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Trainer standards

Old 1st Jun 2023, 06:21
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Trainer standards

Recent conversation with Line Checker.

Me: Dials up 9900 in Altitude window as ATC clearance not issued (Greek Islands)

Checker: "That's not procedure, show me where it's written"

Me: "It's not written, it doesn't have to be."

Checker: "So you are making up procedures?"

Me: "It's a memory aid used by thousands of pilots to ensure they obtain and confirm an altitude before departure"

During the taxi, he switches off my taxi lights as we came to a stop. Something I usually do but forgot on this occasion I ask him where that's written. He says, it's airmanship. I agree, I said, but where is it written?

I could hear a nerve rupture.

Why is aviation full of people like this? People who seem to believe that their idea of what's right and wrong is the only one and people who have very little wriggle room for differences?
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Old 1st Jun 2023, 07:38
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Being a checker perhaps he was drilling down to your final Me statement, and not being obnoxious, not being there of course the written word doesn't convey the tone used, which could well invite a completely different assessment.
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Old 1st Jun 2023, 07:40
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Originally Posted by CW247
Recent conversation with Line Checker.

Me: Dials up 9900 in Altitude window as ATC clearance not issued (Greek Islands)

Checker: "That's not procedure, show me where it's written"

Me: "It's not written, it doesn't have to be."

Checker: "So you are making up procedures?"

Me: "It's a memory aid used by thousands of pilots to ensure they obtain and confirm an altitude before departure"

During the taxi, he switches off my taxi lights as we came to a stop. Something I usually do but forgot on this occasion I ask him where that's written. He says, it's airmanship. I agree, I said, but where is it written?

I could hear a nerve rupture.

Why is aviation full of people like this? People who seem to believe that their idea of what's right and wrong is the only one and people who have very little wriggle room for differences?
Another example of how not to conduct a line check.

The Line Checker must not interfere unless safety is in jeopardy and if so will overtake the PIC authority from the formerly designated Captain. Everything else is to be discussed at the debriefing stage, with a coffee and most important a smile, even if the flight was a bit of a circus show by the crew.

You are asking why it is full of people like this. The answer is quite simple in my opinion: poor selection and upgrade processes of training and checking personnel in too many airlines nowadays due to the constant increase in demand for trainers.





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Old 1st Jun 2023, 09:38
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Originally Posted by CW247
Recent conversation with Line Checker.

Me: Dials up 9900 in Altitude window as ATC clearance not issued (Greek Islands)

Checker: "That's not procedure, show me where it's written"

Me: "It's not written, it doesn't have to be."

Checker: "So you are making up procedures?"

Me: "It's a memory aid used by thousands of pilots to ensure they obtain and confirm an altitude before departure"

During the taxi, he switches off my taxi lights as we came to a stop. Something I usually do but forgot on this occasion I ask him where that's written. He says, it's airmanship. I agree, I said, but where is it written?

I could hear a nerve rupture.

Why is aviation full of people like this? People who seem to believe that their idea of what's right and wrong is the only one and people who have very little wriggle room for differences?
This forum is in desperate need of a "like" button.

My usual assumption with people who insist it has to be done a certain way is that they don't have enough experience to know it can be done another way. In your altitude example, he's just showing off his knowledge of the minutiae.
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Old 1st Jun 2023, 13:42
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Training/checking roles can be viewed as promotion, rather than roles for people who genuinely enjoy or have a talent for training/checking and improving others. In my opinion that is where the difficulty can lie.

LTCs, TRIs/TREs who view their role as helping you to improve and be the best you can be are an absolute joy, those who take the role because it means they’re “better” than the average line pilot or because it’s the next step on the career ladder are less so. It is the role or the airline’s selection process to find the form
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Old 1st Jun 2023, 14:03
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Some people are drawn to power because it appeals to the negative/dark side of their personality and they aren't even consciously aware of it. And once in the position of power; wield that power according to those negative/dark traits. The practical outcome of that is behaviour such as this. And the more senior they become; the less feedback they get and the less able they are to even listen to it if is ever given to them.

And if you're a skipper; imagine how they are to FOs, cadets, trainees and cabin crew...

More info on the Dark Tetrad of personality traits:

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Old 1st Jun 2023, 15:14
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He is not a member of the “small/little man syndrome “ club?

met a few of those..
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Old 1st Jun 2023, 19:21
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As an aside, the military subforum has a "like" button. Any idea when that feature will make it to the rest of the site?
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Old 1st Jun 2023, 20:27
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Had a mate who was on antidepressants and had a skin disorder..left and became a fleet chief..skin cleared up after appointed mates into training and checking, wrote his own roster and flew to unchallenging destinations with experienced FOs. With pilots like that in charge what can one expect.
Had a row with one racist checker on a normal line flight which stopped only when the dispatcher put the load sheet between us..called him an effing hypocrite - union got rid of him after he had failed a fellow countryman on his final command check and was asked what he would have done? Same but I'm not under check.
A few good checkers but far more useless ones with ego problems and ability deficiencies.
Just reminded of a checker who hit me with his briefcase after he had a hissing fit over paperwork and i had said I'll do whatever you want Brian as I'm a copilot and I'm paid to do that. he said "Ace when you get your command you will want it done your way" so i asked him if the command course included one on sarcasm. He had bo1locked the other FO on crosswind landing technique but was wrong in what SOP was at the time.
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Old 1st Jun 2023, 20:37
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Was that a line-check of an F/O being conducted by an appointed PIC sitting on a left seat?

Just attempting to widen my frame.... Well, surely not on the initial L/C after joining a company, clear enough.

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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 08:34
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I'll always remember an experience with a very senior Training Captain in a 777 heading over Greenland on our way over the Pole. I used to use route 2 to put the DME arc's to the ILS into Thule. When performing the handover brief he asked why on earth I would do such a thing. My response was so that in the event of a scenario where the S/O would have to fly the approach, they could use LNAV on the DME arc to the LOC. Now, I may have been wrong, and I was always keen to learn if someone had a different approach to doing things but He BLEW UP at me. "YOU CANNOT USE LNAV IN THE POLAR REGION" was screamed across the flight deck (as we continued to fly in LNAV). Once I had shown him the correct FCOM procedure regarding TRU/MAG switching and LNAV he proceeded to take his pen and draw a line through it, claiming that when he was in the military they flew real Polar nav and this procedure is dangerous. I found several of the FCOM's on aircraft further down the line that had the same line on the same page, it had obviously become quite a habit for this guy.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 11:10
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Have you guys heard of ‘Rate my XYZ’ websites/apps? Is it time we had a ‘Rate my Training Captain’ and started giving them some honest feedback? Drag some of these dinosaurs into the 21st Century?

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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 15:26
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I dunno, that could getting nasty by turning into victimisation.

Problem is most of the dictators are actually alright and decent people over the dinner table/at the bar. It's the cockpit environment that results in their ego. We operate within a locked environment where our superiors are not present to observe and so the bad ways of gnarly skippers go unnoticed. As a result, they end up thinking they're gods over all dominions, not just flight safety and commercial astuteness. In the office environment, such toxic behaviour gets noticed and dealt with a lot quicker.

My advice to FOs is to write company reports. Keep them free of emotion and full of facts. They do eventually get correlated and the really nasty characters are told to change. I've seen it happen. However, in the midst of a bit of a pilot shortage (can I say that yet?), choices are limited.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 15:29
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Originally Posted by Boeingdriver999
Have you guys heard of ‘Rate my XYZ’ websites/apps? Is it time we had a ‘Rate my Training Captain’ and started giving them some honest feedback? Drag some of these dinosaurs into the 21st Century?
Now..
That..
Might actually be the best thing I have heard since sliced bread.

Maybe your on to something with this!
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 16:30
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Originally Posted by 5.8UP
Once I had shown him the correct FCOM procedure regarding TRU/MAG switching and LNAV he proceeded to take his pen and draw a line through it, claiming that when he was in the military they flew real Polar nav and this procedure is dangerous. I found several of the FCOM's on aircraft further down the line that had the same line on the same page, it had obviously become quite a habit for this guy.
He drew a line through the FCOM procedure. That’s rich. Let’s all randomly ignore paragraphs we disagree with.
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Old 3rd Jun 2023, 06:34
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The rate my xyz sites are moderated to avoid abuse and it’s not anonymous so there are barriers to avoid victimisation and harassment. There are bad apples in training and in regular line pilots and anyone is capable of attempting to tarnish reputations.

On the other hand; the point would be that the really toxic folk do get poor ratings and something can be done about it. The advice to junior crew to write reports is to be frank; idealistic and a bit naive. Junior crew prioritise protecting their own career and just deal with it. That’s a less than optimum outcome for everyone.

Also I too have experienced QRHs being “annotated” by characters who thought they knew better than the manufacturer. The contrast between their own self image and what other crew members actually thought of them could not have been more extreme. Sad to see.

Last edited by Boeingdriver999; 3rd Jun 2023 at 08:24.
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Old 3rd Jun 2023, 10:01
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The advice to junior crew to write reports is to be frank; idealistic and a bit naive. Junior crew prioritise protecting their own career and just deal with it.
That's the incorrect thinking of a previous generation and from what I've seen has changed.
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Old 3rd Jun 2023, 12:16
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I have found throughout my aviation career that many people who significantly change personality when they get on the flight deck are actually under confident and/or lacking in ability themselves, and this often gets channeled into odd/aggressive behaviour. They are fine with a pint in their hands at the bar, because they are not in a high-pressure environment making critical decisions; this goes for people in training positions as well, who are good at telling others how to do it but aren’t that good at it themselves, and they know it.
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Old 3rd Jun 2023, 12:56
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FullWings, I believe you to be correct and, over the years, have observed the same behaviour in some of the captains I flew with. When it comes to trainers, some people wanted to become trainers in an attempt, albeit unwittingly, to compensate for these aspects of their characters and also because they wanted power. In a past life I used to sit on selection boards selecting new trainers. It was incredibly difficult to differentiate between those with the wrong motivation, but who could 'interview well', versus those who really wanted to help people and who had the right empathy and analytical skills to become a good trainer. It was not easy and I know we got it wrong too many times.
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Old 3rd Jun 2023, 17:54
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Originally Posted by Boeingdriver999
Have you guys heard of ‘Rate my XYZ’ websites/apps? Is it time we had a ‘Rate my Training Captain’ and started giving them some honest feedback? Drag some of these dinosaurs into the 21st Century?
I have been a trainer/check airman for around 25 years (with some interruptions) and have asked for a mandatory anonymous feedback system in vain for the better part of two decades. I'd appreciate some feedback as I have no way to know whether I have drifted off or am still "on course". Asking for feedback doesn't really help as you're unlikely to get the full truth from someone whose next check you could be presiding over. Our training department offers a voluntary feedback form but there's no output towards trainers from that system.

A line check captain should not manipulate anything on the flight deck without asking the active crew but should speak up before the debriefing if something even potentially dangerous is done or he notices an omission that might turn out bad.

BTW: I see no added value in constant switching of taxi lights except for the rare circumstances when I might really risk blinding someone else (which is pretty much impossible in daylight. I particularly dislike extinguishing taxi lights when holding short of a runway as I'd want to be as visible as possible should I have accidentally trespassed onto an active runway.

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