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Flying as Pu/t with instructor who's never flown that model.

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Flying as Pu/t with instructor who's never flown that model.

Old 9th Dec 2018, 12:58
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Flying as Pu/t with instructor who's never flown that model.

I couldn't find any previous reference to this accident in PPRuNe. AAIB Bulletin: 12/2018 G-FMKA EW/C2017/07/01
It has implications for those of us flying aircraft which many instructors are unfamiliar with. A PFL gone wrong?
I always have my biennial as a check-out in a school aircraft, with a school instructor.
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Old 9th Dec 2018, 18:29
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Yes, I've had this situation a few times, when renting far away, or being "checked out" to do a test flight on someone else's aircraft. I pay close attention to the apparent ease of the "instructor" in the right seat, if they are looking around the cockpit like a lost puppy, I'll exercise more caution about them! There has been more than one occasion where late during, or after a flight, the instructor has asked me "how I did that" for something I'd flown during the check flight.

And. I'e been on the "instructor" side of this a few times too, having to train or check a pilot out in a type not familiar to me. Three things: Read and understand the flight manual, solo rehearsal in the cockpit before flying, and a solo flight, including stalls, and a few circuits before the dual. With those cautions, I've never had a problem. There have been occasions where right up front, I have declared that I am unfamiliar with certain advance avionics in the plane, just so we both knew. In that respect, I have found some newer pilots to be more up on the avionics than I. Preflight briefing, and all was well!
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Old 13th Dec 2018, 06:51
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I’ve flown solo in 22 types and I hold three licences, so I’ve done quite a few checkouts. My pre-takeoff checks always include me saying to the instructor “In the event of an emergency, I shall say ‘You have control.’ “

I’ve also been in the other seat, checking out new glider tow pilots. The pilot being checked out acts as P1, but I always reserve the right to take control.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 08:49
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
Ive flown solo in 22 types and I hold three licences, so Ive done quite a few checkouts. My pre-takeoff checks always include me saying to the instructor In the event of an emergency, I shall say You have control.
How very odd. I'm not aware of many students (or those being checked out) feeling it appropriate to be giving instructions to the instructor (or check pilot) on what the instructor is to do.

Rather, as the instructor, I would always brief the student (pilot being checked) that they should fly the aircraft and assume full responsibility for handling any emergency, and to continue to do so until I gave a clear instruction that I, as captain, was taking over from them.

It is exactly this confusion of authority, caused by you instructing the instructor what their role will be, that seriously undermines the defined authority, and is highly likely to cause problems.

You, or any student giving me instruction on what they will be doing and what they expect me to do would immediately be stopped, politely but firmly, to re-establish absolute clarity on who is ultimately the commander of the aircraft. We would not take off if the student continued to cast doubt on their understanding and acceptance of this most fundamental issue.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 10:42
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
How very odd. I'm not aware of many students (or those being checked out) feeling it appropriate to be giving instructions to the instructor (or check pilot) on what the instructor is to do.
I've said to an examiner, at the start of a test, "in the case of fire, forget the test, you have control - I will handle any other emergencies for as long as you think you don't need to intervene". There will now ensue a discussion as to whether he should have failed me on the spot before starting the engine ... but he didn't.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 12:24
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Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
I've said to an examiner, at the start of a test, "in the case of fire, forget the test, you have control - I will handle any other emergencies for as long as you think you don't need to intervene". There will now ensue a discussion as to whether he should have failed me on the spot before starting the engine ... but he didn't.
You give another worrying example of an examinee believing it is acceptable to dictate terms of the flight test to the examiner, and how roles will be split. It simply doesn't work like that, and for good reason. Your attitude risks undermining the authority of the commander. At best, this could cause confusion during the test; at worst, it could cause accidents such as the one at the start of this thread.

Thankfully, in the (many) flight tests I conducted, I didn't encounter anyone presuming to tell me my job, as you claim to have done. Why not just listen to the examiner's brief, which will include the setting out of roles, including the authority to act as captain for emergencies until such time as the examiner exercises the privilege of their command to take back control, stating they are doing so?

Stating that you would abdicate all responsibility in a particular emergency would make it very difficult to demonstrate you are of a standard to pass the test. The examiner's responsibility is to ensure you are safe and competent to take any member of the public flying, with the presumption that you would do your very best to handle any emergency arising. They would consider whether they would let their family, their loved ones fly with you, confident that you could make good judgements and decisions to handle emergencies safely. Considering this, do you still consider telling the examiner they would have to take over from you is appropriate?

Regarding your somewhat unnecessary challenge about whether you should be failed for such an attitude, I wouldn't have 'failed you on the spot' for saying what you did, despite the concern it would raise in my mind. I would have asked you to listen to my brief, paying close attention to the split of roles and my request that you assume the authority to carry on flying the aircraft as the captain until such time as I exercised the privilege of my command authority, to take back control, telling you I was doing so. Provided you accepted my brief and request, we'd go fly the test. If you repeated your refusal to do so, or gave other cause for concern about the command authority, either before or during the flight, I would stop the test. Tests which are stopped before they start, or at an early stage are just that - stopped tests, not necessarily a fail.

Your attitude, telling the examiner how you will behave on the test and how you expect them to comply with your (mis)perception of the roles is presumptuous - arrogant and patronising might sum it up better. Remember, they are the commander, having demonstrated their ability and judgement many times, to higher authorities than themselves. They are likely to have vastly more experience than you, so listening to their briefing on how command will play out during the flight seems a whole lot better way to undertake a flight test than undermining their authority as you seem to believe is acceptable, by stating your terms to them.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 20:21
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I don't think any of you have found the report. I hope this link works.
https://assets.publishing.service.go...FMKA_12-18.pdf
It's relevant for those of us flying aircraft very different from those most instructors are familiar with.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 21:02
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If I may be permitted a segue about a CPL test some time ago conducted by a CASA examiner who had a reputation for failing applicants on any grounds he could devise on the spur of the moment. His name was Cyril. The applicant this day was a bloke I knew called Jim. They were on a cross country over rugged sparsely populated country when Cyril closed the throttle and said "Engine has failed. What are you going to do?" Jim went through all the laid down checks and procedures. Was not allowed a restart so set himself up for a convenient paddock miles from the nearest homestead. On short final Cyril said go ahead and land. After they stopped and shut down Cyril said you have landed on an ALA Authorised Landing Area without the owner or operater's permission and that is a breach of regulation blah blah blah. . .. Jim said nothing. Cyril got out and walked over to a tree for a slash and a smoke. While so doing Jim started up, took off and headed back to Melbourne. The next week he was in Queensland where he found a school and a testing officer of another calibre to sad Cyril, who may have been by then still walking home the long way.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 21:15
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pilotmike,

I find your responses to my post and GTWs very bizarre. I was not giving instructions to my instructor/checkpilot. I was making a statement to clarify and confirm that he/she was the PIC.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 22:22
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OK, just in case it helps anybody else:

Subsequent to that test, I was flying solo, and on the climb out there was a smell of burning. Solo. On my own. No examiner to hand control to.

But we all read the accident reports, don't we. So I remembered the one in which a pilot wrongly diagnosed a burning smell as an engine fire (it wasn't), turned the engine off, and killed herself in the resulting crash.

So I did nothing. At all. Whilst I thought about it. For seconds and seconds and seconds. (Well, it felt like a long time, anyway.)

And eventually worked out that it was the cabin heater, which hadn't been used for months.
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Old 16th Dec 2018, 09:09
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
pilotmike,

I find your responses to my post and GTW’s very bizarre. I was not giving instructions to my instructor/checkpilot. I was making a statement to clarify and confirm that he/she was the PIC.








After having earlier stated:
Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
My pre-takeoff checks always include me saying to the instructor “In the event of an emergency, I shall say ‘You have control.’




You clearly stated you'll be telling the instructor to take control, rather than listening to their brief and complying with it.

What you're failing to understand is that the instructor / examiner, through their experience and authority, will be quite capable of deciding when to take control from you, without you needing to tell them. It comes down to commander's authority - just as I said more than once. Simply complying with their brief is a clear demonstration of your acceptance that they are in command. Your statement about abdicating responsibility (saying "you have control" when not asked to relinquish control) contradicts and undermines that. It most certainly does not "clarify and confirm that he/she was the PIC." as you claim.

Basically you are confusing who is actually doing the flying with who is the commander. By telling the instructor you'll be giving the control to them, you're undermining their authority and contradicting or confusing any instructions they will have given to you about who will be expected to fly the aircraft. But you're refusing to accept that, probably stemming from your confusion about the difference between who is handling the controls at a given time and who is 'in command'. You really do need to listen to the brief you are given, and resist the temptation to tell the instructor / examiner what you will do and what you expect them to do. You will learn more that way.

By the way, I fully expected you to find the concept bizarre.

And yes, I fully expected you to disagree with what I said.

And yes, I fully expect you to disagree with what I am saying to you again.

And yes, I'm reasonably confident that you'll be back to argue the toss some more. You've clearly demonstrated it is your nature to instruct the instructor rather than to listen to their instructions on how they are delegating their command authority for the flight. Unfortunately, I can't see you changing your attitude anytime soon.

Last edited by pilotmike; 16th Dec 2018 at 09:38.
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Old 16th Dec 2018, 14:07
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My pre-takeoff checks always include me saying to the instructor “In the event of an emergency, I shall say ‘You have control.’ “
'Sounds okay to me if saying this is an acknowledgement that upon agreement between the two pilots during an unexpected event, control shall be stated as changed.

On a number of occasions, while conducting a modification design approval test flight, I was flying with a pilot with whom I had never before flown, often more experienced than I, and perhaps in a type I had never flown - certainly at least with a change, subject of the test flight. I would allow that pilot the briefing they desired. My briefing to them (pre entering the aircraft) would include: "If I hear you say that you have control, I will immediately let go, and you'll be flying.". However, If you choose to take control, at that time, I will no longer be conducting the required flight test, and most likely it will be incomplete (meaning a reflight will be required). With only one exception, my flying was never interfered (including two real emergencies). That one exception, the boss and the company Chief Pilot determined in short order that the company pilot they'd sent with me just was not well suited to this kind of flying. I was check out, and completed the rest solo.

A clear understanding of who will fly when is vital - so the discussion is important. Then, adhering to the agreement is pretty important too. For those flying tandem seat aircraft it is critical to state taking control, and other pilot state relinquishing control. I don't get too hung up on the precision of how communication is done, as long as it is clear.
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Old 25th Dec 2018, 01:14
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I had to renew an instrument rating in a model of chopper (glass screens, FADEC) that was unique in the country. The CA$A testing officer had a bare endorsement on a different model (steam gauges, no FADEC) from 10 years previously, but CA$A considered him competent to conduct the test.

Before starting up, I TOLD him that he was not to touch any engine controls, and if he wanted to give me an engine failure, he was to just say "Engine failure number 2" and I would look after the throttle.

At the end of the successful test, he begged me to be allowed to fly it back to home base, just to have a feel of the aircraft.
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