Monday, September 12, 2005

Off the Radar

Sorry for the total lack of posting lately. Sometimes, you just want to stay low and just do what you need to do, so I skipped out on most anything non-mandatory all last week.

There also wasn't a lot to tell. I conducted ground instruction several days with Mrs. Lost & Confused. At first, I had a strong desire to impale myself, and be rid of such impressively near-total lack of comprehension. Along the way, I could tell she was finally studying, and a couple times, a light bulb came on inside her head.

We still have quite a bit of work to do there, but perhaps I see a ray of hope in it now. I think she is starting to see how much studying there is, and why it is important.

Mr. Confusion started back on lessons last night. We had not flown in three weeks. I figured it would be right back at the beginning, and was thankfully spared the frustration of that. Not that I wasn't frustrated, but at least he hasn't lost too much. I suspect it will still be a very long journey for him, and when he realizes that he's run out of his prepaid funds, he may start to evaluate why. I;ve been telling his this the whole time. We had a talk last flight, about why we will not be sight-seeing on every lesson. He always wants to go fly over his house, or take pictures of something, which always costs him 20 minutes in the process. So last night, he wanted to fly over his house. This, just after we had started in earnest on the maneuvers. It would have required descending, locating the house, flying around a couple times, and climbing back up. Not a major time expense, but I didn't let him. He's determined to waste the time, it seems, but I'm no longer going to let him.

His maneuvers were, as expected, very weak. I decided to start out on the simple stuff again- straight & level. This alone, took him 20 minutes to get some semblance of order to it. Steep turns, slow flight, power-on and power-off stalls. That's all we did for two hours.

By the end of it, I was still a little concerned that he wasn't getting it at all. Sometimes he managed to do them right, but I fear it was random chance more than any real grasp of the maneuvers.

His studying will be the biggest problem though. After our flight, I sat him down to discuss it. I had been giving him very specific reading assignments the whole time, but it appears he has only done about 10% of what I've given. I started digging, and found out he had gotten a hold of some King video tapes from 1992, and was viewing them. This isn't really a bad thing, but in the process, he has wasted a lot of time. He might get closer to finishing the written test, but in the process, he's skipping all the fundamentals that would let us progress on the flying.

Additionally, quite a few things have changed in the 13 years since those videos were produced. This could be part of his difficulties. What I don't understand, is why he would spend all his time devoted to studying things that I didn't mention, while ignoring what I specifically did tell him to study. I just can't seem to get through to the man.

Now, he is trying to make a deal. He wants to buy the new dvd's, and sell them to us, since I had mentioned we might do that, to rent them out to students. I'm all for this arrangement, except that he stated a price for us to buy it from him, higher than the regular purchase price. Meaning, we could buy it cheaper new. I really don't understand him. Whether his math is just that bad, or he really thinks he can pull a fast one on me though, is irrelevant. He isn't going to win that argument. Right from the beginning, it seemed he thought he could barter his way to getting everything for cheap.

Wait til I tell him about the rising gas prices, and how that will affect it all. We have managed to this point, to keep the prices down, but fuel has taken a big leap. Two weeks ago, fuel was $3.78 per gallon. Now it has jumped to $4.68. So thats an extra $4.50 in fuel every hour in that plane, which we are currently eating.

He also wants to have me fly him down to Calabash, NC (flying into Ocean Isle Airport), and make some kind of deal there. His first thought, was to have me pay for the 4-seat plane. I shot this down immediately. He has no sense of how little I earn. That would cost me nearly a full month's income to do that. Every time I shoot something down, he tries to find another way to get a couple bucks savings out of it all. I'm getting a little tired of it.


At 4:18 PM, Blogger kiwiruth said...

has joe been back for more lessons?

At 8:40 AM, Blogger also-known-as said...

he sure has. He came back with the determination to get this done. After a couple of instructional flights, we both decided that the best thing at this point would be to let him practice solo for several flights, until he felt ready to put me on board. This should give him a sense of really being pilot in command, and let him work out a few things on his own. He flew yesterday and it went well. So hopefully, we wil be ready for a checkride in the next week or two.

At 2:52 AM, Anonymous ruth said...

Are you still off the radar?? Not a lot of flying going on for me lol. However an ex- instructor in Auckland stole a Piper Cherokee an threatened to fly it into the Sky Tower, NZ's tallest building structure. In the end he didn't, he crashed about 30 metres of a beach near an Auckland suburb with remarkably little injury to himself. He did it because his wife and left him and he wanted her back...


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