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Old 15th Apr 2018, 17:56   #1 (permalink)  
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Lack of confidence. Issues with school

I've been reading this forum for a while and I've been going through a bit of a difficult time and was wondering if anyone had similar experiences and had some advise.

I started my PPL with this school but instructors keep changing. I had 10 different instructors so far. They all leave. My issue as well is that there is no structure. They all teach in different ways and there is no plan on how to get there.

I've already did my solo flight and now building up solo hours. Couple of weeks ago had a bit of a nightmare landing. Current instructor told me I should have gone around. Which I know understand was the right thing to do but previous instructors always told me to correct for landing. So end up bounce and having a bad landing. Kind of ruined my confidence and having all these different instructors is not helping.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 18:52   #2 (permalink)  
 
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Change school! Anywhere that can't keep reasonable continuity in your instructor is a problem. That doesn't mean any individual, or even any of them, are bad instructors - but 10 is silly. Find a school that will provide reasonable assurances that you'll stick with one instructor as far as possible throughout your course - talk to some existing or recent students to confirm they're telling the truth.

Different instructors will have, and teach, different flying styles - I wasn't there, but going around, or correcting may have been the right answer: possibly in both circumstances (although going around is the more normal best practice for PPL training).

There's also an issue that a well run school should put some significant work into standardisation, so you *shouldn't* see too much variation in teaching technique across the team. They you are seeing significant variation doesn't bode well.

I can't say I'm surprised that you are having confidence issues with that many instructors, that's unlikely to be you!

G
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 18:53   #3 (permalink)  
 
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I've already did my solo flight and now building up solo hours. Couple of weeks ago had a bit of a nightmare landing. Current instructor told me I should have gone around. Which I know understand was the right thing to do but previous instructors always told me to correct for landing. So end up bounce and having a bad landing. Kind of ruined my confidence and having all these different instructors is not helping.
You can (almost) always go around. Even - or perhaps especially!! - after the third bounce, let alone the first.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 19:00   #4 (permalink)  
 
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Don't be put off by a landing bounce - it happens to all of us, and as long as sufficient runway length is available there's nothing really wrong with it though it does make us blush. (and yes, indeed, GtW, after three bounces I would surely go around even if only out of shame!)

Still, a school unable to keep its instructors seems to have a problem. Have you talked to other students? It is indeed important to have stability in instruction, because each instructor unavoidably has her/his own style and priorities.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 19:11   #5 (permalink)  
 
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Go around and divert to another flying school.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 20:35   #6 (permalink)  
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Welcome ForceMajeure,

Don't let a bounce put you off, they happen, even to those of us who are experienced. Three things I do to minimize bouncing are: arrive to the runway threshold on speed, and at a suitable crossing altitude, then, I slow the plane before I allow it to contact the surface. If it's nice and slow, it'll be unlikely to bounce (much).

But, to the more important topic, your school must assure your progress with consistent training. Multiple instructor changes are counter to consistent. Yeah, stuff happens for instructors, but two or three should be the maximum for you throughout your training for a PPL. Seek assurance from the school of instructor consistency.

All pilots have times where they doubt themselves, or their progress through training. You would not have been sent solo, if you had not demonstrated adequate skill. Trust in their confidence in your skills to date, and continue....
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 10:29   #7 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure how old you are, but imagine this... Your child is struggling with Physics A level (and a B minimum is critical), so you get a tutor from one of the big (assume reputable) agencies. Due to clashes, you never seem to have the same one turn up for your kid's lesson (at 35/hr). Would you let that get to 10 instructors? Would you believe the BS they'd give that, "everything is standardised, so don't worry..."? It won't hurt to tell the school that the next time you get a stand-in, you're off. If they seem not to care, go anyway.

CG
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 11:18   #8 (permalink)  
 
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I work as a (freelance) instructor in a flying school where we are about 12 flight instructors, and every student flies with everyone of us. The students have a folder where we can exactly see where the students stand, and we give briefings to each other between the instructors. The advantage of this is, that you as a student can learn something from each instructor, and get a fuller picture than when you just learn everything from only one person.
However from what you describe, in your school there is no clear structure. As others already said - change the school, even if it means you have to drive a bit further to another airfield, it will pay out in the end!
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 14:07   #9 (permalink)  
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The advantage of this is, that you as a student can learn something from each instructor, and get a fuller picture than when you just learn everything from only one person.
I agree with this if the number of instructors is a couple, rather than ten. However, for an early PPL student, who is just learning the basics, the nuances from different instructors will probably be lost, and there will be delays in progress from simply two new people having to figure things out together.

My preference would be that a new student fly the first dozen or so hours with the same instructor (as long as it's working for both people), and possibly, after that fly with one or two more through to PPL. If the PPL is going onward toward ATPL, then yes, they must get used to an SOP cockpit environment, and be able to work well with any other competent co crew member. Fly with more instructors and learn the nuances.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 20:18   #10 (permalink)  
 
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My preference would be that a new student fly the first dozen or so hours with the same instructor (as long as it's working for both people), and possibly, after that fly with one or two more through to PPL. If the PPL is going onward toward ATPL, then yes, they must get used to an SOP cockpit environment, and be able to work well with any other competent co crew member. Fly with more instructors and learn the nuances.
Totally agree with this.

It should not really be a problem to fly with different instructors if the school is well organized. After all there is a syllabus that they are following.

The OP does not indicate how often they book a lesson. Playing devils advocate - if you look to the school like an intermittent or unreliable student then they will treat you as such , and you won't get good instructors assigned to you. Demonstrate commitment and demand good service and you will get it, without necessarily changing schools.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 20:21   #11 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
Couple of weeks ago had a bit of a nightmare landing. Current instructor told me I should have gone around. Which I know understand was the right thing to do but previous instructors always told me to correct for landing. So end up bounce and having a bad landing. Kind of ruined my confidence
Join the club.
- meaning those of us who have been there and understand fully where you are coming from.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 20:27   #12 (permalink)  
 
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Did you walk away from the landing?
Was the aeroplane useable again?
Was the aeroplane useable again without surgery?

If yes to all three, sounds ok to me. Though there may well be things you can learn and do better in future. That's the same for all of us.

Keep going. Have fun. Safely.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 20:30   #13 (permalink)  
 
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Join the club.
- meaning those of us who have been there and understand fully where you are coming from.
I've had it go the other way on occasion. On a check ride, moderately lousy approach, which I could have recovered from (at the cost of a small fraction of the available 2km of tarmac).

But I went around.

Instructor: "Oh, I thought you'd have rescued that one, I've seen you recover from worse?"

Me: "Sure, but I haven't done a go-around for a couple of years so I thought I'd take this opportunity to practice one"
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 00:31   #14 (permalink)  
 
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What country is the flight school the original poster references ?
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 04:35   #15 (permalink)  
 
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It's very important to find a school and instructor that you are comfortable with, everyone has different learning styles in addition to instructors with different teaching styles. Some will try to train rigidly towards becoming an airline pilot whereas you may find others with more grass root aviation experience and may be keen to teach you many practical elements that would suit a recreational flyer, or someone that can give you the best of both.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 06:30   #16 (permalink)  
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Wink

One of the issues with having so many instructors is that I don't know what to practice for next time. I will focus on something only to be told something completely different the next lesson. Also they have very different ways of teaching and flying which at this stage is only adding to confusing.
I did manage to go around and I was flying solo so it was the first time i realised it was up to me to make the decisions. 😂
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 07:11   #17 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ForceMajeure View Post

I started my PPL with this school but instructors keep changing. I had 10 different instructors so far. They all leave. My issue as well is that there is no structure. They all teach in different ways and there is no plan on how to get there.
If there was an instructor you felt comfortable with, try to talk to them. If the instructors leave that school as you say, its very likely that they change the school as well or are already working for more than one flight school. Maybe you can continue to fly with one of the instructors you already know and liked in a school that they can recommend to you.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 08:54   #18 (permalink)  
 
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Continuity

Early flying training needs continuity,but unfortunately this is increasingly difficult as the clubs/schools struggle to keep instructors as commercial jobs become available.
You may want to take a break and find an operation THAT SUITS YOU (after all you are the customer)
Better to do this than feel unhappy about the present situation which will certainly NOT BE CONDUCIVE to what should be a pleasant useful learning experience.

Multiple instructors at the early PPL stage are not the way to go.
Confidence should BUILD as you progress and in such a way that you feel more comfortable with decisions and actions you take. Good Luck
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 16:43   #19 (permalink)  
 
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It's a lot of work to sort out what an instructor wants out of you in the early stages. A different instructor can upset the applecart and deal a serious setback to a building and still fragile self confidence.

And yes, there's a lot to learn and every instructor will have a different approach to what needs to be emphasised now or left for later.

On the instructor's side, every student can present new ways of getting the airplane bent or worse. It takes a while to learn what a student can be trusted to do reasonably and where extra vigilance is needed.
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Old 17th Apr 2018, 18:04   #20 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RatherBeFlying View Post

On the instructor's side, every student can present new ways of getting the airplane bent or worse. It takes a while to learn what a student can be trusted to do reasonably and where extra vigilance is needed.
An unintended (or not!) consequence of that is that the student pays more than he/she needs to to get to FHT. Six minutes in a trip having the instructor 'learn what a student can do', it a 10% tax on his/her learning. Lucky flying training isn't costly. Oh, wait...

CG
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