate to whatever I'm doing right then. I learned a very valuable trick, though, growing up with many siblings - tuning out people talking when you need to focus. My instructor says she knows when things are harder for me because I stop responding to her.
     
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  37. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, me too on the siblings thing.
     
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  38. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't be afraid to tell your instructor to be quiet if it's a critical phase or you are flustered, it's an important thing to be able to do and not feel bad about it.
     
  39. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh, and DPE too, especially if they tell you to check out the cool sight out the window when you are on final.
     
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  40. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    ISO button...
     
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