Safety Publications/Articles

Time to try something new

I recently tried barbecuing cedar-planked salmon. This is salmon cooked on a small board of cedar, and it's mighty tasty. Unfortunately, I ran out of cedar planks, so I decided to try something new. I can honestly say that I wouldn't recommend the plywood salmon. It just isn't as tasty, and the two-by-four salmon isn't much better. In fact, I think they both gave me salmonella.

OK, I jest about the plywood and the salmonella. But trying something new is essential to staying fresh as a flight instructor. For instance, the next time you're teaching someone to land an airplane, ask for permission to have their hand in marrying the airplane to the runway. All right, what I really mean is that I want you to try this: Hold on to their left wrist with your left hand (with permission, of course) as they hold onto the yoke with their left hand.

Now, instead of moving your controls in demonstrating a landing and having them follow through, you'll move their hand while it's in contact with the yoke. All they have to do is promise not to let go of the controls while keeping a soft grip on the unit at the same time. The wonderful part of this demonstration is that both the control movements and pressures involved in landing are now more easily detected by the student. This little technique makes it easier for the student to understand how to land the airplane.

Trying something new in the cockpit to aid in training is something that all instructors should consider. There's no end to what you can come up with if you take the time to be creative about it. And yes, trying something new still applies to cooking, which is why I'm considering pressboard-planked salmon for dinner tonight.

By Rod Machado

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