Control Your “Startle Response” (The DIY Lobotomy)

We humans become totally stupid – inducing a “do it yourself lobotomy”-  when we experience threat or panic.  We all have “choked” during a test or performance and perhaps even experienced “startle” in an airplane. We suddenly become a passenger and not a pilot-in-command. Here are some proven techniques to control this natural phenomenon and … Continue reading “Control Your “Startle Response” (The DIY Lobotomy)”

“Ready For Anything?” – Training (Useful) Emergencies

Last spring a Citation 550, flown by an air ambulance service, lost both engines over the Atlantic and dead-sticked into Savanna, GA with no injuries or damage. Because everything worked perfectly, with lucky weather and masterful piloting, there was absolutely no coverage of this event in the news. This dual-engine flame-out, as dramatic as Sully … Continue reading ““Ready For Anything?” – Training (Useful) Emergencies”

New Proficiency365 Scenarios from SAFE

Redbird Simulator wizards Stasi Poulos and Billy Winburn of Mindstar Aviation collaborated with SAFE at our CFI-PRO™ at Fredrick in October. This involved “tuning up” the AOPA Redbird FMX for accurate VFR maneuvering and developing a LOC-I specific scenario designed to build pilot maneuvering skills.  We demonstrated this to CFIs in the audience through a … Continue reading “New Proficiency365 Scenarios from SAFE”

“Overlearning” Defeats the Startle Effect!

Intuitively, savvy educators know any skill achievement or learning progress, though gratifying, is very perishable. Especially in a high-stakes environment like aviation, deep learning, with consistency and reinforcement is essential. The impatient “got it and move on” attitude does not serve us well for enduring success and safety. We know from recent neurological research that … Continue reading ““Overlearning” Defeats the Startle Effect!”

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”

CFI Simulator Scenarios Build Safety!

The ADS-B requirement for flight in certain busy areas is now official FAA regulation. If you are flying a non-equipped aircraft, the old “Mode-C transponder restrictions ” pretty much apply (see details here). That same ADS-B channel provides continuous updating of weather and airspace information while airborne via data-link. What an amazing safety tool! Our … Continue reading “CFI Simulator Scenarios Build Safety!”

Ready to React? “Reflexive Skills!”

Any fan of action sports, whether it’s football or air racing, knows that the greatest moves and memorable moments are not in the huddle (reflective) but during time-critical (reflexive *1) action. These “snapshot moments” are automatically deployed (but previously trained) skills that occur in a few microseconds. The reflective, thoughtful mind is not even in … Continue reading “Ready to React? “Reflexive Skills!””

Extend Your Skills! 60/90 Turns, Triple A Stalls

This blog presents some challenging flight maneuvers that build greater pilot proficiency, confidence and flight safety. It is essential to break out of our daily “comfort zone” or we will react incorrectly  – with the well documented “startle response” – when forced into an unusual attitude by surprise circumstances. Accident statistics reveal that unprepared pilots … Continue reading “Extend Your Skills! 60/90 Turns, Triple A Stalls”

Surviving Startle; More Training!

In everyday flying, most pilots value a  predictable, controlled flight (we are not talking about thrill-seeking “flying cowboy” stuff here). When you put the chocks on the wheels and there have been no “surprises” we usually succeeded in our mission. One flight last fall was notably different though, involving a wake turbulence encounter at 16K … Continue reading “Surviving Startle; More Training!”

Building Awareness With the “Cooper Code”

Colonel “Jeff” Cooper, developed the “Color Code of Awareness” for the military to inspire self-assessment and vigilance. Warfighters know that situational awareness is just as important for success as physical skill or conditioning. A tuned-up awareness is critical for pilot safety too. “Fat, dumb and happy” is no way to fly safely. Unfortunately, we *do* … Continue reading “Building Awareness With the “Cooper Code””