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How much slow flight before circuits ?

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How much slow flight before circuits ?

Old 30th Aug 2009, 12:28
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How much slow flight before circuits ?

My brother is learning to fly in Australia.
His instructor now has him in the circuit with the goal of going solo.
He has only had 1 lesson on stalling which he found a little overwhelming.
He hasn't had the slow flight lesson.
He hasn't had stalling part 2 (final approach configuration and turn from base to final with 2 stages).
Is this standard in Australia ?
I suggested that he request revisiting the stall before continuing in the circuit. Any thoughts ?
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 16:02
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That sounds a little unsafe to me. I cannot understand Instructors who do not spend time on the basics. Once you can fly the rest is easy and quick progression can be made however, I see it all the time with students coming for CPL don't understand the importance of airspeed and therefore don't trim. Who don't use the rudder proactively, who don't understand the interactivity and balance between power and attitude, speed and angle of attack etc. and these guys have done 150hrs
All these instructors are interested in is solo sign-offs. It would be interesting to know how far along the career path the instructor is.
Where are the instructors that actually care about what they teach (if they even understand what they are teaching)?

Of course the student must speak up if he is not feeling safe or confident and try not be intimidated
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 16:39
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The training of your Brother

Easy307:

How much and what type of training has your brother done so far?

Tmb
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 16:41
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All these instructors are interested in is solo sign-offs.
That may be part of the reason but another is that some new instructors are frightened of performing stalls (or more to the point - teaching them!) especially stalling part II.

VFE.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 16:50
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When JAR-FCL first came to the UK, I amended our basic pre-circuit lesson plans into the following 12 lessons. Thus each new student should have no less than 10 hours of basic flying before being introduced to circuit flying:

(Flight times probably longer than at other aerodromes, due to the transit time required in and out of the Class D CTR)

Despite this, we found that certain FIs would short change the students during these essential early exercises, just to start bashing the circuit. This is invariably counter-productive as the student simply hasn't had time to consolidate the esentials of attitude flying and accurate trimming before coping with the demands of the circuit.

Last edited by BEagle; 30th Aug 2009 at 17:37.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 17:27
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He has done about 8 hours, and he has covered the items on Beagle's list apart from :-

- slow flight
- stalling part 2
- spin awareness

He went back to the instructor (who is the CFI) and asked to do some revision on slow flight / stalling. He recieved a 40 minute tirade on why her way was best, followed by a begrudging repeat of Stalling part 1.

According to the CFI, it was felt that early stall training puts off some students, and the "advanced stalling" lesson is better learnt later in the course. Apparently, slow flying skills are "indirectly picked up in circuit training".
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 17:43
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Stalling 2 is hardly 'advance stalling'...... It is esential that is is correctly taught before introduction to the circuit.

Slow flight follows on from turning and climbing / descending 2, climbing at best angle of climb, then entering a turn, then reversing the turn all emphasise attitude flying and balance.

Spin awareness is difficult to teach convincingly in certain spin-resistant aircraft, I would agree.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 22:40
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FI's

That lot in australia sound like a pretty poor bunch. Did he pay up front on a all course thing. we used to get people back from the states on the '21 day ppl' and generally they were dire. Through no fault of their own.

It interesting to see a log book with the first entry being effects of controls and the second is circuits.
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Old 30th Aug 2009, 23:01
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I have to agree, I have 'picked up' a few students from a previous instructor whose records read 'hour one, ex 4-9, hour two, ex 10, hour three-..., ex 12+13. The student(s) has come to me expecting to go solo and in all cases I have had to take them right back to basics before I myself was happy to even enter the circuit with them. My FIC instructor made it quite clear during my training that the basics are all important, and the slow flight and stalling are a big part of that. I now make sure that I have covered at least 10a, 10bi and 10bii in seperate lessons (not necessarily all hour long lessons but all in seperate stages) and then revised fairly regularly along the way. It does seem to vary student to student, some pick it up fairly quickly and understand the importance of what we are practising, others take longer. The other thing is that most students seem to be fairly apprehensive about stalling, especially in the app configurations, and I have found that by introducing them slowly ( sometimes with a demo at the end of a previous lesson) and covering what to expect thoroughly on the ground the student can then deal with the lesson much more easily in the air.

It seems that your brother may have to approach the CFI again, If a student wants to cover a lesson again, there shouldn't really be any argument. at the end of the day the student pays a lot of money to learn to fly, and if they aren't happy with how they have been taught something they need to stand strong. If needs be, approach another instructor
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 07:00
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The FTO he is at is a small outfit. He has not paid up front.
Does anyone know how the Australian ppl syllabus differs from the UK one ?
Could this just be the way it is done in Oz, or are this instructor's methods unorthodox ?
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 07:06
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Stalling II is where it is in the syllabus because that's the most appropriate place to teach it. If a student stalls in the Circuit, it will invariably be with some flap selected. If the student kills themselves because the instructor has not taught this, then they are negligent.

A few years ago a microlight instructor in the UK went to prison because he had not taught a stalling exercise, even worse it had been covered up by a fraudulent entry in the training records; it turned out that the studentwas miles away on that day. Some time after qualifying, the student was killed in a stalling accident, and his training was looked at in detail.

The flying scholarship rule was stalling on 3 separate flights, a total of 2 hours stall training before the circuit but, the RAF did not approve of teaching "slow flight"

Last edited by Whopity; 31st Aug 2009 at 07:24.
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 07:59
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I agree with pretty much all that has been said about stall spin awareness and , in my opinion, this remains one ot he most important parts of the syllabus. However, looking back at one of my early log books I see that after only two stall/spin exercises I was introduced t the circuit. Actually, I can now remember this well as I have flown with the FI a number of time since he got his captaincy for a UK airline.

The circuit introduction which only amounted to 45mins of bumps and thumps was followed by exercise 10b an 11. I belive that having that initial circuit detail was beneficial in my understanding aned appreciation of the stall and incipient stall in the landing configuration, particularly on the base/finals turn.

I suspect that the weather on the day of my lesson above was not suitable for further work on exercise 10 as I also see that the nextday I was on instruments ( ex.19) so it may only have been opportune that I was put into the circuit before completing ex 10&11. I should point out that not only was exercise 10/10b repeated after the first circuit detail but throughout my training when we were doing any general handling. One tendency I had was to anticipate the stall/incipient stall and recover too early - throwback to my ATC gliding days! Advanced turns, slow flight etc. all came with a stall spin awareness exercise!

Horses for courses but, I doubt any good FTO will teach to a rigid syllabus putting in only the minimum hours required to satsify some tickbox regime. Surely, the individual needs of the student will dictate the speed and general training approach. Perhaps the FI in this case works this way?

I guess I was a pretty average student who completed the PPL in minimum hours necessary. However, There were some things I was naturally very good at and some things that had to be repeated until I got them right. Navigation and instrument flying were a doddle but it took me ages to get my landings right. Whereas, another student training at the same time had to be "taught" what a bad landing was becasue she was a natural and never had any handling problems but, my instructor told me, she couldn't get to grips with navigation at all, nor for that matter PFL's! - no runway to aim at.

As long as the FI is satisfied that the minimum requirements of the teaching syllabus are covered and that the student has satisfactorily completed each exercise and is competent - should it really matter is there are a few lessons out of order? Every lesson is a learning opportunity.

BTW, I can understand the general concern but nobody is actually suggesting that this student is being put up for a solo yet. I would get pretty narky if I was teaching a student and his brother questioned whether I was doing it the right way! Just becuase he has done one circuit detail doesn't mean he will be doing exercise 14 next!

Last edited by Munnyspinner; 31st Aug 2009 at 08:11.
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 08:36
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"BTW, I can understand the general concern but nobody is actually suggesting that this student is being put up for a solo yet. I would get pretty narky if I was teaching a student and his brother questioned whether I was doing it the right way! Just becuase he has done one circuit detail doesn't mean he will be doing exercise 14 next!"

Thankyou Moneyspinner for the alternate viewpoint,
I guess there is a balance between:-
- trusting that the instructor knows what they are doing,
- and fraternal concern.

Apparently, the weather out there is always suitable for stall training. Lucky for some !
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 08:39
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The Aus syllabus has a single lesson on each of the following - Effects of Controls, Straight and Level, Turning, Climbing and Descending, and Stalling. Then, it's into the circuit. Sometimes there's a consolidation lesson at some point and sometimes stalling is repeated if necessary but it's generally expected that in most cases there's only about 5-6 lessons/hours before getting into the circuit.
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 09:06
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Hi easy307 Look i would not be to worried, i think that every instructor that sends a student first solo is taking a bit of a leap of faith ( understanding, basic flying skills, but mostly good luck!), Yes at this level a student doesnt have much understanding of stalling or spinning, but i think if you put even a CPL student in a stall on base leg you might be hard pressed to get a recovery from them! and unless your student had 1 million dollars to spend in the interests of safety this is an acceptable risk.

I have sent countless students solo and every time i sit there with my heart in my mouth hoping for an excellent out come both for the students confidence and for my reputation as an instructor.

Yes most instructors are there for the hours but i really think you would be hard pressed to find many who dont care about their students at all, sometimes they will do the bare minimum to get them throught but the fact is they do get through. so there must be some form of effort from the instructor ithink?
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 17:14
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Obviously something is not going the way it should be and people should not be intimidated into accepting poor quality although sadly they do.
The point he is making here is that the student does not feel comfortable at the stage in the training. A good instructor would happily revise and or repeat the appropriate training, not make excuses not to do it. I feel the issue is the instructor has an ego problem, 'my way is best' and is concerned with her reputation.
There is no mention that he is concerned with paying a bit extra or that he is concerned about doing extra hours just that he feels he needs extra work in some areas.

The most important part of the training is that the student feels he/she understands what he/she has learned so far and can make a reasonable attempt at it otherwise there is NO point in moving forward.

It is not about not whether all my students solo at X hrs and I can get more sign-offs.

Easy307; just make sure your brother keeps a written record of any conversations he has or has had regarding training issues or areas of concern if he is not getting a satisfactory answer. I hope he can rectify the situation or he should go elsewhere.

Vertsync;
Please explain comment regarding a CPL student. Are you saying that it is an acceptable risk that a student you have trained with a PPL and then has 150hrs and on a CPL course could not recover from a base leg stall?
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 19:04
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Pilotbear,
Thanks for your comments.
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 21:36
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pilotbear, Sorry I didnt really read what i wrote. No im not saying its acceptable, but the reality is that many people once they have a CPL and maybe dont fly that often, dont practice these skills and if it happened for real and they were not expecting it, i would bet a lot of people would not execute a proper recovery.
I would think that someone training for a CPL is most likely to do the correct thing as the training is fresh.
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Old 31st Aug 2009, 23:28
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Does anyone know how the Australian ppl syllabus differs from the UK one ? Could this just be the way it is done in Oz, or are this instructor's methods unorthodox ?
Never taught flying in the UK, but got the occasional hour doing it in Oz

This is just the way it is done in Oz, and, at the risk of drawing fire, having to do two lessons of stalling seems as strange to me as only getting one lesson clearly does to you. Of course, the syllabus is performance based, so moving onto the next lesson should occur when, and only when, the student has demonstrated competence in the lesson objectives.

You can download the Australian fixed-wing syllabus here: DayVFR (Aeroplane) Syllabus
You will note that there are objectives related to slow flight in there as well.

Easy307: He hasn't had the slow flight lesson.
There's no separate slow flight lesson in the Australian DayVFR (Aeroplane) syllabus

pilotbear: All these instructors are interested in is solo sign-offs.
Rather unlikely since solo sign-offs are not tracked in the Australian system; They do not count towards any additional privileges or seniority, nor have I ever been asked how many I've done (it's more than one or two though :-) If you want to know what's near and dear to an up-and-coming Aussie instructor, it's all here: CAO 40.1.7

I'm not saying right or wrong, just that you're comparing two systems which are structurally different. The ultimate aim of each system is still to cover all the bases and produce a safe competent pilot. The usual order of the first lessons is as Phil O'Rupp has described.

BTW, although a student has to complete the Stalling lesson to standard before going solo, there is no requirement for it to be conducted before they start Circuits. I have certainly gone straight from Climbing & Descending to Initial Circuits in order to avoid cancelling a student's lesson when the cloud base was stubbonly low. When they turn up all keen and ready to fly and the weather in the training area is crap but the circuit is good, I would rather take them flying than leave them on the ground if it's possible and appropriate. It's no problem to go back and pick up that lesson later - in fact, sometimes it gives them a very welcome break from going round in circles lesson after lesson !

Also, just a request from those of us wanting to contribute from the colonies, please can the UK folk include a lesson name as well as "Ex 10, ex 10b, ex 19" or whatever. As mentioned, the systems are different, and we don't use that shorthand so it's not always obvious which lesson is being discussed. Ta

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Old 1st Sep 2009, 06:30
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I have certainly gone straight from Climbing & Descending to Initial Circuits in order to avoid cancelling a student's lesson when the cloud base was stubbonly low.
That means the student, unless very capable, won't have learned much from his 'Initial Circuits' session as he will be trying to run before he can walk.

The impetus to fly with a student when the weather isn't suitable for the planned exercise is obviously revenue driven. Couldn't he/she have had some ground instruction instead?

Another thing I put a stop to as CFI was the teaching of Instrument Flying before the student had finished circuit consolidation. "The weather wasn't fit, so I did some IF with him instead" was the usual excuse - but the 'demonstration ILS' at the end was just the wannabe self-improver FI using the student's time and money to practise for his own IR....

The reason I banned it? Because otherwise it was difficult to get the students to fly by reference to visual attitudes - once they'd been taught use of the AH they would stare at it all the time instead of learning to fly properly.
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