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Teaching 30 Years Ago

Teaching 30 Years Ago The following is a 'Preliminary Talk Notes' that I made early on in my instructing career. Going over them was of interest to me and perhaps you… I made them on a 2 x 5 note pad apparently before intercoms and headsets in G.A. aircraft. I am pleased to have shared with so many, these ideas. I have found them valuable and worthy of passing on. Hard to realize the these few words have grown like Topsey.

Student Expectations
Unlearning pre-conceptions of power, airspeed, and aircraft attitudes
Controlling instinctive reactions
Apprehensions related to clouds, ground, height, hills, turbulence, and statistics.
Every student has a unique learning curve with plateaus of non-progress.

Student Mistakes
Most students will make normal mistakes. Every student will create unique ones.
Instructor will create mistake situations for student who has trouble making mistakes.
Every mistake has value, you will learn from it or live to repeat it.
Know when not to fly due to health, weather or aircraft.
Learn to use the indexes of flight related to throttle, trim, flaps, banks and aircraft attitude.

Student Standards
Being on time, notice if canceling or late, scheduling frequency for results.
The instructor will set and raise the performance standards.
A student failure is an instructor failure
The way you are first taught is the way you will remember and react in an emergency. (Applies to childhood as well.)
Unlearning a first taught incorrect procedure is VERY difficult.
You will never be asked to perform an unsafe maneuver…don't do one on your own.
Don't believe that you can't be taught judgment…you can with proper exposure.
Re-teaching and re-learning is the most difficult of learning processes.
Your instinctive 'emergency' reflex is usually the wrong thing to do.

Pre-flight Talk
Instructor will try to anticipate and tell you about the most common mistakes.
A student is always different and creative in making new uncommon mistakes.
There is a range of errors that are initially acceptable as learning experiences.
As maneuvers become more difficult the range of acceptable errors becomes smaller.
Do not let your learning expectations interfere with my teaching. My expectations give enough trouble.
This instructor does not 'yell', as we fly your hearing improves. (Before intercoms)
Your expectations as a student will not be met. They turn into anxieties.
Anxieties over solo, money, fatigue, or family cause a 50% student dropout rate.

In the beginning
Your greatest problem will be an initial sense of being overwhelmed with material.
Your emotional and intellectual stress will not decrease until the sixth lesson.
Use of trim
How to use the trim wheel...why I say you have hold of the aircraft tail.
Finger and thumb only on yoke
Watching the nose
Left turning tendency explained. Instructor always monitors rudder use.

--Every departure and arrival will be from a different direction. You will become familiar with the area without the use of a sectional.
--The second lesson will introduce Dutch rolls with proficiency by the 7th lesson.
--All training turns will be in 30-degree banks for at least 90 degrees. We will maintain Vy airspeed and use turns to gain altitude.
--Leveling off requires acceleration and pre-planned trim movement. Use of measured amount of flaps requires pre-planned trim movement.
--All airwork lessons will depart upwind. Descents are made with power reduction since we have trimmed already for level flight.
--Stalls will be walked and talked through prior to departure. All initial stall entries are gentle while holding heading and altitude.
--By the sixth lesson... you will realize how much the same all the lessons are.
Radio work
Low approach
Go ahead
Holding bars
Use of tape recorder
Reduces concern about remembering, eliminates note taking. (Wear ear plugs)
Use tape playback to improve basic radio procedures and understanding.
Who you're talking to
Who you are
Where you are
What you want
It is important that you verbalize, not just think, before keying the mike.
Practice getting ATIS on phone until you get it all the first time through.
If using a hand mike, hold it to you lips to eliminate side noise.
Always practice with the mike to your lips.
Initial mike fright is normal. Going to visit the tower is a big help.
Visit every ATC facility you can at every opportunity.
An open door is not an emergency.

Reasons for Flying
Costs and times required getting to remote places for recreation
Business use
Maintaining proficiency will equal cost of learning to fly.
Weight and Balance will become an ongoing problem.

Study Program
Required and recommended reading
Navigational devices and charts
Review of early lessons after solo with emphasis on crosswinds.


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