Dropping a "student"...

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Dropping a \"student\"...

OK, I've got a "student" thats like 12 years old, and I'm really uncomfortable flying with him. I've only flown once with him, and would like to sensitively get him off my sheet. He doesnt have the maturity or the attention span to concentrate on a lesson, and when we went up all he wanted to do was some "cool stuff", like the "pencil trick" and "pulling some G's". Last time we flew, his entire family was at the airport (and I do mean ENTIRE: mom, dad, grandpa, brothers, aunts, etc.). After the flight, they proceeded to sign him up for another lesson (would be the second with me, and like the 5th total). I didn't want to start a feud with his family in front of others around the FBO, so I just let them go ahead and schedule it with the intention of somehow "unscheduling it" later on (which is what I havent quite figured out how to go about doing). I don't really care to be in the spotlight, and I strongly believe 12 is a little too young (that stunt with Jessica Dubroff awhile back comes to mind). Not only that, but I'm a little worried about liability should something happen. In any case, come hell (from my boss, his family, etc.) or high water, I refuse to fly with this kid again. Any comments and/or advice on how to do this kindly would be appreciated. Also, if theres any legal people out there, I'd like to know if I, or any other instructor who flies with someone that age could be held liable for anything. Thanks...
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

I'd set up a time to speak with his parents in person - or if they don't have time to come down - by phone. But you should explain (diplomatically, of course) what you just said here.

That in your professional opinion, the child is just not ready and for safety reasons, you cannot justify yourself - or anyone else - training him for now.... and that they should wait a couple to three years before bringing him back.

Just MHO. I'm not an instructor, so take it for what you deem it's worth.

Good luck!!
R2F
 

Raskal

New Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

Good luck, we have a few of the young ones around our place too. Sometimes the best attitude is to remind yourself that they pay the bills too...


Actually, one thing I've learned to do is just start taking them on cross countries-you need xc hours for your ATP anyway, so just start flying places. Put the time to some use at least.
 

iceman21

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

[ QUOTE ]
Actually, one thing I've learned to do is just start taking them on cross countries-you need xc hours for your ATP anyway, so just start flying places. Put the time to some use at least.

[/ QUOTE ]

I look at this as wasting mom and dad's money. Words would fly if I found out this was going on with my son.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

I agree. Besides, my whole point is that I'm not comfortable flying with him, so why would I want to fly with him even more on an XC. In any case, thanks for the advice everyone...I'll figure out something.
 

falconcaller

New Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

. [ QUOTE ]
Good luck, we have a few of the young ones around our place too. Sometimes the best attitude is to remind yourself that they pay the bills too...


Actually, one thing I've learned to do is just start taking them on cross countries-you need xc hours for your ATP anyway, so just start flying places. Put the time to some use at least.

[/ QUOTE ] Judging from this youngster's attitude, it sounds hazardous to have him in the cockpit with you under any circumstances. Back in 1995, (anyone else from San Diego County here who remembers this?), there was a fatal crash involving a CFI from one of the FBOs out of a San Diego area airport (I don't remember if California Wings is out of Brown or Montgomery) and a radio traffic reporter. This reporter had had a few lessons from other CFIs from this outfit which was contracted to take this traffic reporter up for his reports; he wanted to show off what he had learned about stalls and wound up nosing the aircraft into a hill near the Solana Beach area. According to the report in NTSB Reporter, this reporter had the same kind of show-off attitude as this youngster.
 

ananoman

New Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

If you were 12 you would be the same way... It is your job as the adult to set limits. It is your job to explain to the kid that this is not how pilots act when they fly, just like his parents don't drive like the Dukes of Hazzard on the way to the airport. Safety should be stessed, and not just while flying. There are those spinning props, etc.

He is obviously way too young to get a licence or solo, so you don't really need to teach everything like he is going to get his private. You could spent time teaching about how the plane works (what the parts are, what they do), how airplanes fly in a very general way, simple wt & balance (more why than how). Let the kid fly around a little, do turns, etc.

CC flying is not really a waste of time. You do need lots of cc for the ATP. Take him somewhere he wants to go. Fly over town and over his house. Go to the airport restauraunt and get him a milkshake. It is fun and that is more what this is about at his age. If the kid is an ass and you can't stand to be around him that is one thing. But you have a chance to do something special here.
 

Raskal

New Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

Haven't looked at this in a while, but allow me to reply about wasting mom and dad's money. The fact that they are putting a child into an aircraft that they can't even solo for two or more years is a waste if you want to look at it that way. Invariably these are well off kids whose schedule is full of "______ (insert various yuppie activity here)lessons" that the moms can discuss amongst one other over wine coolers.

I take great offense at the notion that taking a kid on cross countries rather than out to the practice area or in the pattern is somehow cheating the parents out of their money; I don't believe they need any help in that department. So if words will fly than please impart upon us your knowledge...
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

I don't know how/if this is going to apply to the situation, but, here goes:

I coached youth football (full contact, pads, helmets - football) for six incredible seasons. During that time, I coached the age groups ranging from 9 through 15.

AT lease once a season, we had to sit down with a parent and explain that their child was not cut out for the sport just yet.

Some children learn faster than others. Some mature faster than others. The child you described sounds immature for even his age.

I coached many a 12 year old that had the ability to listen and perform whatever was asked of them. I also coached those who (a) couldn't/wouldn't pay attention (b) couldn't do certain things (c) weren't mature enough to grasp the dangerous aspect of the sport and only saw it as something "cool" to do.

When it comes to the safety and well-being of a child and you are the one charged with the safety and well-being of that child, then it is your duty to make the call when you feel that a child is in a dangerous situation.

I saw one kid get his arm CRUSHED the first year I coached. When he signed up, we tried to dissuade his parents and told them that he needed to grow a bit because he was too small for his age. Our league rules stated that we had to play kids at least five plays a game. SO, we complied. And he got hurt - bad.

He was WAY too little to be out there. HE was WAY too naive for his age. He was MUCH more childish than the other kids and he just didn't get it... and got hurt.

And WHO do you think the parents came after? You guessed it.. us coaches.

So, by all means, do the right thing for yourself and for the child. Talk to the parents and explain that the boy needs another year or two before he's ready.

If they don't like what you have to say, the worst thing they can do is ask for another instructor. You will have said your piece and your concience can be clean.

Good luck!!

R2F
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

Well the thing is, he's mature for his age. But his age being 12, I just don't feel he's mature enough to fly. No 12-year old is. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for young people flying (I've been at it non-stop since just after I turned 15), but I just think 12 is a little too young. My boss is kicking off a "youth-in-aviation" program with some simulator and ground school stuff, so I'm going to try to push his parents into getting him in that. Then he'll be really good with the knowledge aspect of it in a couple of years when he's old enough to really get serious about it. I'm also still curious about the liability issue: Is there anything I can be liable for if I'm with this kid? Do I become his "guardian" if we're at another airport or something? If he misses the step when checking the fuel in the 152 and hits his head (like he almost did once already), am I responsible? I wish I could be more specific about what makes me so uncomfortable flying with this kid, but I can't- it just makes me uneasy.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

Along the same lines of r2f...

I coach a swim team during the summers. There was this one girl, probably 5 (if memory serves), who just was not able to swim safely. It was obvious that she would not be able to be on the team... and the dirty work (telling her parents) fell on my shoulders.

It was REALLY HARD to tell the parents that she was not ready, but the simple fact was that it was unsafe for her to be in the water. The good news was that the parents did not freak out; they more or less knew that she had been a burden on the coaches and had demanded our undivided attention any time she was in the pool.

So I guess the moral is that if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe something must be done about it. Your case is definately a bit more complicated but the basis is the same: You are 'in charge' of someone who you feel is incapable of handling the task required, and it creates a safety problem.

How to deal with it? I dunno, I might ask some of the other instructors if they'd be interested in taking him up, and then tell the parents that you'll only be concentrating on serious students and will be switching the child to another instructor. It dosen't sound like you have any relationship with the family outside of business, so I doubt they would get all wound up over a switch. Another option is to suggest to the parents that the child should wait a few before really going for it. If all else fails you could simply refuse to do the 'pencil trick' or 'pulling Gs' and only perform maneuvers that are done in everyday operations.
 

iceman21

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

Raskal, please do not take my words as a personal attack, because they were not. In the way you presented taking the young boy on cross country flights, that is best described as taking advantage of a person. If the situation was explained to his parents before hand and they still wanted him to take some lessons, I would then proceed with what was mentioned above (taking him to places he wants to go) and tie some education into that.

I am not rich, I don't have ANY money, but if I had some money to let my son take some flight lessons, if I felt he was ready I would. So is it alright to take advantage of the rich person's money and not mine because I don't have that much.
 

sxauer

New Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

What are his parents looking to get out of all this? I think thats probably the important thing here....because after all, if he is 12, he cant even solo for another 4 (i think) years. That is an awfully long time, and more than likely he will have to re-learn everything you tech him by then...so it seems to me that the parents are just trying to let their son have some fun while stimulating his interest in aviation. I could be way off base though...its happend once before...in 1996 i believe...and once again in 1997...and 32 more times in 1999...hehehe
 

Raskal

New Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

Ok, ice, I re-read your post and I maybe can see where you're coming from. No, I do not believe in taking advantage of anyone, regardless of financial status. However, I also don't believe that taking the kid on cross-countries or to places he/she wants to go could be called taking an advantage.

I am of the belief that the kid will have to work hard enough when it comes time to actually get serious. I don't think that numbing their mind with maneuvers and establishing a level of PTS proficiency that will only have to be regained later will help them. Why not make it fun? Why not garner and nourish a person's love for traveling and aviation now, when they don't have to be a student? Wasn't going on your first cross country a million times more fun and exciting than anything you'd done up to that point? If I benefit from the xc hours, and I do, than that's a nice side benefit.
 

iceman21

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

I am gonna flog the horse one more time.

Raskal, I totally understand where you are coming from now. When you first presented the idea it seemed like you would do this without prior knowledge of his/her parents. But hell, if their parents knew about it and didn't mind it, I would fly the kid to Timbucktu if he wanted to go there. However, in my situation it wouldn't happen.
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

In order to drop a student 1) have him unbuckle his seatbelt in cruise flight 2) perform a sudden steep turn to the left 3) open the door 4) Push.

Seriously, I think I would just tell the kid's parents that since he can't solo until he is 16 and get a license until he is 17 there is no reason for him to do a lot of flight training right now. That way you can also avoid having to tell the parents about the kid's snotty attitude! Good luck
 

bluelake

Well-Known Member
Re: Dropping a \"student\"...

why push during the turn? just open the door and then skid with heavy left rudder... he should just slide right out nicely with none of your fingerprints on the clothing....
 
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