Honesty & “Tough Love” for Safety!

The most dangerous CFI is not the one lacking skills or with a history of safety issues. That CFI is usually locally notorious and avoided by astute (or scared) learners. A less obvious but much more dangerous CFI is the one that lacks professional standards and integrity and approves participation rather than achievement. On one … Continue reading “Honesty & “Tough Love” for Safety!”

Start With Basic Honesty!

As a flight instructor have you been guilty of telling eager beginners that “learning to fly is easy”? Do you personally really believe that often used phrase? If you think back to *your* initial training don’t you remember those dark moments of discouragement and disappointment that are inevitably part of this process? Learning anything complex … Continue reading “Start With Basic Honesty!”

Flight Schools Lobbying DPEs

Collusion between flight schools and DPEs can easily create corruption in pilot certification; we have all seen this problem in action. There is a good reason to maintain a professional distance between flight schools and DPEs to uphold the high moral standard necessary for the honesty and safety of the pilot certification system. DPEs are … Continue reading “Flight Schools Lobbying DPEs”

Start Honest; “Engagement Letter!”

An “engagement letter” is a simple statement of professional responsibilities, duties and expectations. Most often lawyers insist on these agreements as a first step before beginning any professional relationship. And that is because most lawyers have extensive experience with human suffering and “misunderstandings.” Start with the facts and expected outcome but also imagine what might … Continue reading “Start Honest; “Engagement Letter!””

Ideas to “Cure Stupid!?”

It may be politically incorrect to state this so publically, but we all know that in our daily aviation world there are some people that endanger all of our lives with their unwise actions. Sometimes “stupid” is a one-off move (guilty as charged) that can be fixed. In other cases, “stupid” seems to be an … Continue reading “Ideas to “Cure Stupid!?””

Imagine the Worst, Plan for the Best!

Mike Patey very bravely took full respnsibility for his public crash of Draco this week: “this is on me, I made a bad decision.” We need to respect and honor that (rare) honesty. But Mike also clearly laid down the challenge for every pilot to practice better risk management and learn from his personal tragedy … Continue reading “Imagine the Worst, Plan for the Best!”

Teaching “Accomplished Professionals”

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is often misunderstood to apply exclusively to low intelligence; “too dumb to know you are dumb.” But Dunning-Kruger applies across the spectrum of human intelligence and actually describes a lack of self-awareness or metacognition that blinds individuals at every level to their real abilities. Very simply, we are unaware of our incompetence … Continue reading “Teaching “Accomplished Professionals””

For Your Best Learning: “Own” Your Errors!

If you are an educator in any field, you know the “excuse-makers”. How often do we hear “it was the wind”, “I didn’t get enough sleep”, or “the plane is acting funny” (et cetera ad nauseam)? But you probably also noticed the people who “own” their errors and admit to struggling, actually learn faster. Excuses … Continue reading “For Your Best Learning: “Own” Your Errors!”

Stoicism Defeats “Magical Thinking”!

During the recent AOPA national weather tour, we reviewed four fatal weather accidents. These pilots launched – and continued – into totally crappy weather  which they knew about before flight. They ignored any mitigating strategies or sensible alternates and predictably killed themselves (we pilots *do* suffer from “mission mentality”). Viewing this with a group of … Continue reading “Stoicism Defeats “Magical Thinking”!”

Educator Professionalism Creates Excellence in Aviation

It takes a Pro to make a Pro… The tenets of professionalism apply to flight instructors regardless of whom we teach or the aircraft type. Instructor professionalism is the foundation for excellence and success. We read about it, and we talk about it. But what exactly is it, and how do we embody that crucial … Continue reading “Educator Professionalism Creates Excellence in Aviation”

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