Techniques of Flight Instruction

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Certified Flight Instructor

CFI Ground School AVF 225

Techniques of Flight Instruction

Chapter 8

The flight instructor student shall become well versed in system safety including ADM, risk management, situational awareness, SRM and be able to utilize methods and strategies to support instructional goals in those areas

Flight instructor qualifications
In addition to the ratings necessary to be a flight instructor, technical expertise in all aircraft systems is a must to teach effectively
The CFI must maintain currency with regard to training techniques and certification requirements
Do this by keeping abreast of current regs, publications and periodicals

Flight instructor strategies
Before the flight discuss safety, proper preflight, and use of the checklist
During the flight, aviate, navigate, communicate
See and avoid is a concern here as your attention will be demanded by the student and looking outside
During landing, make stabilized approaches, good judgement on go arounds, wake turbulence, terrain, correction of faulty approaches, full stall landings on the centerline
Safety is paramount
Keep raising the bar to encourage constant learning
Teach beyond the test, remember the test is just one goal here
Minimum standards should not be introduced until 3 hours before the checkride

Teaching tips from old guys

Obstacles to learning
Unfair treatment
If a student believes they do not get adequate instruction or not enough feedback learning and motivation suffers
If the instructor makes unreasonable demands motivation will suffer
Make it challenging but not impossible
Use the PTS as a guide
Usually impatient students don’t realize the gravity of their situation
It’s usually a lack of knowledge that prompts these feelings
Present the material one step at a time
Make sure they know what is expected (completion standards) before beginning
Unnecessary drill and practice will spawn disinterest

Obstacles to learning
Worry or lack of interest
Students who are worried or emotionally compromised are not ready to learn
Outside influences may play a contradictory role to successful flight training
Try to deflect outside influences by encouraging the student to focus on the task at hand
Inadequacies in the course or instructor may be cured by prevention
Make sure the student knows the objectives and standards
Physical discomfort, illness, fatigue and dehydration
All these can slow or stop learning
Send the student home if they are obviously sick
If they get airsick, stop the lesson, schedule early morning or late evening flights to build tolerance
Keep them cool, keep them occupied, keep the lesson short

Obstacles to learning
Acute Fatigue
Acute is short term, chronic is long term
Acute may appear on a flight when there has been too much repetitive practice
It may be physical, mental or both and can be hard to identify for the CFI
Since landings are a complex task fatigue may occur quickly in some students
Look for the signs:
Errors in timing
Neglect of secondary tasks
Loss of accuracy and control
Lack of awareness of error accumulation

Obstacles to learning
Chronic Fatigue
Generally not rest related, usually physiological or psychologically based
May require treatment from a professional
Dehydration and heatstroke
This can happen in our neck of the desert
Usually more of a problem for the instructor than for the student
Apathy due to inadequate instruction
This will happen when the instructor is not prepared and does a poor job of instruction
If the student feels the instructor doesn’t care then why should they
It also works the other way
If the instructor’s students show up constantly ill prepared it can drive the instructor to care less and less about student progress

Obstacles to learning
This will limit the perceptual fields and limit learning
Providing a safe, comfortable learning environment is key
Successive accomplishment of goals will also help
Avoid scary situations
May require special handling by the instructor until the situation is resolved
May pop back up later in training, keep an eye out for it

Demonstration performance method
Used mostly for instruction in the aircraft
It has 4 components:
Student performance with supervision
Explanation phase
Necessary points are discussed on the ground first
This includes objectives and standards
The student should know what they will learn and how they will learn
Cover appropriate safety procedures
Encourage questions from the student

Demonstration performance method
Demonstration phase
This is where you get to show your skills or lack thereof
The student should develop a good picture of the skill and the necessary steps for successful completion
Keep it concise and on point
Acknowledge any deviations from the norm or they will incorporate them into what they know about the maneuver
Student performance and supervision phase
Evaluate the performance as it happens
Coach and correct as necessary
If the task is not mastered incomplete the lesson and try again later

Demonstration performance method
Evaluation phase
This is where the CFI evaluates performance and records the results
Verbally notify the student of how it went and points that need improvement
Offer concrete suggestions for how to accomplish improvement
Perhaps a follow up homework assignment is in order
Collaborative assessment may be a tool you want to use here
This may be the way to go for a student with defense mechanisms
Learner centered grading required by the collaborative assessment may be a way to get them to confront their real performance

The telling and doing technique
Instructor tells, instructor does
Student tells instructor does
Student tells student does
Student does instructor evaluates

Positive exchange of flight controls
There must be a clear understanding of who has the aircraft
Follow the 3 step process
As an instructor you should always guard the controls and be ready in critical situations to “help” the student especially during landings
There is always that student that will fight you on the controls, usually during landing practice
Do not let this continue
Have a talk and let them know your expectations in this case

Sterile cockpit rule
121.542 under 10,000 feet
Since your whole flight will probably be under 10,000 feet stick to the business at hand

Use of distractions
Stall spin accidents are usually caused by distractions
60% of the stall spin accidents where during takeoff and landing
20% were preceded by engine failures
Use of distractions are a part of the practical test standards
Scenarios involving some form of distraction are useful tools here
The ones listed in the book are pretty lame
Be careful the distraction you come up with doesn’t put you into a real stall spin accident
Make sure your student knows what to do in situation overload
The only way to know for sure is to create that condition under controlled conditions for practice

Integrated flight instruction
Defined as performance of flight maneuvers using inside and outside references
Be careful the student doesn’t focus inside too much
This will be the rule, not the exception
The student likes the concrete nature of the information given by the instrumentation
Development of habit patterns
Student’s level of knowledge should allow them to extract information from the instruments efficiently to maintain a proper scan outside
When this level of knowledge is reached better aircraft control is possible
The safety record gets better when students can adequately balance inside and outside scanning

Integrated flight instruction
Operating efficiency
It goes up with good technique
Start with the first briefing on use of flight controls
Introduce each new maneuver using both outside and inside references
See and avoid
From the very first lesson introduce how to scan for traffic
Make sure the student adheres to proper clearing procedures before begin each maneuver

Integrated flight instruction
See and avoid
Flight instructors were onboard the aircraft in 37 percent of the accidents in the study.
Most of the aircraft involved in collisions are engaged in recreational flying not on any type of flight plan.
Most midair collisions occur in VFR weather conditions during weekend daylight hours.
The vast majority of accidents occurred at or near nontowered airports and at altitudes below 1,000 feet.
Pilots of all experience levels were involved in midair collisions, from pilots on their first solo, to 20,000 hour veterans.
Most collisions occur in daylight with visibility greater than 3 miles.

Assessment of pilot ability
As previously discussed assessment is an important part of flight training
It can be used as a tool for re-teaching
Demonstrated Ability
Use the standards of performance
Mastery of individual components must be looked at as well as overall performance
The student’s ability to demonstrate consistent proficiency is key before any solo endorsement is made
The student must be a self contained dynamo of aviation goodness

Assessment of pilot ability
Post flight evaluation
Keep your student informed of their progress at every step
Postflight written critiques are a useful tool here
If SBT is used then use collaborative assessment
Follow up with an in-depth discussion of the thought processes used
First solo flight
This is a supervised flight, so you have to be there
Make sure the weather conditions support success
Make sure the time of day is good, daylight
Get a portable radio to listen in and see how it’s going
Don’t instruct over the radio, that can end badly

Assessment of pilot ability
Post solo debriefing
This is where the student tells you everything that happened in excruciating detail
The phrase “it was so awesome” are used every 4th word
Try to answer any questions right after the flight occurs
Correction of student errors
Don’t be grabby
Don’t yell or scream we’re going to die here
Let the students make mistakes if safe
Remember landings are not the place to let a mistake go to far
Be conservative here until your envelope gets bigger and you know where the edges are

Assessment of pilot ability
Pilot supervision
Stay involved with solo operations
Don’t write a student a “blank check”
This is by far the most important flight instructor responsibility
Only the instructor flying with the student is in a position to make that call
Dealing with normal challenges
Normal to you may or may not be to a beginning student
To avoid confusion and interference teach normal tasks individually
After they are mastered, combine them for the complete picture

Assessment of pilot ability
You can use SBT techniques to set up a set of conditions, after the student explores one set, switch them up or throw a wrinkle in to evaluate their ability to react to change
Try to use realistic situations, perhaps from experience, to generate a more life like feel to the scenario
Practice landings
FAA recommends full stop landings
Look for a few things before giving an initial solo endorsement: (in addition to pt.61)
Does the student have good aircraft control
Is the student consistent
Does the student know how to recover from a bad landing
Does the student have good judgement 1st 1/3 of the runway, go arounds
Does the student catch all the radio calls and sound good on the radio
Is the student able to handle random runways and traffic patterns

Assessment of pilot ability
Practical test recommendations
Your signature on the 8710 form is an endorsement
The student must demonstrate both knowledge and skill of the items listed in part 61 and the PTS
The signature on the 8710 is valid for 2 calendar months (book says 60 days, which was changed in 2011)
The dates on the 8710 and the logbook endorsement must match
Refer to the current AC 61-65 (just changed 1/14/2015) for endorsement wording
Make sure the endorsement cites the correct reg in Part 61
The DPE or FAA inspector relies on your endorsement to give the test
This is part of your responsibility as an instructor

Aeronautical decision making
Comprised of 4 components:
ADM aeronautical decision making
Risk management
Situational awareness
SRM single pilot resource management
ADM briefly defined is the systematic approach to the process used by pilots to determine the best course of action with regard to a certain set of circumstances
Risk management is used to identify hazards, assess the degree of risk and determine the best course of action
Situational awareness is the accurate perception and understanding of all the factors and conditions within the 4 fundamental risk elements that effect safety before, during and after the flight
The 4 factors are pilot, aircraft, environment and type of operation
SRM is the art and science of managing all resources available to a single pilot

Aeronautical decision making
Human Factors is concerned with optimizing the relationship between people and their activities, by the systematic application of human sciences, integrated within the framework of systems engineering
In the above definition, pilot error is implied but does not explain why pilot error happens
ADM is designed to prevent bad decision making and thus pilot error
ADM is formulated to prevent a bad decision chain from forming
SBT then becomes a critical part of the ADM training model because it weaves knowledge, skills, risk management, situational awareness and SRM into the training process
Case study page 8-14

Aeronautical decision making
It is very easy to just teach flying skills, aircraft systems and regs
It can be harder to teach ADM decision making processes and how to make good decisions
Rote level is not good enough for ADM, the student has to be able to think, use common sense and act appropriately
Use the “teachable moment” to make the student think about what would have happened if…
Talk to your students about declaring and emergency, they may think of it as a failure of piloting skills to do so, or they may think they will be in trouble

The decision making process
Set up a scenario with all the aspects you want to hit
First define the problem
Detect a change
Try to determine the nature and scope of the problem
Flying the aircraft is still the #1 priority, don’t let them loose sight of that
Choose a course of action
Determine the actions required to effect a positive outcome
Try to predict what outcome will be achieved with each course of action
Encourage your students to choose the course of action that gives them the most options

The decision making process
Implementing the decision and evaluating the outcome
Even though a decision has been made it’s not the end of the process
Continuous re-evaluation and predictions must be made to get the desired result
Factors affecting decision making
The 5 hazardous attitudes
An attitude is a personal motivational predisposition to respond to persons, situations, or events in a given manner
They contribute to poor decision making
In order for this to be in play, the student must know what hazardous attitude they exhibit
Have them do the tests to find out

Hazardous attitudes
Anti-authority: “Don’t tell me.” This attitude is found in people who do not like anyone telling them what to do. In a sense, they are saying, “No one can tell me what to do.” They may be resentful of having someone tell them what to do, or may regard rules, regulations, and procedures as silly or unnecessary. However, it is always pilot prerogative to question authority if it seems to be in error.
Impulsivity: “Do it quickly.” This is the attitude of people who frequently feel the need to do something—anything—immediately. They do not stop to think about what they are about to do; they do not select the best alternative, and they do the first thing that comes to mind

Hazardous attitudes
Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me.” Many people believe that accidents happen to others, but never to them. They know accidents can happen, and they know that anyone can be affected. They never really feel or believe that they will be personally involved. Pilots who think this way are more likely to take chances and increase risk.
Macho: “I can do it.” Pilots who are always trying to prove that they are better than anyone else are thinking, “I can do it, I’ll show them.” Pilots with this type of attitude will try to prove themselves by taking risks in order to impress others. While this pattern is thought to be a male characteristic, women are equally susceptible.

Hazardous attitudes
Resignation: “What’s the use?” Pilots who think, “What’s the use?” do not see themselves as being able to make a great deal of difference in what happens to them. When things go well, the pilot is apt to think that it is good luck. When things go badly, the pilot may feel that “someone is out to get me,” or attribute it to bad luck. The pilot will leave the action to others, for better or worse. Sometimes, such pilots will even go along with unreasonable requests just to be a “nice guy.”
Students must also know the associated risk for each of the 5
Students must also know the antidote to each of the 5

Hazardous attitudes
Macho Steve often brags to his friends about his skills as a pilot and how close to the ground he flies. During a local pleasure flight in his single-engine airplane, he decides to buzz some friends barbecuing at a nearby park. (taking chances is foolish)
Anti-authority Although he knows that flying so low to the ground is prohibited by the regulations, he feels that the regulations are too restrictive in some circumstances. (follow the rules, they are usually right)
Invulnerability Steve is not worried about an accident since he has flown this low many times before and he has not had any problems. (it could happen to me)
Impulsivity As he is buzzing the park, the airplane does not climb as well as Steve had anticipated and, without thinking, he pulls back hard on the yoke. The airspeed drops and the airplane is close to stalling as the wing brushes a power line. (not so fast, think first)
Resignation Although Steve manages to recover, the wing sustains minor damage. Steve thinks to himself, “It doesn’t really matter how much effort I put in—the end result is the same whether I really try or not.” (I’m not helpless, I can make a difference)

Stress management
Recognizing and coping with stress is also an ADM tool
Stress is defined as the body’s response to demands placed on it
There are 3 main stress categories known as stressors:
Physical Stress
Conditions associated with the environment, such as temperature and humidity extremes, noise, vibration, and lack of oxygen.
Physiological Stress
Physical conditions, such as fatigue, lack of physical fitness, sleep loss, missed meals (leading to low blood sugar levels), and illness.
Psychological Stress
Social or emotional factors, such as a death in the family, a divorce, a sick child, or a demotion at work. This type of stress may also be related to mental workload, such as analyzing a problem, navigating an aircraft, or making decisions.

Stress management
When a student is experiencing stress you should:
A: tell them to cowboy up
B: tell them to get a truck driving job and take up yoga
C: query the student to find out why and/or determine if there are aspects of pilot training that are causing the stress
Interestingly some CFI’s will ignore the signs of stress in their students and pick A or B (not in so many words mind you)
The instructor may suggest several strategies
Build in time for relaxation
Pursue a course of physical fitness
Manage their time better

Use of resources
In order to use resources, students must know about them
Typically a student won’t even consider outside resources
For this reason it is important you build in using both inside and outside resources into flight training
If you’re going to expect the student to use a certain resource, then make sure they have the skills to do so
Make it a routine, so proper habit patterns can be formed

Use of resources
Internal resources
These are what the pilot takes with them on the flight
Ingenuity, knowledge, skills and capabilities are the non-tangibles
Through understanding of the equipment and systems are the tangibles
If it’s in the aircraft, they will be expected to know how to use it on the checkride
With today’s new fangled avionics and glass cockpits it will take extra time to teach these systems to produce a proficient pilot
Have them stick to checklists, if none exists then develop one
The POH, current charts, and AFD are all resources as well
Passengers can be a resource, especially if taught to scan for traffic
Use of resources
External resources
Make sure they are well versed in all that ATC has to offer
Flight following, vectors, ground speed checks, weather updates, flight plan assistance, airport conditions, IFR routing, flight watch and assistance in emergencies
Use SBT in every phase of flight with a focus on use of resources

Workload management
Students are notorious for incorrectly prioritizing tasks
This usually leads to a higher workload and the student feeling rushed
When students are rushed, mistakes usually happen
The CFI is crucial in helping students find the most efficient way to accomplish a given set of tasks
Sometimes things can be done ahead of time to minimize high workload environments
As workload increases the first thing to happen is the student will work faster
As the process continues the student will focus on just one item at the expense of other tasks
The next thing that happens is the student pops a circuit breaker and starts crying

Workload management
Best to gradually increase workload as the student becomes more and more comfortable with the situation through experience


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