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"Young Instructor ordered to milk you"

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"Young Instructor ordered to milk you"

Old 22nd Feb 2014, 20:56
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"Young Instructor ordered to milk you"

I havent read an Australian Flying Magazine for years. i bought a copy of the November-December issue and finally got around to reading it over an early Sunday coffee.

In the "letters" section Jim Davis makes a number of derogatory comments that require a public response as they are obviously so detached from reality and inappropiate.

Basically he is addressing a query about an overly exhaustive Aeroplane Flight Review. It was 2.2 hours by the way. Jim, although i doubt it would ever happen, please make sure you NEVER set foot in any Flying school i am attached to.

He "reminds" the readers that an AFR isnt a test and cant be failed. Wrong! An AFR is an opportunity for an appropiately qualified instructor to assess that you are operating safely, have the required knowledge, and that you have a darn good chance of bringing your passengers and yourself back safely. If your not safe, trust me. You wont pass an AFR. Remember the pilot is putting his name to it.

He then suggests that the customer "tell" the flying school what will be involved. Hey Jim, how about a discussion between the two parties and coming up with a mutually agreed on, plan of attack. If a customer contacted me and started "telling" me how an AFR was going to be conducted, he wouldnt get very far.

This particular pilots last AFR had been completed in about one hour as had his previous ones. The new flying school then gets taken to task. They covered off on weight and balance, performance charts, a written questionaire, flightplanning and a 2.2 hour flight with 6 stalls demonstrated, forced landings, diversions etc. Very thorough by the sound of it. Probably quite wise of the flying school to pick up on the previous "tick in the box AFRs" and to actually meet their legal obligations and actually display some concern for the customers welfare.

Then the comment that gets the blood boiling "sounds like the young instructor was under orders to milk you". Jim, do you seriously think that the "young" instructor conducting an AFR. Who, by the way must be at least a Grade Two instructor with 400 hours instruction really received an order to that effect. I have been in the training industry for 20 years, worked beside about 150 different instructors, in organisations in Australia and overseas. That is without doubt one of the most ridiculous comments that i have ever heard. Do you seriously think that a CFI would seriously talk to a Grade Two like that, and that a Grade Two would launch an aircraft with that mindset. If you made that comment about my school in a public form, there would be lawyers involved.

Further comments by Jim, "a good instructor can tell before you takeoff whether you are OK". Most instructors will be able to have an idea but thats another ridiculous statement.

To anybody doing an AFR, please read through the CASA CAAP on AFRs and look at the massive responsibility and accountability that CASA puts on instructional staff to complete an AFR. Its impossible for an AFR to be ticked off in one hour unless the student and instructor have flown together extensively in the previous two years.

Jim, those comments dont enhance safety in any way. When you walk into a flying school make sure you have a good understanding of the responsibility that the flying school has. Treat the process with the respect it deserves.

Instuctors are universally hopelessly underpaid and have far more responsibility and accountability than the average punter can even comprehend. For those of you that want a proper AFR track down that instructor that completed the "disgruntled" pilots AFR. For those of you looking for a 1 hour AFR maybe contact Jim and see if he can point you in the direction of the 1 hour AFR.

Jim, you have enormous experience. You put out some trully brilliant material. I could be wrong but i will bet London to a brick you have negligible, if any civilian instructing experience in Australia. Your comments are dangerous and detrimental to flight safety.

How about you send one of your journos out to a flying school (not mine) and spend a week with an instructor to really find out what they have to do, and the responsibility that they carry.

In the school i work at now, we are dealing with a pilot who has had these previous "tick in the box AFRs". He has a great attitude but is paying the price of substandard AFRs that have made him "unsafe"

Fortunately, the vast majority of candidates presenting for an AFR display an exceptional attitude and it could just be that the letter writer and Jim are really just that little bit better than the rest of us. But i sincerely doubt it.

Next Sunday i will buy the Herald Sun for some more high brow reading.
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 21:49
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Removed, words words.....
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 22:12
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While I empathise with your frustration, most flight schools now rate their underpaid instructor at $100 ph. Maybe a reduction in the rate when you are performing tasks of multiple hours (2+) is the answer, personally my last BFR was performed while flying from Cowra to Townsville, I do like a new challenge from time to time and like use my instructor accordingly. For country pilots take advantage of some poor instructor in (say) Bankstown and go terrorise the Sydney basin (and the instructor) while you do the basics .... Nothing says you have to stay in the training area.
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 22:30
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In the school i work at now, we are dealing with a pilot who has had these previous "tick in the box AFRs". He has a great attitude but is paying the price of substandard AFRs that have made him "unsafe"
With all due respect, how does a couple of "dodgey" AFR's make a pilot unsafe?
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 22:31
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They covered off on weight and balance, performance charts, a written questionaire, flightplanning and a 2.2 hour flight with 6 stalls demonstrated, forced landings, diversions etc.
The weight and balance, performance charts, written questionaire and some flight planning sounds more than reasonable, BUT 2.2 hours flight time??? I'm presuming it was one flight.

Something isn't right if the flight took 2.2 hours. I say this for several reasons. The flight review is supposed to be a review of standards and a learning exercise.

If a competent instructor and competent candidate cannot knock the requirements for a flight review in an hour to 1 hour 30 tops then there's something seriously wrong.

If the candidate is having issues that require addressing they will be well over learning anything by the hour to hour 30 mark. The flight should have been terminated with an appointment made for follow up flights.

The flight review isn't failed as such, it's just not complete.
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 22:39
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In the absence of a like button ... What 27/09 said ....
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 23:10
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Couple of points; whilst Davis sets my teeth on edge for a multitude of reasons, he does actually have some Aussie experience. Bunbury Flight School or some such if memory serves. I think he was there for 4 years or so and retained some interest in the place for several years after, although that hardly qualifies him as an authority on the local situation, I would have thought.

He is unfortunately used to a fawning reception from fans in the old country and tends to exaggerate for effect all too frequently, I find. That said, there is a grain of truth in what he says here and there are definitely schools and instructors where more is better when it comes to hours for a given task. Yes I'm looking at you, Mr "10 hours minimum" for an RA conversion!
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 23:45
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I was a country instructor when the BFR came in, 1982-3?
There were PPLs with licences for many years with no oversight, some great, some not.
I finished many in an hour or so, trying to cover items the pilot would get the most out of as a learning experience, depending on the way they used their licence. Although you may not be able to "fail" a BFR it is certainly possible to not complete one.
One guy, with his own aircraft, was very poor in all respects. He had his own aircraft on a private strip for maybe 20 years with no oversight at all.
After a quick flight I was able to tell him where I felt he was at and work out a plan to get him up to scratch. I understand he gave up flying eventually having never flown with me again, a good outcome in that case. As a motor mechanic He did all his aircraft work and found a tame Lame somewhere to sign it out, definitely the worst GA aircraft I ever flew!
These days with pilots doing the review every two years it should be easier!
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Old 22nd Feb 2014, 23:48
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They covered off on weight and balance, performance charts, a written questionaire, flightplanning and a 2.2 hour flight with 6 stalls demonstrated, forced landings, diversions etc
Six stalls and in something like a Cessna 152/172 Talk about an overkill and would lend weight to the claim that the AFR is a good money spinner.
The 2.2 hour flight is also a bit suss, too. Especially when you consider that to qualify for a job in Jetstar, a candidate is assessed over 45 minutes in a Boeing 737 simulator - a type he would never have operated previously.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 00:22
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Unfortunately for our insurers, there are varying levels of skill, experience and recency among my colleagues and I, with me being definitely at the shallow end of the gene pool and as a result there were "incidents" allegedly caused by experienced, but not very current pilots.

A 2.2 hr BFR suggests to me that there was some serious "practice" required before a manoeuvre could be successfully ticked off as passable. Say three forced landings and stalls with recovery within 100 ft, etc.

I personally feel short changed if my BFR is shorter than 1.5 hours and doesn't leave me tired from having had a few curly ones thrown at me.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 00:50
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Sunfish beat me to pointing it out, but we weren't there, perhaps this particular person was not up to standard on some sequences, may be 4 of his 6 stalls demonstrated poor recovery techniques and it took a total of 6 before the instructor in question was satisfied. On the other hand the instructor may of been over zealous, without being there we will never know. There tends to be two sides to a story.

I do recall from my instructing days that you would get the occasional PPL holder that would feel that doing a BFR was a waste of their time and money because they were of the opinion they were good enough already and did not need to prove it, and they typically (not always) were the ones that needed a BFR the most (most likely due to attitude than ability). It is that type of person that I would envision writing the above mentioned letter.

A quick scan through my logbook shows that when I conducted BFRs they ranged from about 1.3 to 1.8 hours duration, though this to me does not mean that a 2.2 hour BFR would necessarily be excessive, it does depend a lot on the candidate.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 05:38
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Aircraft Flight Review

The author of the original article is quite correct that the AFR is not a PASS/FAIL matter BUT if he fails to come up to scratch, then the log book endorsement is not issued. As for a 2.2 hour assessment; I do not find that unrealistic at all in certain circumstances especially for a PPL holder. I say well done to the instructor in question!
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 06:40
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the BFR/AFR is one of the greatest rorts ever inflicted on private pilots.

sure in airlines they do recurrent training on the complex machines that they fly but perpetual checks on pilots of simple light aircraft. give me a break.

and you wonder why the flying environment is dead and in terminal decline.
what clueless morons you all are to support the clueless CASA bullshit.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 07:10
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dubbleyew eight, you can't really believe that can you? You're seriously going to have a go at CASA for introducing a law designed to try and keep Private Pilots in check?

We all have to share the same airspace, we all have to overfly the general public to some degree, Commercial Pilots obviously should be under more recency requirements, which we are, but why should there not be some mechanism to ensure that PPLs are also maintaining their skills to an acceptable standard?

Is it really that much of a burden every 2 years to go for a flight with an instructor for a couple of hours to ensure you haven't let yourself lapse into bad habits and to ensure you practice the necessary skills?! You seriously believe that a mere $600-$1000, probably less if you have your own aircraft, set aside over 2 years is CASAs GREATEST rort?
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 07:16
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First off, not current at moment...

If you hate the idea of the AFR as a dead waste of dollars and time, then, do something productive before you fall due. Do an endorsement or go for a rating. I got retract added and my next goal is NVFR. However, this time, because I have been out of the game is a couple of hours dual, some bookwork and then go for an AFR. If you are flying regularly then seriously looking at training for the next step certainly keeps you honed as a diligent PPL.

make that AT LEAST, a couple of hours dual
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 08:14
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I havent read an Australian Flying Magazine for years. i bought a copy of the November-December issue and finally got around to reading it over an early Sunday coffee.
This was your first mistake ...
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 09:08
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Is there an AFR/BFR requirement in e.g. the USA, NZ, or Nigeria?
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 09:19
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it seems an odd quirk in the british colonial mentality that if you create a system where people "can exercise a delegation" then you get all manner of dropkicks who come out with their tin whistles and officious looking hats to really make something of it.

consider two scenarios.

you are tested at the end of your training, deemed competent and thereafter go about flying and enjoying the life as a pilot.

or

you are tested at the end of your training, thereafter treated as an idiot, never seen as competent and are expected to enjoy a regime of tosspots and wankers who want to exert their authority over you. oh and every enjoyment you might make of it is considered a crime of strict liability.

I learnt to fly in the first environment. I can tell you that the current environment attracts absolutely no one.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 09:21
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Yes you need to do a BFR in USA, minimum of one hour ground and one hour in flight.
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 09:55
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Many ways to achieve a flight review in the USA: Pilots - WINGS - Pilot Proficiency Program - FAA - FAASTeam - FAASafety.gov
All very sensible there.
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