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New CFI and New Students

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Bill Greenwood
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
121
Posts
24
#1 Posted: 1/4/2010 13:01:41

I would like to know what CFIs think of students these days? Can you give me the 2 or 3 most important things that you think apply for a new student learning? Any main problems?

 

Also I am plannning or at least hoping to get my CFI this spring, if I can work out the logistics. There is no instructor where I live to teach me, we used to have a flight school here but it went out the door in favor of a lot of services for huge corporate jets. I've done the written. but not the flight part.

I have a friend who says he can do it and that it is not so hard. The big problem is he owns a Tiger which we can use for dual ,but he can't get ins to rent out. I own a B36 Bonanza, maybe not the best for instruction with the turbo. The flight school there in Boulder has Cessnas, but he does not work for them, and I have barley flown one in years.

Any advice is welcome. I just want the rating for satisfaction , maybe to teach my Son or close friends, not looking for charter or airline job.

Thanks, Bill G



Bob Meder
NAFI MemberAirVenture Volunteer
223
Posts
87
#2 Posted: 1/5/2010 19:04:08

Too many CFI candidates think that the rating is about learning to fly from the right seat while talking.  Not really.  Sure, you need to learn the manuevers and how to fly from the right seat, but the commercial rating already proved you can do that - you just have to train your hands, feet, and eyes to deal with the right seat. 

People are people, and that hasn't changed, and probably won't, not for a long time. What you have to do is learn how to get inside your students' heads and find out what motivates them so they do the right thing.  Further, you need to find the analogies and words that take your students from rote learning to correlative thinking.  This is very important because cannot possibly teach your student everything about every situation; they will have to think on their own to make correct decisions and judgments.  Remember, no one ever taught Al Haines and his crew how to fly a DC10 without hydraulics or Captain Sullenberger how to land in a river in a dead airplane.

Please note that the thinnest of the Gleim books is the study guide for the fundamentals of instruction.  The ironic part of that is that, to waive the requirement for the knowledge test on FOI, you need the equivilent of a master's in education.  Don't ever forget that, first and foremost, you will be an educator that teaches someone to be a pilot NOT a pilot that happens to teach.

At the same time, you have to work to be the best possible example you can be.  No short cuts - a preflight every time, a weather briefing before every flight (not just the first one of the day), no fudging airworthiness.  Remember, your students will fly the way you do and everyone will see you, whether you know it or not.  As a CFI, you're on something of a pedestal, whether you like it or not.

Likes and dislikes as an instructor? 

  1. Love students that prepare and read the material.  Don't like students that try to take over the syllabus.  I'll be happy to discuss things, but I am the one that's managing the process. 
  2. I love and hate Flight Simulator - love it because it's a good procedures trainer; hate it because we have bunch of sel-trained instrument pilots and it's hard to change the habit of staring at the instruments.
  3. Love inheriting students from good instructors.  Hate fixing students that have had poor initial training.
  4. Love students that take it seriously.  Hate it when students say "close enough..."

 



Bob Meder "Anxiety is nature's way of telling you that you already goofed up."
Helen Woods
29
Posts
2
#3 Posted: 1/19/2010 05:51:15 Modified: 1/20/2010 15:17:53

I personally don't believe that anyone can teach you to be a CFI.  Good CFIs require an ability to teach and a healthy sense of self preservation.  Those two things you either have or don't have in my book.  What you can learn in CFI training is the regulatory structure for giving instruction and writing endorsements and a heads up on the common errors students will make.  That's helpful.

A green CFI doesn't know much.  It takes about 3 graduated student before you start to know what you are doing.  As such, IMHO it is best to do your CFI rating at the school you hope to work at as they are the most likely to hire you green.  To minimize the pain of the learning curve, you want to find a school that will put you through proper mentoring during the first year of your instructing.

BWT, you either need a retract or an LSA for the flight test.  Tiger won't cut it.

 

Good luck!

Helen

 



Rick Robbins
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
12
Posts
3
#4 Posted: 1/22/2010 01:35:22 Modified: 1/22/2010 08:46:30

If you just want to teach your son or close friends I would say save your money.  As a prophet in your own land your may be better off with another instructor for your son and friends want to fly for free.  A commercial and instrument are well worth the time and study. As an Instructor you should charge what you are worth.

That being said,  I have been instructing since 1978.  I find it very satisfying to see someone progress to the level that they are comfortable and beyond.  Not every student will get a certificate but they all come away a better person.  I suggest that you start by letting the student understand that they are in "command" and should never be in doubt as to the outcome of their mission.  It is your duty to help the fledgling accomplish this.  The "Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI)"  is a treasure trove of information and advice.  Another good book is ASAs "Train Like You Fly" by Arlynn McMahon.  There is a lot of support out there if you look for it, e.g. AOPA, ASF, EAA, NAFI etc.

Thanks for putting it out there.  Flight instructing can be one of the most satisfying careers you can pursue.  I still fell this way after more than thirty years of instructing and forty-nine years in aviation, not counting my years in the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet or the USAF.

 

(Edited to eliminate bizarre Yahoo pasting problem ... - Hal)



Rick Robbins
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
12
Posts
3
#5 Posted: 1/22/2010 01:36:53

Not sure what happened above?



Bill Greenwood
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
121
Posts
24
#6 Posted: 1/22/2010 21:48:42

Richard, thanks for your advice, even though it is really not the direction I want to go. I have long shared aviation with my Son,and I need the instructor rating for him to be able to legally solo our J3. I taught him to read and ski and I value those. I am not trying to be a CFI for the money, even if there was more of it. 

 

I have both commercial and instrument, and it seems CFI is the next step, and it is one that I think I might know some of the strenghts and weaknesses of learning and of instructors. I have had some good and bad ones.



Tim Busch
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
4
Posts
0
#7 Posted: 2/5/2010 21:51:32

Well stated Bob!  I learned to teach by teaching martial arts.  Teaching flying was easy after that. 

Tim



Tim Busch