Update to: Instrument Training - Need a Professional Opinion

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
I arrived last night, and after the initial greetings, we went upstairs to the conference room. my instructor had asked another instructor to join us.

In his hand, my instructor had a folder that ASA puts out that is red and white and says "Instrument Student" on the front. Printed on the front was my name, social, etc., so I thought "good. The boy has done his homework". Then, after a few minutes of talking about why I asked him to prepare a syllabus and the reasons why I am frustrated, he tells me that he thought that it would be in my "best interests" to switch instructors to the other "for a while".

His reasoning:
1. It's not a good idea to have the same instructor all the way through.
2. Switching would give me a fresh perspective.

Turns out that he had not prepared anything. The folder was simply what they are required to keep. In it was a breakdown of the IFR training flights he and I had done to date.

This is where he asked the other instructor for any comments:

He basically lead off with: "this is the rating where most students wash out...." Then he went on a long dissertation about students who "wash out" and why.

Then it was my turn.

I explained to both that:

1. Never has the thought of quitting crossed my mind.
2. Part of my frustration stemmed from not knowing what to expect from lesson to lesson.
3. Part of my frustration was from being barked at in the cockpit. I explained that I felt that my frustration had rubbed off on my original instructor and that the two of us being frustrated in the cockpit just wasn't working.
4. The length of time that it might take to complete the rating was not an issue. I'd rather take it slow and do it right than rush it and be incompetent.

Then both instructors addressed the issue of a "written" plan and both said "well this being Part 61, there is no real written plan. It's goal oriented and based on what YOU want to do...."

My (now former) instructor then excused himself (goodbye) and the (supposed "new) instructor and I had a lenghty conversation wherein the jist of it came down to him telling me that:
1. He would not be available to fly Friday evenings, Saturdays or Sundays. And would only be available two days a week because he drives an hour both ways.
2. There are "two types of instructors. Those just starting out and those at the end" and both he and my (now former) instructor were near the end as they have both crossed the 1000 hr mark and thus would be (his words - I [expletive deleted] you not) "occasionally blowing me off for multi-time".

So, there it is in a nut-shell. Before I tell you what I'm thinking, please give me your thoughts. Thanks.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
Well, that's a real shame but I'm not really surprised. Welcome to the wonderful world of aviation! The only thing they've accomplished is to tarnish the hard work of many honest CFI's out there...And, there are many out there!

Don't get discouraged but don't spend another dime with those bozos, they have a different agenda then you and "your" needs are not theirs! Besides, I doubt either one has spent much time in IFR conditions to impart any real useful knowledge. I've discovered that the "screamers" are the ones that are most insecure with their own abilities.

Wish I could take you on as an instrument student since I'm not "time building" nor looking to move up the ladder, but I haven't used my CFII in a very long time.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Bungholes, the both of them. Here are my problems:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
He basically lead off with: "this is the rating where most students wash out...." Then he went on a long dissertation about students who "wash out" and why.

[/ QUOTE ]

I've had more of my students fail commercial than fail instrument. And neither was specificall a "wash out" because there really isn't a specific training 'wash out' during part-61 training. You train to proficiency and move on.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
"well this being Part 61, there is no real written plan. It's goal oriented and based on what YOU want to do...."

[/ QUOTE ]

If you were a private pilot student with no aspirations of being a professional pilot, that could be true, but since your instructor whom you were paying megabucks per hour doesn't have a written game plan, he's unprofessional and doing you a great disservice. I was a part-61 CFI and I made sure all my students had an idea what to expect as far in advance as possible and I did my best to be clear about performance expectations. A good CFI will also explain precisely why you're doing certain maneuvers and in what sequence.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
1. He would not be available to fly Friday evenings, Saturdays or Sundays. And would only be available two days a week because he drives an hour both ways.

[/ QUOTE ]

At this point, I would have told him to beat it. I worked holidays, birthdays, saturdays and sundays for my student's benefit because they were the customer. I also drove 75 minutes daily from Dublin, CA to San Jose, CA and never blinked an eye.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
2. There are "two types of instructors. Those just starting out and those at the end" and both he and my (now former) instructor were near the end as they have both crossed the 1000 hr mark and thus would be (his words - I [expletive deleted] you not) "occasionally blowing me off for multi-time".

[/ QUOTE ]

The only redeeming thing about this is that he was honest about his lack of caring about your situation. Personally, I'd make it even easier to chase after that multi-engine time by not even bothering with using him as your CFI.

Man, these two guys make me pretty angry. I don't know whether or not it's the 20 ounce Starbucks I just drank that's got my blood pressure up, but these two guys are lousy bums.

Expect your CFI to be there on time, have a game plan and look out for your best interests as a student.

Worse comes to worse, email me the telephone number of that flight school and I'll have a chat with the chief pilot myself.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
THANKS to you both!!

And, A300Capt... I wish you were able to be my instructor too. Thanks.

Just so you guys know - I'm AM through with those two. AND I'm doing one better - I'm through with that FBO as well. I've already called Sallie Mae about how to pull my funds.

I've already set up an interview with another CFI at another FBO which is closer to my office.

I will be preparing a letter to not only the Chief Pilot at the FBO, but the owners, who - just so happen to be clients of the law firm that I now work for (we do aviation law).

I basically wanted to give my instructor the benefit of the doubt in giving him time to come up with a written plan. He failed to do so. Not only did he fail to comply, he bolted like a P***Y and tried to sluff me off on some other clown.

So, thanks again for your input! ALWAYS appreciated!!

This is a small hiccup in my training, but I'm moving forward!!
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
Totally agreed. Ready2fly, you and I have already talked about the situation, but just to throw something out there for the benefit of others that might find themselves in a similar situation:

Part 61 does not equate to kind of 'doing things as you go'. A CFI should have a set plan to follow and a set plan to get you through whatever rating/certificate you are pursuing.

I just completed my PPL, soon to start my IR. The first time I met my CFI, when I came to check out the school, he provided me with a condensed syllabus for the PPL. My first lesson, he gave me a complete syllabus, laminated and bound, with each lesson detailed on a page. What we would cover and WHY. And a line next to each where he could 'grade' my proficiency with a numerical 'score', a place to make comments at the bottom, and he signed each lesson.

Now sometimes we repeated these lessons (such as pattern work prior to solo, or checkride review), and sometimes we went a bit out of order because of conditions or time constraints, but I knew EXACTLY what was coming up in my training and when.

He also had take-home quizzes in there at the end of each 'stage' we covered (airwork, airport operations, night/hoodwork, x/c, etc) and one final checkride review. By the time I had done all these, I was absolutely SET as far as my oral exam was concerned when it came time for my checkride.

He's a part time instructor (evenings and weekends) as he works as a pilot for an avionics company by day. But he makes himself available at all times for questions, etc and bent over backwards to accomodate me.

It's unfortunate that your CFI seems unmotivated to help and same for the other one. Definitely take your money and get one that will - there are lots of them out there.

I've already said it once, but good luck!!!

Sarah
 

flyitup

Well-Known Member
Sorry to hear things are going so poorly for you. One thing I would recommend is talking to the other students at the school about their instructors. Take you time and do you homework so to speak, more than likely before long you will start to see a couple of names that are consistently getting positive recommendations from other people. I can't recall if you said these guys actually work for the school or not, but often times I have heard the most positive things about free-lance instructors. My instructor is a free lance that absolutely loves to fly. His enthusiasm is blatantly obvious in the cockpit and it makes a world of difference in my training.

Just be patient and shop around a bit... You will eventually find a good one...

Best of luck!
 

Eagle

New Member
well the one thing this guy did mess up for sure is the two types of insctuctors thing. I am guessing not too many instructors with 1000 hrs are being courted by the airlines.. they may infact be around a while...

Def shoot a letter out to the owners.

Def find a new school.

And move up not out!
 

turtle

New Member
ready2fly,

Sorry to hear about your problems. I'd love to teach you (I love teaching instruments) but I'm pretty busy with my own training right now.

One piece of advice I can give you, Sarah (sbe), and anyone else starting instrument training is to buy the Sporty's instrument videos. I promise you they will actually SAVE you money with the additional preparation they provide. It's like having two of the best CFI's personally instructing you. I can't recommend this course highly enough. Get it and you'll see what I mean!
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
Turtle - already done. Have not started watching them yet, but I borrowed the Sporty's IFR videos from someone.
 
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