CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 8

TO THE SEASONED AVIATOR IT IS " COMMON
SENSE " AND A FREQUENTLY USED PHRASE
THAT A PILOT NEEDS TO BE " AHEAD " OF
THE OPERATION OF THE AIRPLANE AND NOT
''BEHIND " IT. For anything to make " common
sense " there must be a basic understanding of
how things work. " You're behind the airplane " is
a flight instructor comment frequently uttered
to new student pilots. The problem is that many
private pilot student pilots have not been taught
what it means to be " behind the airplane " or the
corollary and positive phrase, " staying ahead of
the airplane. "
In discussing this with student pilots, most
of them have difficulty in describing what the
phrase means. This sounds silly now, but in my
student pilot days when told I was " behind the
airplane, " I thought, " Yeah, that's me behind the
instrument panel. " I didn't grasp the meaning of
the phrase until near the end of my instrument
rating course. My instructor and I were
discussing an approach profile when he asked,
" What is most important? " The correct answer
was, " What's next? " That is, it's most important
to stay ahead of the airplane, and if you don't
think to stay ahead of the airplane, you will be
" behind the airplane. "
A pilot examiner told me many years ago that
he could tell how a pilot applicant was going to
fly by the way they taxied out of the ramp to the
active runway. Thinking about what is next on
an operational procedure list is staying ahead of
the airplane and not letting yourself get behind
the airplane. Mastering that aspect of flying an
airplane in a primary training airplane is an
essential skill. It becomes even more important
to stay ahead of the airplane when you are flying
heavier and faster airplanes.
As flight instructors working with private pilot
students, it appears we should spend more time
discussing the mental discipline of constant
situational awareness, otherwise known as
" staying ahead of the airplane. " Money can be
saved and quality time in the airplane improved
with ground-based scenarios and training the
IN MY STUDENT PILOT DAYS WHEN TOLD I WAS " BEHIND THE AIRPLANE, " I THOUGHT,
" YEAH, THAT'S ME BEHIND THE INSTRUMENT PANEL. " I DIDN'T GRASP THE MEANING
OF THE PHRASE UNTIL NEAR THE END OF MY INSTRUMENT RATING COURSE.
mind to think about predetermined operational
events. We can discuss and chair fly " what's next "
and understand the meaning of " staying ahead
of the airplane " on the ground before we fly the
airplane.
Let's think about flying in the traffic pattern as
a chair flying exercise before flying the airplane.
After rotation speed, when do you bring up flaps,
if they were used for takeoff? I encourage you to
have your students make verbal calls. In our low
powered training airplanes, full power is usually
maintained until you attain traffic pattern
altitude (TPA). The next question is when you
turn crosswind and downwind. There are some
variables based on your airport, but typically the
crosswind turn is 300 feet below TPA, which is
1,000 feet above ground level (agl). To be ahead
of the airplane, you should think about where
you are and the events to come. I like to teach
students in low powered airplanes to say to
themselves on the upwind departure leg " 500'
agl, 200' to the crosswind turn, " followed by " 100'
to crosswind, " and then at crosswind altitude,
make a 90° turn commensurate with the
prevailing wind. Then " 200' to TPA " , followed by
" 100' to TPA, " and then your arrival at TPA and
then call out the necessary power adjustment to
establish the appropriate downwind airspeed.

CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3

CFItoCFI Newsletter—Vol. 12, Issue 3
CFI Notes
Letters
From the Editor: Collisions Avoidance—Use Technology to Your Advantage
You're Behind the Airplane—What Does This Mean?
Safety Webinars: Hone Your Skills—Be Well-Informed
ASI Message: Analyzing Midairs
CFI News
CFI Tips: Terrain Tips for Flatlanders
Checkride Checklist: DPE Answers for Students and CFIs
Practical Advice: Avoid Mishaps—Keep Your Pocket Book Happy
Chart Challenge: Pick the Right Height for Your Flight
CFI's Point of View: Two vs One—Is a Two-Pilot Crew Safer than Single-Pilot Operations?
There I Was…: Miracle on Mount St.Helens
You Can Fly: AOPA Flight Training Advantage—In Flight and On the Ground
Safety Quiz: Radio Communication
CFI Tools: Where Am I? Where Am I going?
Chief's Corner: A Cool Job!
Ask ATC: Can ATC Declare an Emergency for You?
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - CFItoCFI Newsletter—Vol. 12, Issue 3
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - CFI Notes
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Letters
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 4
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - From the Editor: Collisions Avoidance—Use Technology to Your Advantage
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 6
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - You're Behind the Airplane—What Does This Mean?
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 8
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 9
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 10
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Safety Webinars: Hone Your Skills—Be Well-Informed
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - ASI Message: Analyzing Midairs
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 13
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - CFI News
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 15
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 16
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 17
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - CFI Tips: Terrain Tips for Flatlanders
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 19
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 20
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 21
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Checkride Checklist: DPE Answers for Students and CFIs
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 23
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Practical Advice: Avoid Mishaps—Keep Your Pocket Book Happy
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 25
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 26
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Chart Challenge: Pick the Right Height for Your Flight
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 28
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - CFI's Point of View: Two vs One—Is a Two-Pilot Crew Safer than Single-Pilot Operations?
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 30
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - There I Was…: Miracle on Mount St.Helens
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 32
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - You Can Fly: AOPA Flight Training Advantage—In Flight and On the Ground
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Safety Quiz: Radio Communication
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - CFI Tools: Where Am I? Where Am I going?
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 36
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 37
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Chief's Corner: A Cool Job!
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 39
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - 40
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 12 Issue 3 - Ask ATC: Can ATC Declare an Emergency for You?
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