Friday, August 26, 2005

Competition Heating Up

The competition for the MCS title is back underway. (Most Confused Student)

Mrs. Clueless-Wonder just scheduled for next week. (Where's that "beating my head against a brick wall" smiley again?)

So in the course of a few minutes, I knew I would have to start preparing myself for the big "you have a lot of studying to do" speech again. She's heard that speech from me a couple times before. Doesn't seem to do any good. This time, the issue is two-fold:
  1. She did her long solo cross-country yesterday. I didn't know anything about it, so obviously I didn't endorse it. She flies with another instructor sometimes too, so maybe she got the endorsement from him. I hope so, because if she flew without that at all, I will not be endorsing anything of hers again. Ever. She knows better.
  2. She flew this trip with an antenna missing from the exterior of the plane. She flies her husband's plane, and he doesn't know any better either. Neither of them knows anything about placarding the panel with an "inoperative" sticker on that instrument. She doesn't have the first clue what that does to the airworthiness without a minimum equipment list. (or even what an MEL is).
We've been over all these things before. I don't really know where to even begin with this now. She thinks that having finished her requirements per 14 CFR 61, that she must be ready for a checkride. Her lack of knowledge is not due to, but rather despite my efforts. Anyone who ever trained under me, or knows my type of instruction, knows I am a relatively difficult instructor. I stress the knowledge above all. She's gotten much better at the maneuvers, but no amount of flying skill will save her from the lack of understanding at this juncture.

And I have to find a way to explain this to her, in a manner that will get her to actually try to learn something. I don't care how many cross-country flights she does. If she can't grasp how to determine airworthiness, or know the rules that apply to her, then she can never be a pilot.

I seriously doubt I can change her convoluted ideas of how much knowledge is enough. That means she will likely find a different instructor, who doesn't mind pushing her through, just to get paid for it. Me, I just envision other pilots up there, flying with only a few hundred feet of vertical separation, and flying patterns, and really want them to have a clue. So I won't compromise there.


At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Ruth Holman said...


I looked up on our CAA website and did a search on the aircraft registration so I can tell you what type of Grumman lol! It's a Grumman American AA-5A.

OK, the third to last flight I'd had was with a different instructor (Josef) and it was a good lesson, he said I might not be too far away from solo. Next 2 lessons with Simon- both very hot summer days at the end of very busy days at work. Not good timing! I hadn't had time to wind down from work and I don't like the heat too much! Simon abruptly changed the way he instructed and I didn't at the time know why - now I do. I was still waiting for Simon to endorse my decisions, or answer my questions like he had before, and he didn't. So as well as grappling with the normal flying (which also happened to coincide both times with windshifts so changes of runway and circuit pattern)I was puzzling over why Simon was doing it differently. Result- when that pressure was on I didn't handle it very well and things went to pieces. One approach I ended up too high and we had to go around. Have you ever tried to do a go around when you've never been through it before and don't know what to do???
Anyway, after a few months hindsight, a lot of talking with Josef and the boss of the second job I do who is an ex B cat, (reading your notes and comments have helped too)I realise that JOsef must have talked to Simon to say he thought I was getting close to solo, so Simon knew I had to not rely on him so much, but rely on my own judgement- hence the change in his approach. So I knew I blew it, but that's actually OK now I know what was going on! I saw Simon on Monday and he said I was picking up on things like too high, too low etc but was not reacting quick enough (because I was waiting for him....) Hmm, so I think it's a confidence thing, and I have to admit I don't know how well I can overcome that. Have you got any suggestions?

Anyway, currency. The requirement is 3 take offs and landings in the 90 days prior in aircraft of the SAME type. So Simon must have been doing an awful lot of instructing in just the 152. Night currency is slightly different - 3 take offs and landings in the 90 days prior in a aircraft of SIMILAR type.

Oh, and in NZ a CFI is Chief Flying Instructor. It took me a while to figure the American version is Certified Flying Instructor. Here we have C, B and A category instructors. In gliding I think they also have D cats (possibly true too to power flight).



At 11:05 AM, Blogger also-known-as said...

One of the most difficult concepts to teach is to get the student behaving like the pilot in command. You now have insight into why that is difficult. Relying on your own decision-making process there, rather than that of the instructor, is a tough thing to get into your head.

Don't beat yourself up about it, just learn. You got a valuable lesson there.


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