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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”

Trust Not Trauma: “Student Lockup!”

A recent poll in the SAFE eNews revealed that a shocking 65% of CFIs, at some point, had to physically take control from a student who “locked up” on the flight controls. That is an astonishing frequency of student “fear paralysis” during training. Obviously, we are doing something dramatically wrong in flight training if this … Continue reading “Trust Not Trauma: “Student Lockup!””

Struggle for Control; CFI (Or YOU!)

Most senior CFIs have at least one story of forcibly taking over control of an aircraft from a locked-up, panicked learner. A SAFE survey of CFIs revealed that 65% had at some point forcibly taken back aircraft control from an irrational student! One CFI/DPE revealed a crash where he struggled and lost this battle resulting … Continue reading “Struggle for Control; CFI (Or YOU!)”

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)”

Praise Effort – Build a Love of Learning!

Many people grew up in the middle of the “self-esteem movement” of the 1990s. This misguided trend perpetuated the myth of innate talent and instant success. Everyone was “special” and “participation trophies” were awarded for “showing up” rather than any effort, struggle, and achievement. The myth of “instant gratification” and entitlement replaced hard work as … Continue reading “Praise Effort – Build a Love of Learning!”

*Practical* Aerodynamics; Facts Every Pilot Must Know

Pilots don’t need aerodynamics at the level of Greek Letters and many decimal places to be safe in flight. But understanding the basic physics of flight is essential. F-16 pilot and good friend AF General Mike Hall calls this “fighter pilot math;” a practical working knowledge ready for immediate use. Remember, gravity works tirelessly, day … Continue reading “*Practical* Aerodynamics; Facts Every Pilot Must Know”

Safer Pilots; “Instinctive” Flying!

This week’s blog is by Ken Wittekiend and previously published in Flight Training Magazine. Ken is a 7X Master CFI, and a DPE with the FAA – until earlier this fall when he was “terminated with cause.” (This FAA action is being contested by Ken and supporters around the country). At the risk of being … Continue reading “Safer Pilots; “Instinctive” Flying!”

CFI-PRO™ “Better Training=Safer Flying!”

The ASI Study on stall/spin accidents provides a very comprehensive analysis of the dilemma that has haunted pilots since the time of the Wright Brothers; Loss of Control In-flight followed by stall/spin (crash/burn). Poor flight training is implicated in this continuing carnage: The stubbornly high percentage of stalls associated with personal flying (more than two-thirds) … Continue reading “CFI-PRO™ “Better Training=Safer Flying!””

Inspiring Excellence and Motivating Mastery!

Hopefully, every aviation educator has had a student who excelled, passionately taking every lesson further, expanding every thought or skill to a level of excellence. These learners seem like genetic anomalies, where we plant the seeds and watch an almost magical transformation. Other learners need to be dragged along, and never seem to fully flourish. … Continue reading “Inspiring Excellence and Motivating Mastery!”

Teaching Maneuvering – The Hardest Job in Aviation!

Why are newest, inexperienced CFIs usually tasked with teaching the most vital lessons on basic aircraft control? Loss of Control is the leading fatal accident causal factor – maybe we should rethink this? The status quo in aviation education is unacceptable! Tradition seems to dictate that the first couple of flight lessons are relegated to … Continue reading “Teaching Maneuvering – The Hardest Job in Aviation!”

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