Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Tale of Two Students

Busy morning here, if the skies clear up. Mrs. C will again be attempting to do a solo cross-country. If I endorse her. That is still a question in my mind. I am confident she can do the actual flight, but not so confident in her planning abilities. And I would wager she hasn't worked up any practice forms, to get proficient. I'm going to hazard a guess that for the first hour, she will work slowly, coming up with half a plan, done poorly, probably some numbers picked at random (cruise speed) and some mixing of statute and nautical distances. Then I will get to explain (again) why this stuff is important, explain (again) why she has to do this right, before I'm going to let her wander off.

Then I have a different student about to do his cross-country too. He will manage to figure out his own planning, weather issues, decision making, and work through everything himself. All i'm really there for is to reassure him that his decisions are sound.

I could chalk those differences up to any number of things: educational background, experience, etc. But the reality is, the only significant difference is motivation. They both have other jobs, as do most people who train to fly. They both have families, children. However, one of them actually takes the time to study, looking for issues that I might not have addressed with him, trying to better himself. The other just wants to get the result. No sense of why the process is important.

Instructors see a wide variety of students, and every one of them struggles with something. I really want both of them to succeed, but I have a suspicion that only one of them will.

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