Hey Flight Instructors ...

Phoenix_Son

New Member
Inspired by EatSleepFly's thread, which asked what CFIs can do to serve students better,
What mistakes are most commonly made by students, and what bad flying habits of theirs' prove to be toughest to shake?
What things have you CFIs had to repeat over & over to students, and end up having to point out (once again) to each new student?
 

chrisdahut1

Well-Known Member
Study before the next lesson! The number of times I've taught a lesson only to find a student has either not studied the material or done a half ass job studying is staggering. This then forces me to do additional ground work with them, costing them time and money and frustrating me in the progress.
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
I have to agree with Chris on this one. If your CFI gives you something to study or assigns some reccomended reading, it's not because he/she wants to waste your time. I'd say about 50-60% of my students are unprepared for the day's lesson. It's SOOOOO much cheaper to read the handouts and reccomended reading the night before than to keep doing it over and over again in the airplane. I have an 85 hour student who hasn't soloed yet because he doesn't study. I care about my students and I want them to be safe pilots and pass their checkride in a timely and economical way. It's hard to see them throwing money out the window, but I've come to realize that if they are unwilling to put in more effort and we've already had "The Talk" 4-5 times there's not much more I can do other than refuse to fly with them any more.

On another note, know your PTS standards. Sure, I can keep telling you during our steep turns that you should be +/- 10kts, +/- 100', etc... but I'm not going to be there on your checkride. You need to know what standards you will be held to for your ride.

Don't be afraid to tell us what you need help with. I have one student who went for his PPL checkride at 40 hours because he told me what he was struggling with. Sure, I can see if you're having problems with power off stalls, but maybe you don't feel comfortable with something but it doesn't show. I feel that if you can fly with confidence you will be much safer. Sometimes your CFI can show you things your airplane can do (and hopefully you won't try it on your own) that will make you feel safer. There's more but it's early and I'm tired. Happy flying!
 

pscraig

Well-Known Member
I'll agree with the other CFIs, not being prepared for a lesson is a big problem especially at ATP, where we don't always have the time to teach every lesson twice.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Awesome, now I can rant without sounding like a whiner.


I agree 100% with what the others said about being prepared for lessons. I've had this problem bad a couple of times lately, and solved it by saying, "we're not getting back into that airplane until you read that material, and prove to me that you know it." It gets moans and groans, but it works.

Why does it seem like some students can hold 2900 or 3100 perfectly if I say to hold 3000? If you are off in altitude, don't just stay there- GET IT BACK! I once let a student fly for almost 20 minutes at 2900 when he was supposed to be at 3000, just to see if he'd get it back. He didn't even bother until I said something- that drives me nuts. Strive for perfection, don't be happy with a halfass job.

Which brings me to the next thing: laziness. Be proactive, not reactive. Like I said above, if you see something wrong, don't accept it, FIX IT! Don't wait for us to say something. We want to see good decision making from you, and in order to do that, you need to make the decisions without waiting for us to input. Trust me, if its not the right decision, you will hear it from us.

And USE YOUR CHECKLIST. Some of my instrument students seem to think that just because they are private pilots now, or they've got a lot going on at the time, that they don't have to use a checklist. Well, all that does is hurt them. I will sabotage things on the checklist (like put the fuel selector on L or R instead of both) and when they forget, they will hear a lengthy post-brief on how that affects safety, and how they would have busted their checkride for not using checklists. If they don't pick up a checklist once after they've finished their runup, then we repeat the flight- regardless of how well they did. That usually solves the problem, at least temporarily.

Well, thats it for now...I've got a few flights today, so if anything else comes to mind, I'll post it later.
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
And USE YOUR CHECKLIST.

[/ QUOTE ]

Amen brotha. I teach my students to use flows and back it up with their checklists. I've often gone on flights and seen students not even look at it once after the run up. It's in the PTS to use one.

I have to add to that. Have everything you will be using on your flight organized before you take off. I like to see it ready before start. I've asked students over and over "Where are we?" only to get, "Somewhere south of Daytona." You should know EXACTLY where you are at ALL times. Sometimes they will have a sectional in their bag in the back seat or sometimes they won't even have one with them. It won't do any good if it's not on your lap and you're not following along in flight.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
And USE YOUR CHECKLIST.

[/ QUOTE ]

Amen brotha.

[/ QUOTE ]I remember doing transition training for someone from a 172 to a 182. We're on downwind, and the cowl flaps were still fully open. So I asked, "Have you forgotten anything?"

The pilot looked around the cockpit and said. "Yes." So I asked, "Are you =sure=?"

He looked around again and then looked at me completely puzzled. So I suggested that he look at the before landing checklist, which was OPEN RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM!!! The thought never even crossed his mind.
 

aviator

New Member
One thing really gets me upset....

No call no show.


If you can't make it/ need to reschedule/ are going to be late,

Call your flight instructor before hand!!!!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
No shows suck because I had a pretty fully schedule (good marketing!
) and I'd have to turn away students sometimes because I was too busy.

But then you can always charge 'em a no-show fee, and then go have lunch!
 

Phoenix_Son

New Member
Thank you all, this is great. If there are any others, please add.

The main things I'm seeing so far are character issues - laziness/preparation, proactive/reactive, no-showing/communicating, using all resources/tossing them aside. Any other things that should be mentioned?
[Added] Thinking before speaking/pushing the button before thinking [/Added]
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Usually if my students didn't come prepared whatsoever, I'd give 'em a freebie and a little talk about preparation.

The next time, I'd cancel the flight and charge them a no-show fee.

The third time, I'd usually start asking the other CFI's if they'd like a potential 100-hour student pilot.

Unprepared students can be profitable for an unscrupulous CFI, but I wanted my "flybabies" to succeed and get it done on-time and below budget.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

.......as you can see, it's a pet peeve of mine......
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Clear/concise/correct radio comm.........

[/ QUOTE ]

Student: "D..D...Daytona Beach C..Clearance, no I mean ground this is Cessna 12345 at Mike 2 r..r..cleared for takeoff."

Ground: "Okay Cessna 12345, there's not a runway at Mike 2, would you like to taxi to one so you can take off? We don't like it when people try to take off on a taxiway. (laughter in the background)

My students get the radios from day one. I have several buddies that I will cover for if they want a weekend off and their students might have 20 hours and can't talk on the radios. They don't let them talk when they fly because they don't want them to mess up. If I have a student who is really having problems with the comms I'll have them back seat a few times and ONLY listen to the radio comms. That fixes it. My IFT/Air Force ROTC students are the ones who have the most problems because their program is very accelerated and they aren't allowed to back seat due to insurance purposes. Yes, I'm training the future Mike D's of America. Scary, scary stuff.
 

Visceral

Well-Known Member
PTS for landings says a common student error is inappropriate removal of hand from throttle. "Hand on the throttle" is the phrase I repeat too many times.

When practicing approach stalls, I tell my students to pull some power and hold an altitude until the airspeed bleeds off to 70kts. I just sigh as we descend at 90 knots with the student nailing that speed all the way.
 

ricecakecm

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
What does PTS stand for? I don't speak fluent Airplane yet.


[/ QUOTE ]

Practical Test Standards.

Basicly what you can be tested on during a practical test (checkride) and what the standards are that you have to meet (typically display a knowledge of the task, and if it's a maneuver, stay within a certain altitude range, airspeed range, and heading range).
 

viper548

Well-Known Member
For me it's students that dont studdy on their own or do assigned work. If a student schedules a flight and is not prepared for it, I can either waste their money and get in the plane and try to teach them in their, or I can cancel the flight and just do ground. That screws the flight school over, because they could have rented that plane out to someone else. Teaching a private or commercial student that isn't prepared is one thing, but an instrument student that's unprepared is absolutly clueless the whole flight.
Students should know what their doing on their next lesson, and be completly prepared for it. When I did my instrument training, I'd practice using MS Flight Sim. It helped a lot with vor/ndb orientation and holding.
 

chrisdahut1

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
...an instrument student that's unprepared is absolutly clueless the whole flight.

[/ QUOTE ]

Aaaah yeah, the unprepared instrument student is the worst. Anyone had questions in flight such as "When can I start descending?" or "Do I have to do the procedure turn?" after being cleared for an approach with vectors. Oh, and did I mention that this is after extensive ground on IAPs?
 

Flip

Well-Known Member
One of the things that really irks me is the guy/gal who arrives in to the school a minute or two before his/her scheduled time. So now I have to wait while he/she runs to the loo, plans, gets the brief, grabs a snack, another trip to the loo, answers a cell call, then the preflight, quick run back inside to grab the headsets they forgot (still in the car), another trip to the loo, and then outside to finally strap in with 10 minutes of lesson time left!!! Jeez.

I had one guy who did this all the time. One day about 20 minutes after he left to go preflight, I went to go meet him at the plane. Who did i pass on the way out....but himself, eating a snack in the snack area. He hadn't even left yet. So I just said, "see you in the plane" and went out and sat in it for 20 minutes while he played catchup. Of course I charged him for that time. And I think it was the last time he did it.

If my students are not in 20-30 minutes before a flight lesson, i tell them they are late.

Ah well.......
 

Ophir

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Aaaah yeah, the unprepared instrument student is the worst. Anyone had questions in flight such as "When can I start descending?" or "Do I have to do the procedure turn?" after being cleared for an approach with vectors. Oh, and did I mention that this is after extensive ground on IAPs?


[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah, but the question is what do you do to remedy the situation. I think the answer is what sets the good instructor apart from the instructor who is just in there only to build time.
 
Top