CFI Pro; Teaching PIC With “Incremental Mastery”

I recently participated in a webinar with Russ Still and Nate Tennant from Gold Seal Ground Schools focusing on preparation for check rides, specifically the easier “low hanging fruit.” In the overwhelming push to prepare for a test, applicants often miss the simplest things. This webinar was great fun plus an opportunity to share valuable … Continue reading “CFI Pro; Teaching PIC With “Incremental Mastery””

Easy Landings; Centerline Slow Flight!

I recently spent a beautiful evening watching students in the pattern challenging their young instructors and abusing their aircraft. Almost every approach was clearly defective long before getting anywhere near the runway; inconsistent configuration, altitudes or ground track; and poor airspeed control with “lucky line-up.” Despite all these obvious problems they all continued to an … Continue reading “Easy Landings; Centerline Slow Flight!”

3-5 Hours In; “Half Solo!”

The greatest gift an educator can provide after presenting the basics is creating a safe place for the learner to independently make and correct small errors; “flub it up and fix it.” This is the famous “learning opportunity.” Humans learn by doing, trying, experimenting. Once you have put the puzzle pieces on the table, your … Continue reading “3-5 Hours In; “Half Solo!””

Managing Student Fear For Effective Learning

As pilots, we all will eventually have to face the incapacitating effects of fear. This will either come during new flight experiences while training or when facing a shocking and unexpected emergency (e.g.  US Airways Flight 1549 or Neil Williams’ amazing inflight recovery). The startle response has received lots of recent notoriety, (and several previous blogs) … Continue reading “Managing Student Fear For Effective Learning”

Remote CFI – New Opportunities In Aviation

I know what you are thinking. “Will these remote CFI hours count toward my 1500 for the airlines? Not likely, but this new technology provides great opportunities for “remote learners.” The challenge will be balancing the acquisition of basic piloting skills with scenario-based judgment to create an effective learning experiences. And all this is a … Continue reading “Remote CFI – New Opportunities In Aviation”

“Super Solo” and Lifetime Landing Focus!

Accidents during the landing phase of flight represent almost 50% of total airplane wreckage. The landing phase also involves less than 5% of total piloting time – we obviously have a problem here. This deficiency continues right up to jets with statistics showing 38% of these accidents are pilots with commercial and ATP certificates. This … Continue reading ““Super Solo” and Lifetime Landing Focus!”

“Chunking” for Effective Learning

Facebook has many fans and detractors but it sure provides a view into a world I never knew existed (Walmart videos anyone?) Some aviation education posts are similarly horrifying in this regard. In a recent post on an aviation forum, one CFI described a new student he picked up with only two lessons in his … Continue reading ““Chunking” for Effective Learning”

“Metacognitive” Teaching; Mastery and Expertise

Achieving expertise in piloting requires so many diverse skills and aptitudes it almost defies explanation. In aviation, we point to experts like Sully or Al Haynes (pick your favorite) to model expertise, but we are often frustrated trying to recreate these remarkable attributes in our students. Dr. Gary Kline, an amazing learning psychologist, has patiently … Continue reading ““Metacognitive” Teaching; Mastery and Expertise”

Teaching Accurate Rudder Usage!

Misuse of the rudder while flying – usually too little or none at all – is a sure sign that some aviation educator failed their student during initial training. This sloppy “flat foot flying” or “driving an aircraft” is sometimes a symptom of a burned out CFI who has just “given up” and does not … Continue reading “Teaching Accurate Rudder Usage!”