Safety Publications/Articles

Three simple things

At a recent airshow, I met a fellow flight instructor who has a philosophy I admire. He told me that every time he flies, he tries to accomplish three simple things.

First, he always tries to make sure his students have a little fun.

He wants his students to have a little fun and enjoy every flight. He might, for instance, conduct a lesson over a scenic area and stop the lesson for a bit so that the student can take in the view. On one flight along the coast, he purposely flew his student over the area where whales were making their annual migration to Mexico (they apparently head to Club Med for a whale of a winter).

Second, he always ensures that the student experiences some form of success on every flight. Essentially, he makes sure the student learns something important, then follows up by making sure the student knows that he's learned something important.

Finally, he always leaves the student wanting more. He does this by providing a demonstration of how the skills learned on this lesson will help the student master the skills on subsequent lessons. If today's lesson is about slow flight, he shows how this knowledge will help in landing an airplane. Now, that's motivation.

Three simple things. If we can remember these, we'll all be better instructors for it.

By Rod Machado

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