Learning Requires Continuous Corrections!

All complex successes are built on less-than-optimal early attempts or honest reassessment of a failure or mistake with a commitment to improve. Learning at any level is iterative, continuous, and occasionally emotionally painful. The mantra for all pilots is to honestly “reflect and correct!” Everyone can play the role of “superior critic,” judging from the … Continue reading “Learning Requires Continuous Corrections!”

Maintaining Our Vital “Safety Margin!”

Every properly prepared pilot can fly safely, even with a minimum level of skill, *IF* they accurately match their skills to the real demands of each mission. (That’s why CFIs can impose “limitations” on solo endorsements). In the vernacular, we are safe if we “don’t write checks we can’t cash.” The central problem, however, is … Continue reading “Maintaining Our Vital “Safety Margin!””

“The Learning Zone;” No Excuses, No Embarrassment!

A seldom discussed, but critical component of learning any skill is accepting responsibility for your errors. I was very young learning to fly, and this was certainly an important lesson I had to learn (in addition to that rudder/aileron stuff). I distinctly remember my caring, but very honest, CFI commenting – “Now we are getting … Continue reading ““The Learning Zone;” No Excuses, No Embarrassment!”

Reflective Learning; Immediate Pilot Improvement!

The US NAVY wisely called a halt to all flying Monday for a Safety Stand-Down after a series of fatal accidents. This “time out” allowed the necessary pause “to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes.” This should sound familiar to every pilot at every level since self-aware risk management is … Continue reading “Reflective Learning; Immediate Pilot Improvement!”

Motivate With “Incremental Mastery!”

Most new CFIs, with all good intentions, try to help too much. They consequently micromanage and monopolize the flight experience, eliminating most “learning opportunities” for their students. The greatest gift an educator can provide after presenting a lesson outline is allowing a safe place for their learner to independently make and correct their small errors; … Continue reading “Motivate With “Incremental Mastery!””

10 Great Tools for New CFIs!

Here are 10 essential ideas CFIs need to embrace to acquire the important skills and grow  *after* they pass their initial CFI FAA evaluation. These tips represent the real-life “on the job” reality we teach in SAFE CFI-PRO™ live seminars. In a recent blog I emphasized that the FAA CFI temporary is – like all … Continue reading “10 Great Tools for New CFIs!”

“But, My CFI Told Me…”

CFI guidance can sometimes be wrong. Either communication failed, or the CFI taught it wrong – but either way, it’s a mistake. As a result, amazing errors and weird techniques often get demonstrated in flight tests or during flight reviews. The “probable cause” in NTSB accident reports often reveals ingrained bad habits that were embedded … Continue reading ““But, My CFI Told Me…””

Learning Well is an Acquired Skill!

Most people think “learning from experience” is easy, or natural, but neither is true in a high-consequence environment. It takes serious effort and a disciplined awareness to learn well when safety is a critical concern. Some “successes” may be accepted as valuable – but only after careful analysis. Many other “successes” should be rejected as … Continue reading “Learning Well is an Acquired Skill!”

How to Become a CFI-PRO™

Truly excellent CFIs are unfortunately quite rare. On the one hand our aviation training world has an abundance of totally green “hour builders” still learning their craft with their eyes set on an airline career (2/3s of all active CFIs have taught less than one year). These people are amazingly enthusiastic and usually have excellent … Continue reading “How to Become a CFI-PRO™”

Teach (and fly) “Energy Management!”

Like many GA pilots, I learned the “pitch for airspeed, power for altitude” (Navy) method of flying. Soloing in a Taylorcraft, owning a Champ and flying gliders (no extra power) initially enforces this paradigm. And the ancient FAA AC recommending this paradigm (61-50A) is actually still in effect promoting this control method. The “big iron” … Continue reading “Teach (and fly) “Energy Management!””