If You Can Not Do That, You Should Learn

Would you pull in this severe over bank? Without prior training, almost all pilots would pull; it is instinctive, and that reaction would probably kill you. If you have not trained to recover unusual attitudes, you really should.
Would you pull in this severe over bank? Without prior training, almost all pilots would pull; it is instinctive, and that reaction would probably kill you. If you have not trained to recover unusual attitudes, you really should.
A flight school’s role is to teach, but equally important is the student’s role to learn. In regards to flight instruction, I think that sometimes too much emphasis is placed on the role of the CFI and the flight school syllabus. I frequently see pilots with weak pilot skill sets. Some might argue those skills where not taught in pilot school. I am robust in that argument as it pertains to “stick and rudder” skills; however, an equally strong case can be made that the pilot did not make sufficient effort to learn the skills. I think that is heart breaking, because every year pilots needlessly kill themselves in accidents while maneuvering.

“He was a good pilot.” How many times have you heard that after a pilot has just killed himself in a loss of control accident? The skidding base to final turn, and a turn to go back following the loss of engine on take-off are two situations when of loss of control occurs too frequently. While some pundits of aviation safety opine the cause and complexity of those incidents, it seems to me that the cause of loss of control is obvious and solution is very simple. Too many pilots do not know how to turn an airplane and they need to learn how to do that!

The following quote is from Vern Kingsford, the owner of Alaska Float Ratings.
“My personal physician killed himself in a Super Cub accident. He didn’t fly enough to keep current. He did not practice 180-degree turns. I asked him to call me for his BFR, but he had found someone else who was easier.”

In the Sept 2009 issue of Flight Training Magazine, A new pilot wrote Rod Machado about a cross wind landing incident. Rod’s reply in his column, Since You Asked, made these profound comments.
• “It seems to me that you weren’t flying your airplane as much as you were being flown by it.
• The pilot makes the airplane do what he or she wants it to do
• If you don’t know how to do that, then you need to learn”.

Procedures are an important element of risk management. Training to fly an airplane involves learning proper procedures, and also learning the skill set to fly those procedures. I think that in many cases it is like the chicken and the egg. Does a pilot not know a procedure, or does a pilot not follow a procedure because he does not have the applicable skill. In this month’s featured video, I talk about that classic procedure – The Impossible Turn. click to watch

Don’t stall, control yaw and keep the blue on top. If you do not know how to do that, you need to learn. – Jim

My two books, in paper back or E-book, and Key Point videos are available from Amazon.com.
Search “books/Jim Alsip” at Amazon or click here.