Managing “Extreme Fear” (Startle/Lock-Up)

We have seen some recent accidents where “student lock-up” is a strongly suggested causal factor. This fear reaction is common in flight training; 65% of SAFE CFIs surveyed reported forcibly taking the controls from their panicked learner . “Lock-up” is a result of “extreme fear” which puts the brain directly into the “fight or flight” … Continue reading “Managing “Extreme Fear” (Startle/Lock-Up)”

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)”

Add Safety (Awareness) *Before* Flight!

Takeoff and initial climb are very simple operations in most GA planes. But surprisingly, this area of flight is statistically quite dangerous. The considerable risk here is under-appreciated due to the lack of challenge and obvious threat. That ILS to minimums or a gnarly crosswind more naturally grab your attention! Pilots are usually in their … Continue reading “Add Safety (Awareness) *Before* Flight!”

“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”

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 (student lock-up) or when facing a shocking and unexpected emergency while flying (e.g.  US Airways Flight 1549 or Neil Williams’ amazing inflight recovery). The startle response has received lots of recent … Continue reading “Managing Student Fear For Effective Learning”

“Crash-Proof Piloting” – Always Ready!

To be safe, every pilot needs more frequent and realistic training to cope with engine-out emergencies.  This process of “crash-proofing” assures every pilot has the skills and is psychologically ready, to safely return to earth from any phase of every flight. This seems axiomatic but is amazingly rare. In training, once the initial fear of … Continue reading ““Crash-Proof Piloting” – Always Ready!”

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”

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) immediate action. These “snapshot moments” are automatically deployed (but previously trained) skills that occur in a few microseconds. The reflective, thoughtful mind is slower and … Continue reading “Ready to React? “Reflexive Skills!””

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!”

“Overlearning” is Essential for Aviation Safety!

Savvy educators know intuitively that any learning progress, though gratifying, is very perishable. Especially in a high-stakes environment like aviation, deep learning, with consistency and reinforcement is essential for retention. The impatient “quick rating” courses do not serve us well for enduring success and safety. We know now from recent neurological research that “over-learning” more … Continue reading ““Overlearning” is Essential for Aviation Safety!”

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