Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.


User Tag List

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-31-2008, 10:53 PM   #1  
Asphalt Cowboy
Thread Starter
 
HoboPilot's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Dec 2006
Position: Shotty!!
Posts: 248
Default CFI Help: Dealing With Know It Alls

So the other day in my CFI ground school, I was teaching X-country planning to two students in the Private Pilot ground school class. One of my students was obviously more comfortable and proficient at X-country flight planning than the other. So I gave him the task to plan out a night X-country along the route as the other student planned a day flight.

I tried to split time evenly between the students, giving them individual help, while ensuring they were both doing all the planning correctly and answering any questions they had. The more proficient student was a bit of a problem.

He was set on using mostly towers along the whole route as his checkpoints for the VFR night X-country. More alarmingly he was unwilling to use other landmarks to verify his position with his checkpoints. I tried questioning him about possible problems he could have, like confusing two similar towns with similar sized airports that were only 12nm away from each other. He responded by telling me that he couldn't be blown off course that far. I tried to explain to him how at night time it's hard to judge distance and he could think he was off course when he was actually on course and then get himself even more off course further along the route. However, he was unwilling to accept this and continued planning in the same manner.

This student, even though he thought he was a know it all, when I asked him about any possible radio navigation he could use, he told me he would use the AWOS at an airport that had an NDB. He also told me he would fly a 153 degree course when the destination was northwest of the origin. Granted these are some common Student Pilot mistakes, but he really didn't have the knowledge to back up his attitude.

I decided to help the other student more since she was struggling a little more with her X-country planning, but was more accepting of critique and seemed to want to learn more than the other student.

Since the "Know It All" student wasn't my actual student, I didn't feel it was my place to demonstrate to him how dangerous his lack of attention to detail and relaxed approach to flight planning could possibly get him in trouble in the future.

Since this was just an activity for my CFI ground school, is there something that I should have done with this student to try and change his attitude? Also, how do you deal with a student like this as a CFI?

If any of you other CFIs or CFIs in training like me have any other stories similar to mine, feel free to share them. I'd also like to hear about some tips on dealing with difficult students in general.
HoboPilot is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 05:30 AM   #2  
Moderator
 
Cubdriver's Avatar
 
Joined APC: May 2006
Position: ATP, CFI etc.
Posts: 5,988
Default

I just started teaching too, but I think this student needs a short lecture on Hazardous Attitudes-

A antiauthority, don’t tell me the rules; antidote: follow the rules
R resignation (to failure); antidote: I’m not helpless.
M macho; antidote: it’s foolish to take a chance.
I invulnerability; antidote: it could happen to me.
I impulsivity; antidote: think first.

Arm up with FAA references and be ready to look up what you wish to emphasize for pilots that seem to be doubtful. If they do not believe in FAA reference materials they are going to have a hard life as a pilot but what can you do. Towers are not unacceptable as night vfr waypoints (ref. FAA Airpane Flying Handbook 10-4, 10-5) but they are not the best because they mark obstructions and if you lose lose an engine you may find yourself landing among guy wires and radio towers. Towns and airports are far better. This fellow doesn't know that since he has so little experience, so you have to tell him. I think you should try to warn those who exhibit hazardous attitudes but maybe you didn't have time and place this time.
Cubdriver is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 07:45 AM   #3  
Asphalt Cowboy
Thread Starter
 
HoboPilot's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Dec 2006
Position: Shotty!!
Posts: 248
Default

Looking back on everything, I definitely wish I had been more proactive in dealing with the student's sense of invulnerability. I would have been more than willing to go in depth with him about all the elements of X-country planning he seemed to be deficient at, primarily his judgment if I had more time or was just teaching him.

Unfortunately I only had two hours with him and the other student and since he wasn't very receptive to critique, I decided to focus more of my attention on the other student who needed more help.

I'm glad I got the experience teaching a less than ideal student, however. It's really made me think a lot more about how to approach teaching more so than the good students I've taught in my ground school before this.


I'll definitely be more proactive in the future, especially when it's an issue that could have some serious consequences.

For the sake of discussion, what if the student were to still be resistant to critique? What if he were to continue to insist on this type of relaxed approach to flight planning? Would that be grounds for not endorsing the student for a X-country? Obviously the details of each situation will vary and will affect the answer, I'm just looking for a general discussion on the topic.
HoboPilot is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 07:54 AM   #4  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Blueskies21's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2008
Posts: 878
Default

If I had a student with a similar problem I'd tell him I thought using towers was a bad idea but if he insisted on it, then I'd let him use towers, get lost, get scared, and then tell him where he was. That way he understands why not to do it. That may not be the right answer but I've had a cocky student or two who just won't believe you know better..till he trys it and can't make his plan work.
Blueskies21 is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 08:01 AM   #5  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Slice's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Spartan
Posts: 3,227
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueskies21 View Post
If I had a student with a similar problem I'd tell him I thought using towers was a bad idea but if he insisted on it, then I'd let him use towers, get lost, get scared, and then tell him where he was. That way he understands why not to do it. That may not be the right answer but I've had a cocky student or two who just won't believe you know better..till he trys it and can't make his plan work.
That was going to be my suggestion as well.
Slice is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 08:13 AM   #6  
Gets Weekends Off
 
ryan1234's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jun 2008
Position: USAF
Posts: 1,235
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueskies21 View Post
If I had a student with a similar problem I'd tell him I thought using towers was a bad idea but if he insisted on it, then I'd let him use towers, get lost, get scared, and then tell him where he was. That way he understands why not to do it. That may not be the right answer but I've had a cocky student or two who just won't believe you know better..till he trys it and can't make his plan work.
that's probably the only advice that'll work..experience is the best teacher to some..

wait til conditions are really hazy then go on the night xc with him and just don't say anything the whole flight.
ryan1234 is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:21 AM   #7  
Gets Weekends Off
 
twebb's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2008
Position: CE-650
Posts: 375
Default

I had a case kind of like this, after the day vfr x-country, and the student doing very well, he started to slack off thinking he knew it all. His night x-country planning came back sloppy and his checkpoints weren't very good, and he wouldn't choose new ones. So in the air, I failed everything on a new moon night, he had no navigation except his compass and map. Well he learned pretty quickly that it's very easy to miss checkpoints, not know where you are, and overfly your airport by 20 miles before being told it's behind him.
It sounds mean that you have to really overload them and stress them out, but they understand afterwords, and they will rock the next fligiht.
twebb is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 10:42 AM   #8  
First Rule of Fight Club
 
BoredwLife's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2007
Position: My seat smells like cat pee
Posts: 1,534
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueskies21 View Post
If I had a student with a similar problem I'd tell him I thought using towers was a bad idea but if he insisted on it, then I'd let him use towers, get lost, get scared, and then tell him where he was. That way he understands why not to do it. That may not be the right answer but I've had a cocky student or two who just won't believe you know better..till he trys it and can't make his plan work.

After a few thousand hours of instructing this is the exact way to handle this. Let the student get completly lost and lost bad. Be no help. And make it a point to take control of the aircraft point him in the right direction. AND THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO POINT THEM IS BACK HOME!! You end the lesson right there and require them to start over from the beginning another day. I wasnt an instructor that tore in to students often but when you have a "know it all" this is the best way to put them in their place. Just letting them get lost will shock them but making them start planning from scratch and do the flight again the right way leaves a real lasting impression.
BoredwLife is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 01:28 PM   #9  
Gets Weekends Off
 
the King's Avatar
 
Joined APC: May 2007
Position: JS32 FO
Posts: 845
Default

This is a perfect case of the know-nothing. I had a student like this. He tended to ask irrelevant questions outside of the realm of our lesson and could not grasp instructions I gave him unless I said them 3 to 5 times. And he was training for his Commercial. Given your situation, I don't think you needed to show him the error of his ways. But, I encourage you to talk to his CFI. Let him or her know how the student acted and your concerns, then let it go.

If I were that student's instructor, I would file that and remember when we started night XC. I might even surprise him with an exercise: plan a night flight. This would let me gauge his response, see if he learned something. If on the flight he planned like that, we would go, I'd be silent and unhelpful and then we'd go home and have a conversation about his study habits and the realities of being a pilot.
the King is offline  
Old 08-01-2008, 03:09 PM   #10  
Gets Weekends Off
 
ppilot's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Apr 2007
Position: Left seat
Posts: 189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboPilot View Post
he told me he would use the AWOS at an airport that had an NDB.

Please explain this. I'm not understanding you for some reason.
ppilot is offline  
 
 
 

 
Post Reply
 



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:22 AM.