CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 3 - 1


Air Safety Institute

ASI's newsletter for the serious flight instructor | Vol. 2 Issue 3

UnfortUnately, there’s often a big difference between how we teach a maneUver and what we really do oUrselves.

Table of Contents

3 ASI online: IFR Insights—Cockpit Weather

3 CFI tools: AOPA Aviation Summit— focus on safety

5 Checklist: A CFI's good grief moment 6 Safety spotlight: See no evil 7 Chief's corner: Never too late!


The five-step teacher
and insisting they assemble the picture without telling them what the picture is. What fun is that? That’s why it’s wise to begin every lesson by (Step One) describing the big picture to your student. If your lesson is on slow flight, then explain the value in learning to fly a fast airplane in slow-mo. This is a skill students need to land an airplane, right? If your lesson is on steep turns, then explain to them how this maneuver helps them understand how an airplane behaves when its apparent weight suddenly increases. If you’re teaching a course on weather, describe how uneven heat distribution is responsible for nearly every aspect of weather in our atmosphere. Now that’s thinking big. Perhaps Gary Zukav explained the idea of the big picture best in his book The Dancing Wu Li Masters, when he wrote, “The master…begins from the center and not from the fringe. He imparts an understanding of the basic principles of

MY MOTTO as a young flight instructor was: “If you can put it in the seat, I can teach it to fly.” Despite that youthful naiveté, my students did well, mainly because I didn’t interfere with their natural ability to learn. Over time, my teaching strategy evolved into something a bit more sophisticated. Now I use a five-step teaching process whenever introducing a student to a new skill or idea. Let me describe it for you, step-by-step. When Pope Julius II decided on a room upgrade for his Sistine Chapel, my guess is that he introduced Michelangelo to the massive project by saying, “Mikey, let’s talk about the big picture…of all the little pictures I want you to paint (the Pope points) up there.” This was a wise strategy, because 80 percent of us pick up new subjects quicker when someone lays out just what it is that we’re about to learn—the big picture—followed by all the tiny details and specifics. Not doing so is like giving someone a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle | 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 3