View Full Version : Teaching your own children

6th Apr 2016, 22:05
I took my teenage daughter for her first lesson today. Complete disaster and may well hand her over if the next does not work out well.

Has anyone successfully managed to teach their family?

6th Apr 2016, 23:09
I was fortunate enough to be taught, as an abinitio through to PPL, by my father who was a Squadron Leader during WW2 with the RAAF and great all round aviator and in particular flying instructor. For those who knew of the great Spitfire pilot Keith "Bluey" Truscott- my father sent him 1st solo.
Although my aviation career has continued as an ATC for near 40 years, I proudly also hold my CPL. I'm grateful that I was taught great "stick and rudder" skills in a DHC-1 chipmunk, and had instilled in me about "old pilots and bold pilots." Still love every minute of being associated with aviation and the people who share my passion

this is my username
7th Apr 2016, 06:22
Took mine the other day and it worked really well.

She doesn't have any particular interest in aviation, just wants something to put on her CV - which is a very different situation to a "normal" student who is highly motivated and is very aware of how much their lesson is costing and is probably fulfilling a long-held ambition. I tried to pace the whole thing around her and ran it as a sales pitch as much as a lesson and considered anything other than a refusal by her to come back as a success - and on that basis it all went OK ..... and the chocolate reward at the end worked just as well with a teenager as it did with a five-year-old.

She hasn't been anywhere near driving a car yet, had never started or operated an engine, so has even more to learn than a typical ab-initio. Remains to be seen whether she sticks with it.

7th Apr 2016, 09:13
I was a teacher for quite a long time and was always opposing teaching friends&family. Nothing against doing the first introduction steps to help somebody to decide whether this is a way for them or not, but no formal teaching f&f for me. You introduce a distracting element to teaching, which may hurt one side or the other.

7th Apr 2016, 15:06
My father who was a veteran light aircraft instructor and examiner would not participate in my formal ab initio training although we did occasionally fly together.

I owe much to his mentorship but I think he was very wise in this respect.

Genghis the Engineer
7th Apr 2016, 15:15
It's pretty common in the USA, and I've come across articles over the years in the like of Flying and AOPA Pilot about it. That might be a better place to look for advice than this primarily UK based forum.

(Having no kids, my own opinions would have no value, so I won't share them!)


7th Apr 2016, 16:55
I taught my son right through to his PPL and my daughter to solo standard however she chose not to go further due to conflicting interests. All went well, however when it came to teaching them to drive it was a total disaster.

7th Apr 2016, 17:58
I,ve taught my daughter to fly she,s very good but does not want a licence so she is well beyond first solo standard but we have not bothered thus avoiding the cost of medicals etc.She makes an excellent autopilot on family trips always sitting in the front with me.I am now in my early sixties and the component most likely to fail in the aircraft is me!The rear seat passengers have the reassurance of a second albeit unlicensed pilot.Its a great shame that even with an instructor/examiner father and a sole owner family aircraft that the CAA bureaucratic mountain is an expensive and irrelevant deterrent to what should be simple task of getting a PPL.VBR Stampe

7th Apr 2016, 20:30
We went again today as it is still half term but for pleasure only.
Definitley decided not to instruct her (same for driving when she's old enough) as the environment is too over familiar.
Although it works for others, unfortunately not us which would save a fortune.

7th Apr 2016, 20:55
I was a PPL, but a Driving Instructor for many years [with a business partner who is very well known as a top class instructor of the flying variety these days]
I did teach both my daughters to drive, with absolutely no problems whatsoever, no discipline issues. They both got their heads down and figured that being taught to drive free was a big bonus!.

8th Apr 2016, 11:54
It's pretty common in the USA
I remember a little over ten years ago, a Surgeon in the US teaching his son to fly, who was subsequently killed during a solo circuit exercise with his Dad supervising. The father retrieved the body from the wreckage and drove his son's remains back to the family home, 55 miles away.

Sadly, the father and his youngest son were both killed in another accident more recently in New Mexico.

Trevor Farmer
8th Apr 2016, 19:30
Taught my own son from ab initio to PPL in a PA18-95. A wonderful experience. First solo a bit scary as if he killed himself I'd likely have lost not only the son and heir but likely the marriage as well! On the day he passed his test I think I was more nervous than he.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. One of life's great experiences.

Genghis the Engineer
14th Apr 2016, 14:17
I remember a little over ten years ago, a Surgeon in the US teaching his son to fly, who was subsequently killed during a solo circuit exercise with his Dad supervising. The father retrieved the body from the wreckage and drove his son's remains back to the family home, 55 miles away.

Sadly, the father and his youngest son were both killed in another accident more recently in New Mexico.
One has to wonder there about the personal flying standards and safety culture of the surgeon in question there! It certainly raises the Darwin question as he did a good job of wiping out his own gene pool.


15th Apr 2016, 00:45
Parents should never teach their children to drive or operate anything. It only transfers familial bad habits to offspring - and it's difficult to initiate and maintain a professional student/instructor relationship.
Far better to employ an unrelated professional instructor where a proper student/instructor relationship is initiated and maintained without the familial constraints or strains.

Genghis the Engineer
15th Apr 2016, 07:43
One hopes that where the parent teaching is a properly trained and qualified instructor, the bad habits bit won't happen any more than in any other instructional environment. Indeed, I'd anticipate most parents being ultra careful in teaching their kids something safety critical - I certainly would be.


this is my username
16th Apr 2016, 17:05
Absolutely agree with Genghis - if my daughter ever makes it to solo and then to licence she will be the best prepared student I have ever trained.

17th Apr 2016, 17:52
My father was a civilian University flight instructor turned major airline pilot. I was an airplane/airport groupie. Dad did NOT give me any formal instruction, always passed me on to a friend or professional. Of course, when we flew together, it was still an intense learning experience. I did some of my first actual IFR work with him in the right seat. Still, he did not want me to take it personally when I needed to be corrected during my formal training. I was way more nervous trying to please my Dad than a mere mortal.

That said, when I became an instructor, I did solo my youngest sister in a Warrior, but she chose not to pursue the PPL. We got along well during the flight instruction, but the ground school portion didn't go so well.

24th Apr 2016, 07:26
Dad was a qualified instructor and Corporate Pilot, he taught me my PPL from Sherburn-In-Elmet, North Yorks. It was tough, there were a few silent drives home in the car! But certainly came out the other side better prepared...

From a personal point of view, to have my Dad's name as the first commander in my logbook is special and this summer see's me returning to Leeds Bradford International for a few months, my first solo cross country, as a Captain of a B757...Dad is rather nostalgic about that...i'm dreading the bl**dy cross-winds!