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Horrible instructor!

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Horrible instructor!

Old 22nd Sep 2020, 03:20
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,531
This is not a flight examination it is a rental check out. Your job is to teach and teaching requires communication.
We’re not trying to create astronauts here.

1. May I see your logbook, medical and pilot certificate please?
2. Have you flown out of this area before?
Yes/No, cover local procedures or any changes.
3. Have you flown this make/model before?
Even with the homely C172 there are 20(?)-ish variations over the years. Some with minor, some with major differences.
Cover the differences.
4. The following maneuvers are what we require for a rental checkout. Standards are Private pilot practical test standards. Do you have any questions about how to execute any of these maneuvers? We can practice these maneuvers to proficiency if required.
5. This is the checklist that we use, it may be different from what you are used to because of the make/model/variation that we fly.
6. At the end of this flight we both need to feel comfortable you renting this airplane.
Do you have any questions?

Something like the above.
Complaining on an anonymous forum though is like leaving a bad review online of a business and not giving them the opportunity to correct the perceived issues.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 03:21
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,024
Every flying organisation has these characters whether it is general aviation, military, airlines or corporate. That includes simulator instructors. Smile sweetly and suck it up and you will be fine. Easier said than done you might reply. You cannot reason with them for they have temporary power over you. The dangerous ones are those that come across friendly on the ground then without warning change their personality once they occupy the instructor or check pilot seat. You might win the occasional battle of wits with these types but just remember they can be career busters and you eventually lose the war.
It has been forever thus in aviation. If things become intolerable try to change instructors.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 03:42
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 59
Posts: 4,686
Complaining on an anonymous forum though is like leaving a bad review online of a business and not giving them the opportunity to correct the perceived issues.
The OP has not identified anyone (and would have been deleted had they), so though a bad review, it applies to the behaviour of an employee, rather than a broad brush of the business. The comments stand on their own to me, and don't really require much context beyond that presented, when discussing them with reference to a 172 checkout. I'm comfortable that we can discuss the experience, and how we feel about the cockpit conduct more as a matter of process and CRM, than a specific instructor's failing.

As a rental pilot, I have personally received similar inadequate service from an instructor at the school. It was a Piper Arrow 3, and I truly thought that the instructor had never flown it, for his lack of understanding of certain systems (landing gear auto extend lockout, for example). I did what I thought was appropriate, based upon the flight manual procedures (which I described to him), locked out the system, took off from a nearly too short for the day runway he'd had me land into, and flew him home. He grumbled a little, and I said: "You can sign me off, and I'll rent the plane, or you can not, and I won't, it is your choice.". He signed me out, and I rented the plane. I hope he went back the the flight manual to familiarize himself with this type. I've had other instructors co fly with me, to the point where I asked who was flying?

On the obverse, today, I was the pilot being familiarized in a turbine helicopter type I have not flown for more than ten years. The instructor briefed me, and we discussed procedures. I invited him to take control whenever he felt he should, as I was not confident on the type, and "take care of" peripheral things with discussion. Our flight went perfectly well, and he only "guarded" the controls when I hovered up to the hangar to land back, nearly apologizing as he did. I reassured him that I was very happy to know that he was close by on the controls. I had never flown with this instructor before, zero tension, lots of mentoring - as it should be.

I feel more confident in the company of a co/mentor pilot who I feel is thinking far enough ahead of what I'm doing, that few things need to be a rush, and at least some discussion is possible before action is taken. When I fly with such pilots, it raises my own standards for being a mentor pilot.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 04:39
  #24 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 5Y
Posts: 506
Thanks all, interesting mix of views.

I certainly make no claim to be the perfect pilot. I am a very low hours PPL aware of my limitations, trying to build experience and eager to learn at any opportunity. Of course you only have my point of view here, but I do have the reference of instructors who taught me from day 1, and non of them fiddled and 'co-flew' in such a vague and difficult way.

To respond to a few specifics, my hand was always on the throttle, when he interfered he put his hand, unannounced, on mine and we briefly fought for control! That has never happened to me before, even as a total novice a suggestion to add/remove a bit of power was sufficient. On the transponder - I was always taught to set alt after power checks, as part of pre-takeoff checks - for good reasons. I had checked it was on stby before taxiing out, so I was surprised to see it on alt as I prepared for power checks, I asked if he had set it, he said yes. I said nothing and left it on alt. When I stopped clear of the rwy for after landing checks, I know I was well clear of any other possible traffic - I learned in a very busy airport , much busier and more complex than the airfield we were using for the check-out, so I am very aware of not interfering with others. He was just rushing me by asking me to go straight to apron and shut down. I am sure my mistake here was to not tell him to **** off and let me do my checks. In fact, when I first got to a/c I had found the trim set very nose up, so he had not done a proper after landing check when he arrived.

I am not trying to be defensive and I appreciate the different points of view here. And this was the only check ride I have done since my GFT, so I was not sure what to expect. But regardless of whether I was flying adequately or like a dangerous muppet, I found silent fiddling and unannounced 'co-flying' very difficult. I actually got the impression he was trying to be helpful.

Last edited by double_barrel; 22nd Sep 2020 at 10:08.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 05:14
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,531
Thank you for the additional information.
Having been on both sides of the fence your initial post tickled my instructor nerves a bit.
One thing that continuously needs to be emphasized and that A LOT OF PILOTS at all levels in the industry do not understand is that there is a major difference between Procedures and Techniques.

Some schools/instructors teach to turn the transponder to ALT (mode C) immediately after start up on the ramp as part of their pre taxi checks.
Some teach prior to entering the active runway as part of pre take off checks.
Some do not turn individual avionics off just teach the use of the avionics master switch and the transponder is always left in AltZ

When operating from a non towered airport none of this matters, it’s all adequate.
Situation changes when you fly from a towered airport where it may he required to taxi with the transponder either ON ( no alt info) or on ALT ( mode C)
This should be on the airport notes.

Long story short:
You may have learned one of the above 5 variations in technique/required procedure and you operating at this particular airport required another.
However it sounds more like a technique issue on the part of the instructor.
Certain techniques are more appropriate then others in certain situations.
Question is whether you did something you shouldn’t have done or vice versa or if it was in the way you did it.
You’ll learn that flying with some is the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard but none of it is intrinsically unsafe or incorrect.
Annoying as f**k though.
But that’s personal.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 10:11
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tring, UK
Posts: 1,477
It’s a shame that there are still a few “stick grabbers” around in these enlightened times. I always thought it demonstrated under confidence in their own ability.

On a lighter note, I remember at the beginning of my flight training, one of my peers was going for his 2nd or 3rd sortie in a single. At about 300’ the instructor announced “fan stop” and closed the throttle, leading the student to push it hard forward again while shouting “what the f*&# do you think you’re doing? trying to kill us!?”, which demonstrates that a proper briefing leads to a better result on average...
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 11:54
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 59
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He was just rushing me by asking me to go straight to apron and shut down.
This is an important theme. Yes, there are times when something must continue to flow (some [faster] is behind you, or something's going really wrong). Other than that, take the time you need to make your checks and complete your configuration changes. There is little rush. If an instructor feels the need to rush you, that should be briefed: "Yeah, there's a jet behind us, so we won't have excess time, I'd like to help you with xyz to keep things moving.". If you heard an unexpected "bang, quiet" even that is not the time for flying hands in the cockpit, that's when mistakes are made and not noticed. A little time for checks then, while configuring for a glide is just fine.

An instructor might have the experience to rush through, while you would like a little more time. Sometimes we more experienced pilots forget that a newer pilot would like a little more time, and the time is there. I have said, and been told: "I'm feeling a little rushed here.". No problem, I'll slow down, and allow the pace to be that of the newer pilot, as was done for me when I asked. If you're flying the plane, and things are normal, take the time you need. If the instructor is in a rush 'cause he needs to pee, he can either tell you (a briefing), or hold it and allow your pace to prevail. A useful element of briefings will be: "are there any questions?". That is your time to be honest, and may just be the pause needed it the rhythm to allow you to catch up!

In any case, the responsibility of an experienced pilot to an lesser experienced pilot is either to mentor positively, or hush up, unless safety is compromised. If you're feeling needlessly put down or rushed, the instructor/mentor pilot got it wrong. Even candidate pilots who are being a little self important can be handled with grace and pace. When they begin to outfly their skills (which the instructor should certainly be noticing), the instructor can ease into the checkride with a new briefing: "I'm about to simulate and engine failure now...", which in and of itself might be enough to remind the candidate that they had flown themselves into a not so good corner. No need to rush, and it might come to be that the candidate notices and corrects, so the simulated failure isn't needed then after all ('cause it might have been a less safe time).
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 12:18
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: EBZH
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How's about "I'm in control" vs. "you are in control" ? My instructors always applied these phrases, expecting me to confirm with the reverse. And only the one confirmed by both to be "in control" would touch any control. Simple, effective.

But, as hinted before for the topic starter, I may have been lucky with the instructors I happened to fall in with. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems. They both deserve big kudos from me! (@Martin & @Roger)
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 12:33
  #29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Jan Olieslagers View Post
How's about "I'm in control" vs. "you are in control" ? My instructors always applied these phrases, expecting me to confirm with the reverse. And only the one confirmed by both to be "in control" would touch any control. Simple, effective.

But, as hinted before for the topic starter, I may have been lucky with the instructors I happened to fall in with. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems. They both deserve big kudos from me! (@Martin & @Roger)
Yep! I thought that was standard too!

My instructors also were very professional about repeating callouts eg before turning onto the active, I was encouraged to get into the habit of saying 'approach looks clear' and they would all reply with 'checked'. And calls like airspeed alive, prop clear similarly got a nice positive confirmation from my instructors.

I now know that is not a universal standard!
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 13:27
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,472

Your points are valid, but the manner of the instructor in question - leaning over and making switch selections while not being the pilot flying, is what is wrong here. Imagine your reaction if your car passenger leant over and switched the headlights or wipers on or off. Or adjusted the radio volume without asking.

Some checkers, Captains, TREs get impatient, and/or assume one has forgotten something. A quick example:

My habit when PF on the first flight of the day during normal (jet airline) operations is to start the APU but then wait a minute before selecting APU Bleed on. I then wait another minute before putting the packs on, and continue with my cockpit preparation while this is going on. Some think I have forgotten to make the selections, but I have not forgotten - I am allowing time for the thermal stresses in the APU to reduce before applying load, which extends its working life. And normally, there is no rush to put the packs on instantly.

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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 13:58
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: cowtown
Posts: 130
Talk to me Goose .

Best CRM quote , it opens the communication channels , opens up the conversation . At the risk of being accused of grotesque oversimplification of the usual physcobabble involved with complex interpersonal communications through gender and cultural bias . Talking to the other person is usually a good place to start . What's it doing now ? Why did you do that ?
Is way better than Quoting Still Game:
" Gonnae no , do that "
"How ".
"Gonnae No "
"Gonnae No "
Still Game is a great comedy drama show but very little use for CRM as the main characters share the same culture and language and are very familiar with each other's habits and communication styles . The comedy is often built upon those subtle miscues that familiarity and expectations create situations . The twists come when the characters behave differently from what you might expect .
Comedy Gold , we all have those moments .

Remember it is about doing What is right , not Who is right .

I normally do not like Top Gun Quotes and banter , but :
"Talk to me Goose "definitely opens the conversation and keeps it friendly and FUN .
​​​​​​Apologies to those unfamiliar with Top Gun
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 16:22
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
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"Talk to me Goose"

I like that, I am going to adopt that phrase
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 16:37
  #33 (permalink)  
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But remember, 'What is sauce for the Goose is sauce for the Gander'.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 17:00
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,531
One thing we as instructors tend to omit is that
our way is not the only way.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 18:12
  #35 (permalink)  
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 18:34
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
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Thumbs up

Double- Barrel,

I feel your pain mate.

This is just poor instructional technique. I have flown with plenty of muppets in my private and professional flying career. Obviously, it difficult to challenge people who have much more experience than you, however when safety is compromised you must speak up in a diplomatic way, otherwise accidents will happen.

I loved instructing on light aircraft, and also on jet simulators. On a positive note, flying with clowns like you are describing gives you as an aviator an appreciation of how not to do it and shapes your own development, certainly if you would like to instruct when you have the necessary experience.

Enjoy your flying mate, it is a great past time.

All the best.

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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 18:41
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Thank you for all the input, very useful for me as a relatively fresh instructor. In my view the occasional FI control input is to be expected, especially during landing training for inexperienced students. Giving club checkouts to older and sometimes more experienced pilots is a totally different story of course. But still, don´t be too relaxed, sometimes you can be in for a nasty surprise, even with experienced airline pilots sitting in front of you.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 19:41
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: In the SIM
Posts: 959

As an instructor, of course you are going to have to take control, however, it should be made very clear who is flying the aircraft, which of course should be briefed properly prior to flying.

Simply fiddling with the controls, retracting/extended flaps and always butting in, is simply unacceptable. There is a time and a place, usually at a point of low workload, maybe in the shape of a 'hot' debrief, or in the classroom when you are de-briefing the flight.

I wouldn't have any reservation these days about challenging any instructor after the flight about heir conduct in a constructive manner if I thought it was unacceptable.

Sadly, as has been mentioned, you will always get these sorts of individuals in private and professional flying, a lot of time, its people in the instructing role for the wrong reasons or they simply don't have the personal attributes or non technical skill for the job.

All the best.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 20:22
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: cowtown
Posts: 130
The hard part of being a new instructor is keeping calm when someone is doing their best to kill you .
i will let someone scare me a little and offer a better way of doing something .
​​​​​​Calmly asking questions on how to improve the situation actively involving the student in fixing any deficiency . Does this look low or high to you ?
Questions must be polite to prevent the students defence mechanisms from interfering with the learning process .
It is not what we say , it is what is heard . If you are not polite asking serious questions , you are only making your job harder . The student will learn if you create a safe and polite respectful environment . Be the pilot everyone else wants to be .
Be the calm voice in the storm . Keep it simple .
Keep it fun . Offer calm solutions .Answer dumb questions as they are an important part of the learning process.
I have had some horrible jobs so anytime I go flying my internal puppy starts wagging its tail , not as fast as when I see the giggle line on Lingerie .
Share that joy , life is short it should be Fun .
​​​​​​If I have done the training on a student I usually never touch the controls again unless I am demonstrating an exercise .
The exception to that was when I had the privilege of taking a string bag pilot out on an air tour for his birthday. He had not flown since WW2 and I let him do the take off , the cruise and landing . I might have helped lower the flaps and radio , but he made me so happy to see the joy he had on his birthday flying .

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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 21:29
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: north of barlu
Posts: 6,213
I find that those instructors or examiners who shout and bully are compensating for their own problems, be that insecurity in the aircraft or deeper psychological issues.

Sometimes instruction requires the student to be told some unpalatable truths but this is not appropriate in the aircraft , this should be done in the de-briefing room and should not require the instructor to be rude.
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