Reaching into their new pilot kit can give budding pilots an eye-opening experience. No matter where the kit comes from, they’ll typically be getting manuals, study guides, exam sets, a FAR/AIM, a plotter, an E6B, and a logbook. What may seem underwhelming and old hat to us may be overwhelming to a newbie. Don’t let their hopeful dreams of flying turn into nightmarish flashbacks of homework before they even get started.
Taking in the pile of material that resembles their first day in high school Latin class, it usually begins to set in to the students that they are on the verge of embarking on a journey that’s indeed foreign to them. While the materials may enhance one student’s excitement, for some it may leave them gasping for air, wondering what they’ve just gotten themselves into.
Before your new students start heading for the hills, have a game plan set up so you can reel them back in before they lose their bearings. Many CFIs say that delving into the new kit together for the first time is best practice; turning students loose with that bag before going over the learning materials and explaining the gadgets may actually sabotage your best efforts at making your new student feel at ease.
Keeping a small arsenal of tools and tricks up your sleeve is always a good idea to show students that you are well-equipped, sensitive, and prepared to support their unique study needs and challenges in a proactive and low-stress atmosphere. We all have different learning styles, so by providing a variety of tools, such as DVDs for visual learners, students will recognize and greatly appreciate that we are providing them with tools for success by helping them overcome their weaknesses.
If you normally don’t stock training supplies, you should at least consider keeping a couple of the private pilot kits on hand to get your new students going as soon as possible. If you find that students are asking to borrow certain items, stand firm that these are made available in the training area only so that everyone can have access, also. For the most popular items it’s good for marketing, so make sure to have a few on hand to sell. One advantage of selling your own kits is your ability to customize them both in content and price.�
Here are a few ideas of what you can include: