It’s said that a student pilot moves through four levels of learning: rote, understanding, application, and correlation. There’s a fifth level: inspiration.
You can see it when a professional pilot, reminiscing about his early days in a general aviation trainer, expresses gratitude for how his first instructor imparted crosswind-landing skills, delivered key pointers about aircraft performance or aerodynamics, or made tackling tough tasks a treat.
Inspiration shines through when a newly certificated flight instructor reflects on the understanding she acquired about a tricky commercial-pilot maneuver, and the tips she received from an experienced colleague about how to get a stressed-out student pilot to release that death grip on the controls.
Flight training covers an extraordinary volume of information. But it’s the inspiration we remember best and talk about most when someone wants to know what drew us to aviation—and whether it kept its initial promise.
With inspiration comes motivation—and a new year provides a natural opportunity to assess your training, itemize issues in need of attention, and recapture any slowed momentum toward your goal.
Obviously, your flight instructor is a big part of this assessment, and much advice can be found on how to evaluate the health of your student-instructor dynamic. Here’s a basic checklist for making that evaluation: Will you remember your CFI for the inspiration and insights you gained? Or will the recollections be marked by canceled lessons, showboating, poor preparation, and similar disappointments?
You’ve come too far to walk away—and there’s no reason why you should—so act on any concern. Have a talk. Get a second opinion. Take a phase check. Change to a more suitable aircraft. The remedies are many, and they work.
So, here’s a tougher question: Are you holding up your end of the bargain? Answer yes if you prepare with sincerity for lessons, hit the books for ground school or self-study, can accept honest critique without taking offense, and do your part to move the program forward.
Instructors have great power to inspire students. Would it surprise you to read that inspiration is a two-way street?
Many students, by their enthusiasm, their focus, and their perseverance, remind flight instructors how inspiring their chosen profession can be.
Keep the tradition going in 2012!
Flight Training News
Denver TV news reporter Amelia Rose Earhart took off Dec. 26 on the first leg of a flight designed to re-create some of the milestones that led to her famous ancestor’s 1937 attempt to fly around the world. Flying a Cirrus SR22, Earhart plans to conduct several long-distance flights in preparation for her own attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine airplane. Read more >>
FAA publishes certification rule correction
The FAA has issued a technical amendment correcting and clarifying three areas of a final rule published on Aug. 21, 2009, pertaining to pilot, flight instructor, and pilot school recertification. The provision clarifies instrument proficiency requirements, and also clarifies the FAA’s intent for use of flight simulation training devices for training and testing when seeking to add a type certificate. Read more >>
K-State Salina expands fleet
The aviation program at Kansas State University-Salina took delivery of five Cessna 172 Skyhawks in November. The aircraft are equipped with Garmin G1000 avionics and autopilots. K-State’s fleet currently numbers more than 40 aircraft. Students were able to fly the new aircraft for their final two weeks of classes for the fall term.
New NAFI insurance option available for CFIs
Flight instructors who instruct in aircraft they don’t own have a new insurance option from the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) and Avemco Insurance Co. The two organizations announced the NAFI CFI Insurance Program on Jan. 1. Read more >>
Maryland flight schools add LSAs
Chesapeake Sport Pilot, located at Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville, Md., recently added a Remos GX to its fleet of mostly Tecnam light sport aircraft. The Remos rents for $105 per hour wet. At Freeway Airport in Mitchellville, Freeway Aviation has acquired a Cessna 162 Skycatcher, and also a Redbird Flight Simulations full-motion simulator. The Skycatcher’s hourly wet rate is $99.
Good radio communication skills are important when navigating our busy national airspace, and they can make you a safer pilot. But student pilots often find talking on the radio—to ATC or even over the common traffic advisory frequency—intimidating. Take the Air Safety Institute’s Say It Right: Mastering Radio Communication online course, sponsored by Lightspeed Aviation, and learn how easy talking on the radio can be.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you're not already a member, join today and get the pilot’s edge. Login information is available online.
Did you resolve to lose weight in 2012? (Who hasn’t?) If lowering your gross weight is on your agenda, take a look at this presentation from AOPA Aviation Summit 2011. AOPA’s medical counsel, Dr. Jonathan Sackier, discusses healthy ways to take off pounds as well as the benefits you’ll gain from achieving a healthy lifestyle. Watch AOPA Live® >>
Delta announces new domestic hub at LaGuardia
Delta Air Lines announced Dec. 16 its schedule for a new domestic hub at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The carrier said it would significantly expand its service at the airport, adding more than 100 new flights and 29 new destinations. Delta said the hub will be the largest single expansion by any carrier at LaGuardia in decades, increasing flights by more than 60 percent. The carrier said it will operate 264 daily flights from the airport by summer.
Flight attendants praise mediation board decision
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has upheld a National Mediation Board decision to stop assigning “no” votes to workers who do not participate in union elections. “This decision confirms that the National Mediation Board has full and absolute authority to bring democracy to union elections in their jurisdiction,” the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) said. “We urge Congress to move forward with a clean, long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.” AFA represents nearly 60,000 flight attendants at 24 airlines.
If it’s a sleek low-wing single-engine airplane that sits low on its retractable gear, make a quick check for one more telltale detail, and then pronounce the aircraft a member of the Mooney family. That detail is a vertical tail with a straight leading edge and a swept trailing edge that gives it a distinctive turned-around look. The design has been a Mooney constant. Mooneys have a reputation for speed and efficiency compared to other aircraft with the same horsepower. The Mooney Acclaim took Mooney speeds to a new level.
Noral flight bags at PilotMall.com
PilotMall.com now offers the Noral line of pilot flight bags. Prices range from $35 for the Super Headset Bag to $137 for the CFI/IFR Pilot Flight Bag. See the website for more information; call 800/249-5730 for telephone orders.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
Two more discounts for AOPA members
The AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program now includes special offers from Sony Creative Software and Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. AOPA members can check out all 19 discounts now available as a free, core membership benefit online.
No more falling asleep on the job
Final rules from the FAA overhauling rest and duty requirements for airline pilots have been released. Chip Wright explains why these changes are long overdue, and the impact they’ll have on safety, in this week’s Flight Training blog.
At AirVenture, Oshkosh
What’s it like to fly a light sport aircraft to the largest aviation gathering in the United States? Arty Trost flew her Maxair Drifter to Oshkosh, Wis., in July to find out, and experienced a fire in the cockpit almost immediately after parking. Read more in the Let’s Go Flying blog.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director of corporate finance, manager of flight training programs, online product manager, AOPA Live producer/videojournalist, associate editor–Web/ ePilot, and aviation technical specialist. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
AVIATION EVENTS & WEATHER