Flying Instructors & ExaminersA place for instructors to communicate with one another because some of them get a bit tired of the attitude that instructing is the lowest form of aviation, as seems to prevail on some of the other forums!
I'd be interested in the views of the older and bolder on this.
A while ago, and before I had any kind of instructors ticket, a friend of mine bought and did a reasonable job of restoring an oldish aeroplane. I test flew it for him (and the LAA) and he got a PtF on it. He then needed to upgrade from an NPPL(M) to an NPPL(SSEA) to be able to fly it and was very keen to do this in his own aeroplane. This was perfectly legal.
My advice to him was to either give up on that idea and use a school aeroplane because it would be easier, or a take his aeroplane to a friendly school, park it there for a little while and do it with them. Either way, to get his course done entirely in one learning environment and with so far as possible with a single instructor.
He ignored me, and kept using every available and suitably qualified instructor from all over the place. Well he got there, but in probably double the hours (and months) that in all likelihood he really needed. In my opinion, because of the complete lack of consistency in his training.
(To be fair, I've flown with him a few times since, and his flying was adequately safe and competent, and in 50ish hours in the aeroplane since then, he and it are still in one piece.)
Wind on, I am now a CRI doing a little freelancing. I've been asked by a syndicate whose aeroplane I know well enough, to "sort out" a new syndicate member. He's (very recently) overseas trained, doesn't know the aeroplane, the airfield, the UK airspace environment, or UK RT, and they want him satisfactory before he's let loose unsupervised [I gather that they rather suspect he can't fly very well]. The syndicate want him to use me, which is fair enough and I'm happy to do that - and he seems happy to pay for my time.
Now my issue. He's also decided to try and do the same thing in a school aeroplane from the same airfield, with a local instructor. Not instead, but as well. The instructor doesn't want to fly in the syndicate aeroplane (he just dislikes the type it seems, which is somewhat higher performance than his school aeroplane) and in any case seems to have poor availability.
So the "student", proposes to do part of his local / RT / flying standards training in one type with one instructor in the lower performance type, and the other part plus type familiarisation with me in the higher performance aeroplane he has bought a share in.
I'm likely to fly with him for the first time next week sometime, which I'm happy about. What worries me however is how I can deliver somebody any real training consistency if he's off flying another type with another instructor in between times. He needs to fly with me as I'm the instructor (a) trusted by the syndicate, and (b) happy to teach on the type. Arguably he doesn't *need* to fly with the other chap, but clearly believes it'll get him where he needs to be faster.
A lot of this is slightly personal to me, and I'm less worried about that bit - but it gave me a story to hang the question on. My opinion is that instructing consistency is really quite important, and that regularly chopping around either the aircraft type, or the instructor, is not helping anybody at-all. Chopping both, just seems a bit daft, especially for an inexperienced new or trainee PPL.
I have tried to fit in with people who have their own aircraft or group, it has always been a pain, cant quite put my finger on it but never seems to work as well as the discipline of a school. My latest student who has been flying with group members has extremely bad habits, jump in and go, no wx or notams or planning, radio non existent, its taken me months to get him back on track. He has passed his exams now, related to you all in an earlier post, but I have stated to him if he wants me to continue teaching him he must do this through the school I work for.
I have had constant snipping from his other group members saying Im taking to long to teach him, and he needs to move on to the next stage, nav etc.
I am a mild mannered instructor but just had enough. Cost is always an issue, he gets the ac for 86.00 an hour wet PA28 . He now has to pay 170 dual rate at the school and doesnt like it, but there you are, I am a professional and like to turn out well disciplined and trained pilots, thats not happening using the group ac, too many distractions and non instructors trying to train him.
Sometimes you have to stick to you plan and not bend over backwards for everybody else. Its taken me 10 years as an FI to start practising that principle, but I do stick to it now, if they dont play ball I walk away.
Ive tried suggesting moving their aircraft to the club, but most of the group members are scared to use the radio so didnt want it moved to a bigger airport.
This Guy started in Oct 2010.
Its a pain all round really. Using a school to get the rating provides good continuity. Use the owned ac to build experience. It works best that way and is usually cheaper in the long run as mentioned above. Multiple instructors are not a problem as long as the school makes sure all its instructors are standardised.
While there might be issues with multiple instructors, aeroplanes and environments I think a bigger problem might be the fact that you've got someone who's effectively decided he knows best. The tail is wagging the dog. I had a student like that some time ago - he knew best how he wanted his training delivered, including what bits of the syllabus to do next. Very keen to get onto nav so eventually I let him but warned him that it would most likely end in tears. It literally did, and they weren't mine.
Your man like mine needs to 'take instruction' - in all its forms. I'd walk away - until it does end in tears; then you can offer to fix things. On your professionally-considered terms.
For both times (and indeed any instruction I do). I emphasized that when I am instructing I operate the aircraft My way and telling me that Instructor X did it some other way will not change anything and only wastes time.
The first time worked well. Do to time constraints on my part I could not do as much flying as he wanted so he asked me as his principal instructor whether I would let him fly with someone else and, if so could I recommend someone. I ended up hooking him up with another instructor I respected and we coordinated who was going to do what over the course of the training. In the end it worked well and he got done considerably quicker than if he had done all his flying with me.
The other student just told me he had enlisted the services of another instructor, a person I was not very familiar with. It quickly became obvious that that instructor and myself had very different ideas on how to operate and aircraft. I dug my heels in and insisted that my way was the way it was going to be if I was in the aircraft. Not long after he decided to do all his training with the other guy which was fine with me as he had become a PITA and I was going to cease training him anyway.
If he has decided to go to a school then let him do so, wait until he has finished with them and then do what the syndicate have asked you to do. Do not try training him at the same time as someone else or he will be the one who has problems. The chances are that there will be differences in what you tell him compared to what both the other instructor tells him and the way he was taught. When you do come across these differences explain why you do it your way, hopefully the other instructor will have explained his reasoning and the candidate can then decide which way he wants to do it.
Many schools standardise the way they teach because it suits their aircraft, operation, and experience levels, it may not be the way a syndicate would operate.
Well I'm glad to say that when I sat down with him for a chunk of groundschool today (the aeroplane having developed an electrical problem) he told me at the end that hed decided to cut loose the school instructor and get everything done with me.
What his flying is like remains to be seen, but that's one problem gone.
But thanks chaps for confirming my prejudices about this.
You seem to have some doubt about the flying ability of this fellow. I would suggest you start with a handling review, but a bit of care needs to be taken as a new aircraft with a new instructor in a new area will probably not bring out the best in your student. What I would look for in these situations is more of a good attitude in terms of being receptive to advice and a sincere desire to improve rather then pure flying skills. Obviously there is a minimum competence level that must be there, but even quite a bit of less than great flying does not necessarily mean it is a show stopper. That and a bit of actual improvement through out the first flight will set the stage for a successful checkout. On the other hand an unwillingness to accept instruction and an argument about everything makes the process a whole lot more problematical.
It is also very important that after the first assessment flight you sit down and draw up a training plan with clear milestones and expectations.
Pretty much exactly my plans BPF, with the addition of from some heavy emphasis on RT (his request, as he's not flown in the UK significantly) and finish off with a longish trip somewhere to give a big chunk of real-world nav/RT practice en-route (again, at his request).
But it's not looking as worrying as I imagined. After all, if there were no questions about somebody's flying ability - why are they going to an instructor.
The general picture however remains interesting - this issue of somebody, if not my current student, trying to "help themselves" by flying with multiple instructors and doing themselves far more harm than good. It's clearly not a unique question.