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Best ever brief and debrief

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Best ever brief and debrief

Old 28th Mar 2019, 18:25
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Best ever brief and debrief

Flying a cub on amphibious floats this week. Did some flying with one instructor and asked for a change. Nice chap, but could not stop talking. At all, at any point.
Got the CFI. Nice change, got on with the refresher flying in a distinctly fresh breeze, nice little waves but we (he) found the sheltered bits. Final landing back on the hard runway in 15kts across.
Got told I could fly solo in the morning, as long as less wind, get the aircraft out but don't go till he arrives.
Morning comes, cub all preflighted and ready to go.
Asked what I wanted to do, told him an hour's water circuits with a bit of boating in between.
Briefing was
"Ok, go flying. Don't forget the gear"
Did that, came back.
Debrief was "Did you have fun?" On getting a happy Yes! He asked "Did you break anything?" On getting "No" that concluded the debrief.
Can anyone beat that for useful? Actually paying attention to the first syllable?
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 18:43
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Having been grounded for a year for lack of medical, I trained a bit with my old instructor - who gets better and better, as an instructor. My flying was awful at first, then after some 50 minutes when it was less bad I ventured to say "I think I am quite ok now". Dry reply: "Well, if you think so..."
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 19:46
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Join Date: May 1999
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My instructors final words before closing the door as I went on my first solo... "Don't embarrass me"
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Old 28th Mar 2019, 20:39
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After five or six lessons early on without a decent touchdown, I had the temerity to turn my head left to assess the distance between the left main and runway. (04 KSSI - I shan't ever forget!) My 28,000-hour flight instructor reached over with his strong right hand, cupped my chin in his hand, jerked my head forward 90 degrees, and said in a very loud voice: "Never do that again!"

I never did. My landings, a few of them squeakers on velvety glass, became much better. He had taught me to look all the way down to the end of the runway to get the "Big Picture".

When lessons went well, my instructor, who was possessed of a mellifluous tenor voice, would sing the contrapuntal part of Handel's Alleluia Chorus. On a good day, he would still be in fortissimo voce as we taxied to the flight school's hangar and shut down.

He and I became fastest of friends. To this day I sing along with my basso profundo voice whenever The Messiah comes on the radio. I remember with immense gratitude and unparalleled fondness the man who taught me the gift of flight by his devotion and expertise. And I remember my shortest briefing: "NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!"

- Ed
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 18:24
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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My best preflight briefs came from my ex-WW2 instructor, once Catalina pilot and later Cranwell QFI. After 55 years I can hear his gentle tones as though it was yesterday.

Before spinning the Tiger Moth from every attainable attitude: This is a very safe aeroplane, it can only just kill you. We're going to ensure that it doesn't.

Before crossing the Irish Sea: You can go solo after you take me into cloud and fly to my instructions for 15 minutes. There's no horizon 20 miles out on hazy days. (On my second crossing there wasn't, and I was very glad of my instrument training long before the IMC rating)

On the 1950s ADF system little different from his Catalina days: Never trust a black box, remember a black box has no fear.

My best post-flight briefing came from the CAA examiner after I quite rightly failed my first IR test for climbing 200ft into controlled airspace before clearance – I was flustered after being unable to break into the busy London RT. The rest went perfectly, then I was given 20 minutes of the finest instruction I have ever had. Next attempt was easy. Thanks again, Capt. Gunn, if you're still on frequency!
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 21:28
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Debrief after I stuffed up a practice glide approach (if memory serves I'd only just gained my Pa28 rating and was doing some practice circuits) and the Chief Instructor just happened to be watching me from another aircraft. When I taxied in he casually wandered over while I was securing the aircraft.

Him: That was an interesting last glide approach there. What happened?
Me: I stuffed it up but since I was pretty close to the runway I chose to continue with the landing.
Him: It was a bit low don't you think?
Me: Yes I was s**tting myself.
Him: Just go around next time.
Me: Absolutely!
Him: It looked pretty good though.

End of debrief.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 02:33
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Me a cocky young instructor doing my first flight test to renew my rating. The ride was going well and the last exercise a PFL in the circuit to a full stop. When the examiner pulled the power back downwind abeam the threshold, I immediate initiated a slipping turn for a very steep close in base holding the slip right to the flare for a nice touchdown just past the numbers..

The examiners comment " Very Nice but don't ever do that with an initio student"
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 08:09
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Taildragger sign off in a super decathlon:
Rudder laddie, you don't move it much, but you use it lots . . .

Accurate if a bit bewildering at the time.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 11:13
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The great Henryk Doctor, when CFI at Yorkshire GC once checked me out in the Falke after a gap in my flying. His total words during the flight were:
You take off
You do right turn
You do left turn
You fly OK

upon which he turned & looked out of the side of the cockpit for the rest of the flight.

I was immensely flattered.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 21:29
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My best ever debrief came after my one and only dual helicopter flight in a Bell 47, in the Antipodes.

I was a really experienced helicopter passenger in many types ranging from a Hughes 300 to an Mi 8, but I had never handled the controls of one. I had of course read lots about how difficult it was - Chickenhawk in particular was in my mind.

I was flying in the right seat seat with the dual-controls fitted, but there was no throttle on the collective, so my instructor was handling the throttle, which helped a lot. We went through the usual ab-initio exercises - handling each control separately and then all three, while going up to 10’ and down again in the hover. I can still distinctly remember saying to myself several times “Relax. Anticipate.” A piece of advice from my instructor that really helped was “Hold the cyclic loosely, so you don’t feed back the vibrations.”

After managing to hover fairly well, my instructor demonstrated a low-level circuit and then let me do three of them. I was amazed that I did as well as I did, after reading all the horror stories. The only mistake I made was over-flaring while coming to a halt. This was prevented by my instructor’s firm forward pressure on the cyclic!

After nearly half an hour, I wanted continue but I was told “Quit while you’re ahead. Much longer and you’ll go to pieces.”

We flew a spirited low-level route across the field, followed by a 720° spiral descent onto the helipad which was an 8’ square trailer.

My debrief was: “I’m not blowing smoke up your a**e mate, but that was bloody good!”

Unfortunately the 47 had been sold next time I was there.



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Old 1st Apr 2019, 23:36
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Not really a debrief, but soon after I started flying acro, I tried some manouver - maybe an Immelmann - and went into an inverted spin off the top. No big deal, recovered, tried again, completed the manouver without any dramatics, though inelegantly.

I said to my instructor, "That was better, wasn't it?"

"Well, in the sense that the Hindenberg was better than the Titanic, yes".

We're still good friends, many years later.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 10:52
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Join Date: May 2005
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1973 flying Condors, S Yorks Flying Club.

With Jim Watson CFI on my FHT. Demonstrating my super skills on an ‘emergency short field landing’. Low and slow, somewhere up the back of the drag curve and 6 ft above the numbers.
Unfortunately the power ‘chop’ was a little premature. Resultant arrival was full 3 point but very firm.
“Congratulations Stewart, that was the shortest landing I’ve ever experienced in a Condor. Don’t ever do it again with one of my F.....ing aircraft, you’ll have the oleoes up through the wings!”
​​​​​​​I passed!
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 10:58
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Ah. The great Henry Doktor. Arrived late one afternoon at Sutton Bank to do my instructor's ticket with the National Coach. Henry took me round the circuit in their Cub, or rather I took him round and landed it having never flown as P1 in a powered plane before. OK,I had a lot of gliding time but I really was surprised how easy this powered stuff was. Henry's next trick was to ask to see my log book. Most unusually I already had the 5hrs needed for Silver C, but neither the height or distance flights. "Tomorrow you do the height" he said, and sure enough I was punted over the ridge to about 100ft from a low launch, and two runs along the ridge and into a big fat thermal and fifteen minutes later I was on the ground with my height (1000m above launch point)in the bag. Henry signed my book, and then added "tomorrow the cross country" Well, I very nearly did it, managing 40 KM of the required 50. But what a guy! The most inspirational CFI I ever met.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 15:38
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Some 30+ years ago, converting to a Chipmunk at White Waltham. Coming in some 5knts too fast, and a bit high, floating down the runway.

Old Scottish voice from the back "wee lassies used to land Lancasters here during the war"
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 16:24
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My main rotary instructor, the late, great Jake Jackson; "GENTLY BOY, GENTLY! IT'S LIKE W###ING A HAMSTER, IF YOU DON'T DO IT GENTLY IT'S F###ING MESSY!!"

SND
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 12:29
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Dropped a wing at the start of winch launch, ignored it and carried on. Landing an hour or so later I was called for a debrief. ''You really scarred me'' was all he said. Never did it again.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 20:32
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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It was 1997.

I live in Belgium. We are 1997 and the West and East European countries are coming closer together so we arrange a squadron exchange with a new “ex-East” country.
We flew SF-260 at the time and they flew Yak-52.
At arrival we get a tour of the airfield and notice that there are no fences in the runway axis but guards with guns. (Other fences around the base are about 5 meters tall).
My first flight in a Yak-52.
Got a pilot who came to the aircraft shook hands silently and probably knew English was a language. OK, we are gonna have fun here. LOL
Got strapped in, and got a very good cockpit brief in fluent English by a very friendly ground crew chap.

First remark: All our dials are in ft and knot, theirs are in km/h and meters.Pilot does not say a word, starts-up, taxi to runway, and takes off.
After lift off, he retracts the gear, levels off, then descends back to about 2 meters above the runway.
End of runway comes and goes, still at 2 meters, we continue onwards in the “fields” for the next 10 minutes or so.

Next comes a leg. No water vortex at 2 meters, so we descend till our little vortex ripples the water.Still not a word from the front seat.
After the leg is a forest and he climbs to “guestimate” around 5 meters above treetop level and starts turning.

“Crack” says the intercom.
“Pilot”; We fly military in week and crop dusting in W-Ends.
“Me”; Ah, OK now I understand the “altitude”.
“Pilot” ; You fly?
“Me” : Yes, in the military and I also have a PPL.
“Pilot”; (Remember, we are still barely above treetop) => “You have it”.
And promptly releases the stick.
My luck; Front view lets me see his haircut and earphones, but spherical vision is rather good.

He must have felt that I was rather “uneasy” and came back with:
“Pilot” : You can climb to 50 meters. (That is 150ft including taxes) => I will NEVER forget those simple words. NEVER. => “You can climb to 50 meters.”
I try to get a feel of the airplane and hammer on.
“Pilot” : You aero?
“Me” : Yes, but not in a strange aircraft at this altitude.
He grabs the stick and yanks the thing upwards to 3,000meters.
Oef, I could breath. Never though breathing could feel so safe. LOL.
He does some loops, roll, snaps, mostly to the right for engine torque.

“Pilot” : => Your turn!
I do some loops, snaps, rolls a cuban8, most to the left, because that what's we do most, but get away with it and I start to relax and have some fun.

A thumb comes up in the front seat => pointing to the left.
“Pilot” => Airfield.Ok, I start turning left gently.
“Pilot” ; You => “dfjghjdfghjdfhgjkdf” => lower.
I start to descend to -what in my mind was rather safe- about 300 meters. (1,000 ft agl)
“Pilot”; lower.

Next five minutes are followed by a thumb left then right and about every 30seconds the word “lower”.
We scream by a church tower at second floor level. Below a crane arm, but he let me lift to get over the mall. Oef.
“Pilot” ; Base turn.I feel him playing throttle, lowering gear, but I still have the stick.
“Pilot” ; flare high, gear high”.
“Pilot”; I have taxi.
Shut down is a simple as turning off the fuel, mags, and the big radial bangs to a halt.
We get out and still on the wing he turns towards me ; “You good Yak driver”.
Jumps off the wing to never be seen again during our 2 weeks stay.

Normally the story would end here, but unfortunately it does not.
After me, I got permission the have one of my best mechanics have a backseat flight. Really a very good mechanic who also was co-pilot on most of our air-tests.=> They got back to the field with a missing vertical tail. It was dangling from some 6 meters high electric wires next to a road about 15 miles from base. I still have the pictures in my archives.

Breifing, did I hear something about a briefing?
LOL.
Tja , it was 1997. They did not have VOR, ADF, some 12 channel radio, and a stick like a crow-bar in those Yaks.

Lessons learned?
Best thing I did? => I put on my own parachute and not the one they offered me.
Worst thing I did? => That I did not grab the stick at take off. Safety wise? I should have.

Last edited by Vilters; 3rd Apr 2019 at 20:42.
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Old 4th Apr 2019, 19:39
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Mmm. I was once asked by my CFI to check out a 'hot shot' Australian pilot and show him round our circuit, as he was competing in the gliding championships which our club was hosting the following week. He was so far above me in the rankings that he was in the clouds, so I expected some really immaculate flying. We were in our T49 Capstan, a heavy side by side two seater, not noted for its aerobatic qualities. His flying was reasonable but his airmanship (look out, speed control on aerotow etc) was not, and I intended to get the CFI to fly with him as soon as we got back on the deck, as I felt I could not really let him loose based on his performance. Going round the circuit pattern on the downwind leg at 600ft he suddenly dived and did a loop which was the lowest I have ever done, and I was scared shitless. I didn't need to call the CFI's attention as he was at the launch point by the time we got there and had seen all this. I have no idea what was said to him, but he looked a bit abashed next time I saw him. He didn't do all that well in the comp either. I still look at that entry in my log book and shiver.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 07:46
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I had the great good fortune to come across both Henryk Doktor and Andy Gough early in my flying career. Henryk was definitely a less is more kind of person and I am not referring just to the seat cushion he needed when flying the Falke. Both were inspirational CFIs with the confidence that comes from huge experience and very supportive of very junior members of their team. Short and to the point is what they taught me about briefings.
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Old 7th Apr 2019, 20:48
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@Vilters: a great story and very well told. Much enjoyed, thanks! Only I wonder what you mean with the "water vortex ripples" - do you really mean you descended until the surface of the village pond was disturbed? Well, with that Yak's powerful radial it shouldn't be that hard, still I cannot imagine what my dear old instructor would have made of it!
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