Page 10 - World Airshow News Autumn 2021
P. 10


                   Flight Instruction at a Higher Level

                                                           Part I

                                W      e need good flight instruc- and demonstration, always  showing and  explaining  in the  air,
                                       tors  in aviation, but  es- spending a lot of time personally on the controls, then allowing
                                       pecially in the aerobatic  the student to take the controls.
                                                                 At first glance this seems a fine way to teach, and indeed the
                                       community. Becoming a
                                CFI isn’t all that difficult for the aver- student can eventually learn to fly this way. But this method of
                                age pilot but developing into a great  teaching can easily result in the development of a scenario where
                                CFI takes effort and a love for teach- the instructor is constantly demonstrating by flying the airplane,
                                ing that goes way beyond the FAA  the student is constantly trying to replicate what the instructor
                                requirements.                  has demonstrated, the instructor corrects again, the student re-
                                  Back in 1953, I was one of those  tries…and on and on it goes until the student, through trial and
                                rare young pilots who decided early  error, finally manages to get it right.
                                on I simply wanted to be a flight in-  Instructor B’s method involves the instructor explaining while
                                structor. I loved to teach, and I saw  the student almost always has the controls. This method begins
                                a great need in aviation for good in- with the very first dual session, continues through the entire
          structors. For me, the rating wasn’t a steppingstone on the road  learning curve, and requires that the student controls the aircraft
          to an ATP, but rather it was a calling that promised an oppor- with the instructor providing ongoing verbal advice and encour-
          tunity to do something useful in aviation. So, I became a CFI,  agement, but an absolute minimum of gentle control assistance.
          concentrating initially on primary students. Later in my aviation   Naturally, during the first hour of dual, the student will need
          life, I became a private tutor in aerobatics for pilots owning their  some  help  from  the  instructor  while  taxiing  the  aircraft  and
          own aerobatic aircraft.                              through the first takeoff. This is normal, but even here, the objec-
            Today,  I’m  retired from  flying,  but  remain  active  as  a  con- tive of the instructor should be to achieve a minimum amount
          sultant on flight safety related issues to ICAS, EAC, EAA, and  of time physically flying the airplane. Most good instructors can
          ASSA. I’ve never lost that initial love for teaching people to fly,  talk a student through a first takeoff by allowing the student pitch
          and I still believe strongly in the important role played by flight  control while they monitor power and rudder control for the stu-
          instructors in our aviation community. My main area of interest  dent. Trust me. I have done this for many years without incident.
          these days involves flight safety in our airshow community where   There is a key difference between instructor A and instructor
          we are fortunate to have some of the finest pilots and instructors  B. Both instructors must be on the controls to demonstrate, but
          in the world.                                        the difference is the amount of time each instructor physically
            In our airshow community, our main interest lies at the ad- controls the aircraft. Type A spends much more time flying the
          vanced end of the training spectrum, where aerobatics is the  airplane than type B, and this is what I want you to not only re-
          main issue at hand. But make no mistake, every instructor teach-  member but adapt as your style of teaching. Become a Type B
          ing aerobatics today had to start somewhere by teaching the ba- instructor.
          sics at the primary level. That’s where new instructors develop
          the methods that define the quality of the job, and where they  THE TYPE B INSTRUCTOR
          fine tune those methods into what can develop into the makings   This method recognizes that teaching someone to fly takes
          of a truly great instructor.                         place in a constantly moving and changing dynamic classroom.
            Through my tenure as a CFI, I learned a few things about fly- The classroom where teaching and learning is taking place is not
          ing airplanes and how to teach pilots to fly them. My students  stationary but is moving at well over one hundred miles an hour
          made me a better teacher, and I learned as much about teaching  and exists in an airborne three-dimensional sky. Teaching in this
          by teaching them as they learned about flying from me.  environment requires a dedication and attention from the in-
            With this article, I would like to pass on to you new instruc- structor to what’s happening in real time not found in a normal
          tors some of what I learned along the way about teaching people  stationary ground bound classroom.
          to fly in the hope that I can impart an alternate perspective that   In the type B method, the instructor allows the student com-
          you may not find in the usual materials available for study.  plete access to all the controls from the very first hour of dual. It’s
            This article assumes you have received your CFI and are be- quite simple in concept, but make no mistake, the type B instruc-
          ginning to teach people to fly. You are a flight instructor, but I  tor will be tasked to a higher level than type A.
          want to help you become a better flight instructor.    1. The student has all the controls
                                                                 2. The instructor advises while closely monitoring the student’s
          TWO TYPES OF INSTRUCTORS                                 actions.
            When you begin teaching student pilots to fly, you have a   3. The student acts on the controls.
          choice of what kind of instructor you will be. My experience over   4. The instructor fine tunes with additional advice and contin-
          time revealed two major types of instructors that stand alone   ues to monitor as the student flies the aircraft.
          above the others. Let’s look at both types.            The instructor can, of course, interact on the controls, when
            First, you have instructor A. This type teaches mainly by voice  necessary, but any interaction by the instructor is done in a quiet

                                    10  Autumn 2021
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