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Old 03-30-2012, 06:26 AM   #1  
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There was an excellent article by Rod Machado on AOPA Pilot this month about teaching students basic stick and rudder skills. He talks about how the generation of WWII pilots have diminished as of the 90s and now flight schools are emphasizing more about Higher Order Thinking SKills (HOTS), situational awareness, risk assessment etc. "a method used extensively in the airline and jet community." He cites the infamous Colgan accident and the failure of the flight crew to recover from a basic stall...
I was taught the "old school" way as my FBO has been around since the early 40s. I usually take my primary students up in the Skyhawk that does not have a GPS and try to solo them in that airplane so they don't have to worry/be intimidated by the color screen flashing. With all seriousness, I feel like I cannot emphasize enough about basic aerodynamics. The first lesson is usually a joyride type, try to find their house, have them maintain altitude, and have them look outside, just to get them hooked. On the second flight I teach more on how to use the trim and have them do some climbs, descents, medium turns. I have heard instructors introducing stalls in the second lesson. I am actually a little stressed when I give that all important introductory lesson because I know that first impressions matter a great deal and I want to teach the most basic and important fundamentals of flight during those all too important pre-solo flying. I was handed off several pre-solo students from a previous instructor who moved on and I was shocked and very disappointed to learn that they had no concept of ground effect, what makes an airplane fly, turn etc. Some of them made nice landings, but they had no idea what they were doing! How can he let that happen I wondered! What basic skills do you CFIs teach in those first hours?
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:13 AM   #2  
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Originally Posted by PearlPilot View Post
There was an excellent article by Rod Machado on AOPA Pilot this month about teaching students basic stick and rudder skills. He talks about how the generation of WWII pilots have diminished as of the 90s and now flight schools are emphasizing more about Higher Order Thinking SKills (HOTS), situational awareness, risk assessment etc. "a method used extensively in the airline and jet community." He cites the infamous Colgan accident and the failure of the flight crew to recover from a basic stall...
I was taught the "old school" way as my FBO has been around since the early 40s. I usually take my primary students up in the Skyhawk that does not have a GPS and try to solo them in that airplane so they don't have to worry/be intimidated by the color screen flashing. With all seriousness, I feel like I cannot emphasize enough about basic aerodynamics. The first lesson is usually a joyride type, try to find their house, have them maintain altitude, and have them look outside, just to get them hooked. On the second flight I teach more on how to use the trim and have them do some climbs, descents, medium turns. I have heard instructors introducing stalls in the second lesson. I am actually a little stressed when I give that all important introductory lesson because I know that first impressions matter a great deal and I want to teach the most basic and important fundamentals of flight during those all too important pre-solo flying. I was handed off several pre-solo students from a previous instructor who moved on and I was shocked and very disappointed to learn that they had no concept of ground effect, what makes an airplane fly, turn etc. Some of them made nice landings, but they had no idea what they were doing! How can he let that happen I wondered! What basic skills do you CFIs teach in those first hours?
I was one of those students I traduced to stalls on my second flight.
That lesson ended up with me being very airsick on final approach and losing all *cool* points when I yacked all over the cockpit and my instructor's arm when she tried to get the sickbag from the back seat pocket and in front of me while flying and talking on one of those old hand held mikes
I almost decided to give up lying after that experience figuring that aviation must not be for me. I later realized that I needed to watch what I ate before flying and a SERVING platter of spaghetti with chocolate milk was a poor match with flight training
Lesson learned, lesson passed on!

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Old 03-30-2012, 07:27 AM   #3  
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I was one of those students I traduced to stalls on my second flight.
That lesson ended up with me being very airsick on final approach and losing all *cool* points when I yacked all over the cockpit and my instructor's arm when she tried to get the sickbag from the back seat pocket and in front of me while flying and talking on one of those old hand held mikes
Shame on the instructor for not having the sick sack close with a primary student

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I later realized that I needed to watch what I ate before flying and a SERVING platter of spaghetti with chocolate milk was a poor match with flight training
Lesson learned, lesson passed on!

USMCFLYR
Instructor: "do you ever get airsick? If so, eat bananas before we fly"

Student: "why, for the potassium?"

Instructor: "No, they taste the same coming up as they do going down"
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:43 AM   #4  
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Pearl, the PTS names some mandatory tasks you need to cover to solo someone the first time, and leaves how much of these tasks to the discretion of the instructor. For example, you can demonstrate one stall and satisfy that item, or you can do an exhaustive program making sure the student can do everything to PTS standards prior to solo.

You might be surprised, but I favor a cursory treatment of most tasks prior to first solo. I have found that students who have not soloed do not take their role as a pilot very seriously. Their instructor has been there all along telling them what to do and not do, ensuring their safety, and generally being the pilot. Their thinking caps are not on. They are not "born" yet as far as being a pilot. They need to be kicked out of the nest for one flight to show them they are the only person who is able to do what needs to be done when the instructor is away. My thought is to just get them good at landing the plane, get across how important it is to stay coordinated, then take them have a go at it. I got this viewpoint from an experienced instructor and while it runs contrary to conservative thinking, if you make sure a student is safe enough to just fly around the pattern a time or two it is a good idea to let them go ahead and do it. I try and solo my students as soon as possible for this reason.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:08 AM   #5  
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Shame on the instructor for not having the sick sack close with a primary student



Instructor: "do you ever get airsick? If so, eat bananas before we fly"

Student: "why, for the potassium?"

Instructor: "No, they taste the same coming up as they do going down"
My next INfamous bout with airsickness came with a large deep dish supreme pizza, a long solid IMC flight, and instrument training
Man.......some of the things I let my instructors get me into
I think PP is smarter than that!

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Old 03-30-2012, 08:09 AM   #6  
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Cub, thanks for enlightening me in this matter. Now it makes much more sense. The said instructor was very experienced and he soloed many students in that 10-15 hour range. For some reason, probably because I am still new at this, I spend a great deal of time doing slow flight and explaining to them aerodynamics both on the ground and while doing slow flight. I think it might be a bit too much overkill for a primary student...

UCMC, yes I can only hope I don't get any one of my students sick. Speaking of airsickness I almost hurled in a Pitts S2A while doing spin training for my CFI. If it wasn't for the Cheerios I had for breakfast that morning I cannot imagine the mess/embarrassment I would have gotten myself into considering that this guy was going to hire me...
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:22 AM   #7  
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"KISS" Keep it simple silly. One thing I have learned is to not overload primary students. Unless you are taking the flight controls to talk to them, it usually goes in one ear and out the other. They are so overwhelmed at first, that you need to only say stuff IF IT IS NECESSARY at that moment. Otherwise leave it on the ground and let students make mistakes.

I usually take notes through the flight and do a quick, to the point brief for 5 minutes after the flight. Then what they need to emphasize or practice for next time. It takes a while, but you will see.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:22 AM   #8  
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from my first logbook. Best advice my CFI gave me before solo was: If you're not comfortable on an approach, go around and try again, even fly around a bit if you need to - that took a lot of pressure off. Also seeing him at the end of a desolate runway taking a leak on my second T/G was amusing. Each line represents a flight, first through lucky 13.


Med turns, climbing turns, t/gos taxi, descending, T/Gos Straight Level

T/Gos Slip to landing, No flap, short fld, traffic pattern, taxiing

Med Turns Stalls Imminent, On/off, S-Turns, Turns around a point, Emerg Procs

Med//Steep Turns, Stall Full On/Off, Trim T/Go, Short Landing Spin Intro

T/Gos, Comm, Emerg Procedures, X wind Landings Dutch Rolls

45' Turns MCA w/turns stalls Emerg, Engine out Radio Procedures

T/Gos, Emerg Procedures, X-Wind Turns around point Radio Proc

T/Gos Short/Soft Fld, Radio

T/Gos Slip to landing, No flap, short fld, traffic patter, taxiing

T/Gos Xwind Soft Fld, Short Feld Emerg Proc, Electrical Failure

T/gos' X-Wind MCA Stall, Emerg Proc Radio Pattern

T/gos' X-Wind MCA Stall, Emerg Proc Radio Pattern

T/Go Eng out emergency proc pattern radio SOLO!!!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:16 AM   #9  
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Pearl,

It will become more natural for you as you go on what you want to see from your students. My avg was 15-20 hrs, but mine were non-professional types, only flying for fun. Even with that, it was easy to teach the basics because our planes were just that. One 172 had a loran, the other had a crap "fly buddy" GPS. The 152s had nothing but a nav/com.

Btw, never ever tell a student ahead of time that you plan to solo them that day, easier for everyone when it's a suprise
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