I wish my instructor had told me...

Pilot Hopeful

Well-Known Member
As I begin to work on my CFI license, I thought it would be beneficial to receive input from other members of the aviation community who might be able to add insight from their own instruction (received or given). Specifically, I am interested in areas you wish your instructor had covered or emphasized in more detail.

For instance, I realized early in my CFI preparation that I could not fly a specific bank angle without the attitude indicator, even in VFR conditions. I quickly remedied this deficiency and will expect my future students to be able to maintain bank angles with the attitude indicator covered (though, of course, they may use it after they have a firm understanding of flying by visual references).

I also wish my early private training had placed more-demanding limitations on altitude deviations. Somehow, I feel now that the early 100-200-foot window left me complacent, and though I can definitely hold altitude within 100 feet, this 200-foot window now makes me feel less proficient. Why not start training by requiring the student to hold altitude within 100 feet and gradually moving the window to ±50 feet as the private pilot check ride approaches?

These are just a couple of ideas. At the same time, I realize my instructor covered other topics particularly well and with vivid images, such as putting water and jet fuel in a good fuel sample so I would recognize impurities. Or simulating an engine failure on downwind…an experience that closely paralleled the partial power situation I faced in the pattern immediately after the private pilot check ride.

How about you? What do you wish your instructor had done? What did your instructor do that you found particularly useful?
 

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
I agree with you 100%. To the point where I feel that some of my instructors may have held back on instructing me everything they knew because I would basically be at the same skill level as them in a short period of time. But I think a big part of it has to do with just flying a lot. I mean when I was at 100 hours flying wasn't second nature to me. When I got to 200 it was like....ok I'm starting to get the hang of it. 300.....ohhhh so thats how its really done. 400.....just another hundred. 500....starting to realize how far away from 2000 or 3000 I really am and flying is becoming second nature. 600....engine backfires, student freaks out and turns to me.....I continue with lesson as if nothing happend becuase I didn't even notice it! lol.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
A couple of things come to mind right away:
1. before departing to the practice area, place the Hdg bug on the DG to correspond to the wind direction. That helped me greatly when simulating engine failure. Instead of spending SO MUCH time looking for a field to land, check the hdg bug and pick out the field.
2. another prop he used was a bicycle tire. he would give it a spin and then add pressure at some point and the wheel would turn 90 degrees the opposite direction. I am drawing a blank as to what he was displaying, but tool was helpful at the time. I think it was something was with slow flight.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
I wish my instructors taught more about flying being an art and not a science.

When I first got out of college, I was darned near terrified of flying new types of aircraft because I didn't know power settings, pitch attitudes and profiles.

It took a while for me to realize that performance isn't necessarily a given pitch + a given power setting + a given RPM setting. Flying is more or less whatever it takes to give you the performance value that you're looking for. It's more a function of kinetic/potential energy and when you're flying a large aircraft, INERTIA!

Like you can be Vref+5, gear down, flaps down and if you have the power at idle in a jet, you're going to prang it on the runway pretty hard. Inertia is starting to work against you and you're slowly runing out of kinetic energy unless you have enough power set to counteract the changing conditions that your wing is acting under.

Wow, I need an editor because none of the above makes sense!
 

PhilosopherPilot

Well-Known Member
"2. another prop he used was a bicycle tire. he would give it a spin and then add pressure at some point and the wheel would turn 90 degrees the opposite direction. I am drawing a blank as to what he was displaying, but tool was helpful at the time. I think it was something was with slow flight."

He was teaching the principle of gyroscopic precession. A force applied is felt 90 degrees from the force, in the same direction. It is the force that causes your heading indicator to precess, and is also the operating principle behind the rate of turn indicator. Cool stuff!
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
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Wow, I need an editor because none of the above makes sense!

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<---- Is/was an editor!


I feel grateful that I have my father because he preaches the "do what it takes" method. I find I'm slowly starting to understand that and fly with that attitude. So far the transition into the tailwheel Champ has been relatively easy and I think it's because of that attitude.

It has caused some conflicts with my training though! Particularly in instrument work. He, and now I, am of the belief that you need to get to a radial and do it now - because if you're not on a radial, or GPS path, you don't know where you are - not take a "textbook" shallow intercept and wait and wait and wait for it to come in. Take a steeper intercept, get the needle moving and then shallow it out/be prepared to act to stay on the radial. I do that with an instructor next to me and it's "shallow out your intercept." LOL.

I wish my instructor had given me more infor/experienc on actual IFR flying - in terms of flying in the system. It's one thing to get practice approaches and work on them and quite another to transition from en-route into an approach.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
I knew I was close. Gyroscopic procession, factor in soft field take offs, not slow flight. I am picking up so much new stuf with my IR training that I have blanked out with some from the private training. I am not blanking out in the air, so that is a good thing.
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
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For instance, I realized early in my CFI preparation that I could not fly a specific bank angle without the attitude indicator, even in VFR conditions. I quickly remedied this deficiency and will expect my future students to be able to maintain bank angles with the attitude indicator covered (though, of course, they may use it after they have a firm understanding of flying by visual references).

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Wait until you start covering the instruments on your PPL students. Some get pretty irked, but then when they see how well it works it's like a lightbulb goes off in their head. They are VFR pilots after all. I'm a fan of bugs on the windshield because they make for good points to match with the horizon.


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I also wish my early private training had placed more-demanding limitations on altitude deviations. Somehow, I feel now that the early 100-200-foot window left me complacent, and though I can definitely hold altitude within 100 feet, this 200-foot window now makes me feel less proficient. Why not start training by requiring the student to hold altitude within 100 feet and gradually moving the window to ±50 feet as the private pilot check ride approaches?

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Another reason why you should cover the instruments on your students. That +/- 500 in the beginning will really decrease once they get the picture what S + L flight looks like. I had a commerical student who couldn't hold within 400 feet. He never learned how to fly as a true VFR pilot.

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Or simulating an engine failure on downwind

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It's amazing to see students turn base when they are abeam the numbers when you pull their engine only to realize they won't have enough room to land on a short runway.

Take your CFI training and learn from it. You're going to learn even more when you get your CFI ticket. If you have the opportunity to back seat on a lesson, go for it! Talk to your CFI buddies and get ideas from them. Take what you didn't learn and turn it into a positive by teaching it to your future students.
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
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I knew I was close. Gyroscopic procession, factor in soft field take offs, not slow flight. I am picking up so much new stuf with my IR training that I have blanked out with some from the private training. I am not blanking out in the air, so that is a good thing.

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It's a factor in slow flight as well. Also, it's the operating principle of your turn coordinator. If you apply a force to any gyro (spinning object) the force will be felt 90 degrees from that point in the direction of rotation.
 

farwellbooth

Well-Known Member
Speaking of flying being an art and a science, this is a really great website http://www.hikoudo.com/index.html It has some great stuff about being a center of calm, being one with the plane etc., getting in the zone etc. Probably a little out there for all the type As but great info. And tons of great quotes too.

One thing I love about my instructor is that we always try and have some fun. Sometimes he gets a little lazy with the rules and regs. instruction but it's up to me to show up with questions and also manage him. There is so much to know it seems each rating is just a tiny fraction of what we need to know. They're just little doors that our instructors hopefully help us open and the rest is up to us.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
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They're just little doors that our instructors hopefully help us open and the rest is up to us.

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Exactly. I honestly believe the instructor is the minimal part of the equation (especially once you get beyond private). If a student wants to learn, the student will learn and the instructor becomes more of a guide.

Ultimately the quality of our training, and the responsibility for that quality, rests on the student's shoulders.

We make of our training what we want.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
I was my private instructor's first student.... which sucked!

I didn't know it at the time..... but the guy really had a hard time teaching. I wasn't even 'challenging' student at all.

Now I'm almost glad I had the guy because I was constantly keeping mental notes on what NOT to do when I become an instructor.

....ended up having around 3 or 4 instructors for private (they left for bigger and better...); so I got to have the expierence of getting a fresh perspective ever 15 flight hours or so...
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
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He, and now I, am of the belief that you need to get to a radial and do it now - because if you're not on a radial, or GPS path, you don't know where you are

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I JUST became a desciple of that very belief!! I was flying on an IFR flight plan Sunday and was cleared as filed.....until I was handed off to another controller who suddenly decided that "you don't fly that way" and instructed me to join an entirely different airway off of an entirely different VORTAC in mid flight.

I wish my instructor(s) had taught to GET TO THE RADIAL as SOON as possible!!

My boss (a certificated flight instructor) and I were discussing what happened Sunday and he said "you see - when that happens, and you are between airways, what happens if you loose comm??? Nobody knows where you are."

Made me think, as I had been taught to take that shallow intercept angle instead of just getting there and getting on the airway. The sooner the better in my book.

Deep thoughts for a Tuesday.

R2F
 

cime_sp

Well-Known Member
the purpose of an instructor is to provide insight to the students.....insight being the grouping of perceptions into meaningful wholes (Aviation Instructors Handbook)

Even the FAA managed to figure that one out! If a student doesn't want to learn, there's no way you can make them. If they really do want to learn, well then your job is pretty easy.
 
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