A call for help!

IRBF77

New Member
Hello everyone and thanks for reading!

Ive decided to come for some input on my CFI training and some problems Ive been having. Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated. This may be a bit long winded so i'll apologize beforehand =)

I have decided to pick up flight training after a very long break from flying. 8 years ago i attended a flight school and recevied up to my multi commercial rating. I completely stopped flying shortly after and as such most of what i had learned has fallen prey to disuse. So now i am faced with relearning a large portion of things along with the additional CFI information needed to obtain the rating.

I have been working with an instructor who is extrememly knowledgeable and takes pride (rightly so) in sharing the vast amount of information he has aquired. My problem i am having is that as i go over ground lessons with my instructor i never seem to know the amount of information he feels i should know. There are times when i show up with what i will feel like is a thorough lesson but he comes back with more information that i should have added. Addmitedly, some of the things i agree with but some times it seems like the information he wants added are above what would be needed for a lesson.

This fact, coupled with my own need to feel like i know everything to be prepared, has lead to me taking a very long time to get through my CFI training. So much so, that a family member of mine who is also a CFI (that he received a very long time ago) has started to question if my instructor is asking too much. I understand that it is an instructors responsibility to continuously improve his knowledge and understanding of subject material to better teach students and answer their questions. But how do you know when enough is enough for a lesson plan?

While i enjoy hearing the information my instructor has to offer i find myself banging my head against a wall trying to make sure i stuff every possible piece of information into a lesson. This usually leads to my lesson being full of things on paper that i cant seem to memorize well enough. I knew going into this that i would have my plate full because of needing to relearn many of the things that a new CFI shows up knowing from recent previous ratings obtained. But its becoming increasingly frustrating to the point where im becoming discouraged feeling like i have to have a billion facts/regs and anything else memorized and able to spit out on request.

I suppose some examples may help illustrate my point. On recent lessons while going over aerodynamics my instructor told me i should be able to quote and be able to use the formula for the coefficient of lift, stating that he has taught ground schools where people made him show how the formula works.

Or during aeromedical factors telling me i should be able to diagram and effectively explain exactly how the lungs work, or where the chemical rhodopsin is mostly located in the eye, or how the eye actually works receiving the image upside down and the inverting it throught the optic nerve along with the parts of the eye.

Or being able to diagram/explain the inside of an alternator or starter and knowing exactly how it works. Or being able to diagram and list the parts on an electrical system schematic. I was even told a story of someone failing a checkride for not knowing the symbol for a diode/resistor on an electrical schematic!

As i said before my instructors knowledge base is amazing at times and i actually admire his ability to rattle off facts and figures for things. Am i just not applying myself enough to knowing what every CFI is expected to know pre checkride? Or am i and my instructor setting the expectations for an initial CFI too high? I'm commited to being the best that I can be but it seems like its taking me waaaay longer than most to complete this checkride. At times i feel like im just not pushing myself hard enough but other times i feel like my instructors expectations are a bit off. He has stated that he is almost to receiving his gold standard and it makes me wonder if he is just making sure that all students show up so prepared there is no way of failing short of doing something stupid in the plane.

Suggestions?
 

Maurus

The Great Gazoo
I believe he is getting a little too in depth with some information there. Diagram a lung? Our textbooks don't even do that.
 

ntbjounin

Well-Known Member
that's all good stuff to know. but not really necessary. who cares what chemical is in your eye. just understand basically how it works, and why you might lose eyesight etc... That's way too in depth unless you're going for a medical examiners license! but i think that involves another 7-9 years of schooling.
 

SFCC/UND

Well-Known Member
If someone ask me that, I will tell them to look in the Aim and then ask me. Cause I don't remember all that lung and eye crap.
 

tgrayson

New Member
Or am i and my instructor setting the expectations for an initial CFI too high?
That. I shared your instructor's unrealistic expectations about the quantity of information that could be imparted to a CFI student, so I have some sympathy for him. Much better to master a smaller quantity of information than to half-know a much larger quantity. For instance, I expected my students also to know the lift equation, but on the checkride, one of them couldn't tell the examiner where the expiration date was on a sectional.:rolleyes: (Amazingly, he passed anyway.)
 

JustinA

Well-Known Member
Out of the examples that you given...

Yes you need to know that your eye produces rhodopsin. This is why it takes 30 minutes or so for our eyes to adapt to dark. Where it is located?? Who cares??? It is in your eyeball.

Quote the formula for the coefficient of lift ?? That is why we have text books, resources... Use them. My CFI checkride examiner (BNA FSDO) told me this " Albert Einstein did not memorize everything so why should you? Just be sure you can always look it up."

Diagram/explain the inside of an alternator or starter? Really?? That is a little too far. Knowing what it does and the amps/volts and what to do if it Fails.. etc.

Sounds like you have a Nerd of a CFI that only wants to read about aviation all day. He must be single.

Good luck to you sir. :rawk:
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
You don't "need" to know that much for the check-ride, if the don't ask that much on the check-ride. They can though, it is all open season. :)

I studied a lot of diagrams before the ride, and me saying "let me show you on the board", really impressed them. To me it sounds like you are getting a good education and you will most likely pass the first time (unlike most). Then again you could just choke...


Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
 

gear_goes_down

New Member
I know someone who failed the CFI ride because she couldn't explain how the internal part of the magneto worked! And no, not that the engine turns it and it produces a spark, but how the capacitor, coils, magnates, couplings all work together and produce a spark! And yes, failed for that and only that!
 
R

Roger, Roger

Guest
Yikes! I'm an A&P and I'd have to spend a few minutes looking at a diagram before I'd remember exactly how all the parts of a magneto work.
edit: after thinking through it for a few minutes I think I've got it back!

To the OP: It sounds like your CFI might be going just a little overboard. The interiors of a starter/alternator? That's just a little excessive.
 

subpilot

Squawking 7600
you can't possibly know every possible thing an examiner may ask you for a checkride. If some uptight examiner wants to fail you for not knowing the oxygen saturation rate of the bloodstream or the location, weight and part number of the crankshaft counterweights... let him. I would get a good laugh and have a good conversation piece for back at the FBO and would be right back to the examiner in the next few days with his precious answer.

Learn what you need to know to instruct. A common sense approach should be used. Memorize what you need to memorize, and know where to look up the information on what you don't need to memorize. I would recommend having a one-on-one talk with your CFI and explain that you think he is going overboard on the level of knowledge he expects you to learn. If he don't budge then go find another instructor.
 

Matt777

Well-Known Member
Even on the CFI oral with a FSDO examiner you can look stuff up in the FAR/AIM!

You should memorize the reg # like 91.205 or 91.213 or 61. - wait I forget the exact number of that one... that's what the table of contents is for.

I've sent many students to checkrides (they ace them) and I've never known the actual numbers to calculate the coefficient of lift. I haven't been to medical school either. I know a lot of stuff and am not an idiot, but I don't know that stuff.

You should be able to read an electrical diagram and, depending on your airplane, you may or may not be familiar with a diode.

If you did ever get an examiner who was psycho enough to require all your CFI is trying to teach you you could discontinue the test, tell him he was asking you ATP questions and go find a "normal" examiner.

Interesting side note: I find that the majority of customers of varying experience levels don't understand what maneuvering speed is or how electricity works. They have been forced to learn how to read ddiagrams and load shed, but they have absolutely no clue that volts and amps are like pressure and current. They don't understand why voltage stays constant and how current runs through the system. They have been taught to run, but they are faking it because they never learned to walk, electrically speaking!
 

subpilot

Squawking 7600
The CFI PTS is the play book. Anything not in the PTS is off limits. You can even call the examiner on a right field question by asking him to show you were that question is in the PTS.
 

moxiepilot

Well-Known Member
Interesting side note: I find that the majority of customers of varying experience levels don't understand what maneuvering speed is or how electricity works. They have been forced to learn how to read ddiagrams and load shed, but they have absolutely no clue that volts and amps are like pressure and current. They don't understand why voltage stays constant and how current runs through the system. They have been taught to run, but they are faking it because they never learned to walk, electrically speaking!
The best book for this (entertaining too!) for dummies like myself was http://www.amazon.com/There-Are-Electrons-Electronics-Earthlings/dp/0962781592 "There are no Electrons, Electronics for Earthlings"

It helped me learn everything from how capacitors work to electron flow and OHMS. If that sounds foreign to you, then read this book. It puts it in entertaining, easy-to-understand, easy-to remember format.
 
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