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Teachable momentsTeachable moments

"Teachable moments" are those unplanned opportunities that give the teacher an ideal opportunity to offer insight to his or her students. A teachable moment is not something you plan, but rather a fleeting opportunity that has to be seized. And it’s not a concept that is confined to an elementary school classroom.

On a given day, there are likely dozens of teachable moments at your flight school. Your challenge is to recognize and capitalize on them. Here are two examples.

A Maryland flight school was going through a lot of tires on its trainers, thanks to several student pilots (and probably a few certificated ones) who were hard on the brakes. The school placed a tire with flat spot on prominent display at the front counter, along with a sign explaining that each new tire cost $80 to replace. It’s unknown whether this caused the renter pilots to watch their braking technique, but the fact that it sticks in my mind, five or more years later, should give you an idea of its effectiveness.

A Georgia flight school took advantage of a very specific maintenance issue to create a teachable moment for its customers. Two student pilots discovered a nose gear issue that presented as a flat nose gear strut. Left unsquawked, it would have been a nose gear collapse waiting to happen. The flight school put a photograph of the nose gear in its monthly newsletter along with the advice: “Never be complacent about your preflight.”

In both examples, the flight schools were professional. No fingers were pointed and no blame was assigned.

Have you been able to employ teachable moments at your flight school? I’d love to hear about them ([email protected]).

Jill W. Tallman is editor of Flight School Business.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.

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