Friday, March 27, 2009


Flight instructing has its dull moments. Not that flying is dull, but doing the same things with students that you've done dozens of times, becomes mundane. It seems like certain portions of flight instruction builds up at the same time; for example, time before solo. In other words, all your students are preparing for their solo at the same time. So each flight becomes similar to the previous; landings.

As an instructor, you become an expert on landings. You see every little mistake and correction that occurs during a landing. You want to intrude, but you also want your student to see for themselves. So you sit there and see if they react appropriately. But they rarely do, so you interrupt and coach them down to the ground, and afterwards you feel like they landed themselves only by 50%. So off the ground you go again. "Maybe they'll do it this time". But it doesn't it happen.

So what makes being an instructor so enjoyable?

When your student lands the airplane almost exactly how you want to tell them. In other words, you stay quite and they're maneuvering the plane exactly how you would say they need to without actually saying it. Then all of a sudden, you're on the ground. They did it! Without your help (physical control) nor verbal coaching, they landed the plane.

It's an accomplishment that's indescribable. "I just somehow taught someone how to bring something that's thousands of feet in the air onto the ground at a specific point." How?

It's definitely something you acquire as an instructor. Basically you see all that goes wrong with landings (or anything else), and try to teach what not to do. But I suppose as you gain hours as an instructor, you also gain experience and knowledge to use towards instructing other pilots. One couldn't trade anything for the amount of experience and knowledge you get from instructing. It should be a mandatory requirement for any professional pilot. I tell people all the time that usually instructing happens before airlines or cargo pilots, yet it seems backwards to them. Wouldn't an instructor be someone who did these things BEFORE they became an instructor? One would think...