Flight Training - July 2012 - 51
those who are more adept at physical stick-and-rudder skills, and those who are better at cognitive tasks. What brings it all together regardless of a student’s strengths and weaknesses? Good flight instruction. Effective CFIs break down skills into component parts, provide practice opportunities, and help put them together into a coherent whole. This puts flying within reach of just about anyone. This is why I feel completely justified in encouraging everyone who walks through the door. Let’s conclude with a reality check. Despite my positive outlook on basic learning, I also believe in the limitations imposed by talent,
or rather the lack thereof. Earlier I said flying is not brain surgery. I spoke with some actual brain surgeons to ask if it really is as hard as that expression suggests. A few seemed tempted to operate on me just for asking that question, but after some discussion most said something like this: A motivated person of average intelligence could probably make it through medical school, but it takes some innate ability to succeed in the more rigorous specialties. So yes, brain surgery is apparently pretty hard. Relating this to aviation, I believe anyone can become a private or sport pilot and perhaps even learn to fly instruments given sufficient time and motivation. But
some talent may be necessary to move into aerobatics, crop dusting, or a Harrier jet. Fortunately, basic flying isn’t brain surgery (or even rocket science, although it’s probably closer). Many students are flying for fun and don’t intend to progress much further than a private or sport certificate. Although they will be trained to the same standard as someone embarking on a professional aviation career, they don’t need to have talent. What they do need is encouragement to get past their initial fears, and a good flight instructor.
Jason Catanzariti is a flight instructor with more than 2,000 hours.
Who’s got the controls?
» By David Jack Kenny
ARE YOU POSITIVE?
around because their gear was up. The CFI explained and requested a fresh landing clearance, which was granted. Meanwhile, however, their sink rate increased
THE PRACTICAL TEST standards emphasize the importance of the positive exchange of flight controls. This may cause some eye rolling among students who haven’t seen how doubt could arise over who’s actually flying. Knowing it’s required on the checkride will make positive exchange a habit, without high workload or stress leading to an airplane being flown by nobody—or two pilots at once. That risk is particularly insidious in training for advanced certificates. The pilot undergoing instruction (PUI) already knows how to fly and presumably can be trusted to avoid disaster. The CFI’s suggestions should suffice to keep things from getting out of hand. If intervention is required, though, the assumption of control needs to be absolutely clear. The hazards of ambiguity were illustrated by the crew of a Piper Arrow practicing commercial maneuvers. While attempting the 180-degree power-off spot landing at a towered field, the PUI and instructor chose to leave the gear up until final. As they began the extension, the tower controller instructed them to go
THEIR SINK RATE INCREASED UNTIL THE INSTRUCTOR TOLD THE STUDENT TO ADD POWER. SIMULTANEOUSLY, HE REACHED FOR THE THROTTLE.
until the instructor told the student to add power. Simultaneously, he reached for the throttle. The student reported that “both our hands pushed the throttle lever forward,” while the CFI wrote that “my hand slipped off the throttle and…I reached again.” The airplane hit the runway hard, then went around and landed safely on the next try. The left wing was visibly wrinkled; the spar wasn’t damaged, but several ribs and the main gear attachment points were. In hindsight, it seems that both student and instructor could have reacted sooner. A quicker response would have allowed the student to maintain control without the confusion introduced by the CFI’s simultaneously giving a direction and executing it. However, there's an interesting detail: The CFI was in the left seat. The PUI—a 500-hour commercial pilot—was in the right, training toward the flight instructor’s certificate. So an instructor, pretending to be a student, was supervising a commercial pilot acting like an instructor. No wonder things got confused!
David Jack Kenny just celebrated 10 years as the owner of a Piper Arrow.
JULY 2012 FLIGHT TRAINING
Flight Training - July 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - July 2012
Flight Training - July 2012
Best of Both Worlds
How It Works
Knowledge Test News
After the Checkride
Since You Asked
ENJOY THE VIEW
V IS FOR VELOCITY
Is Flying Hard?
Are You Positive?
Flight Training - July 2012 - Flight Training - July 2012
Flight Training - July 2012 - Cover2
Flight Training - July 2012 - 1
Flight Training - July 2012 - 2
Flight Training - July 2012 - 3
Flight Training - July 2012 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - July 2012 - 5
Flight Training - July 2012 - Right Seat
Flight Training - July 2012 - Letters
Flight Training - July 2012 - 8
Flight Training - July 2012 - 9
Flight Training - July 2012 - Best of Both Worlds
Flight Training - July 2012 - 11
Flight Training - July 2012 - How It Works
Flight Training - July 2012 - Knowledge Test News
Flight Training - July 2012 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - July 2012 - News
Flight Training - July 2012 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - July 2012 - 17
Flight Training - July 2012 - News
Flight Training - July 2012 - 19
Flight Training - July 2012 - Final Exam
Flight Training - July 2012 - Products
Flight Training - July 2012 - ASI News
Flight Training - July 2012 - AOPA Action
Flight Training - July 2012 - 24
Flight Training - July 2012 - 25
Flight Training - July 2012 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - July 2012 - 27
Flight Training - July 2012 - ENJOY THE VIEW
Flight Training - July 2012 - 29
Flight Training - July 2012 - 30
Flight Training - July 2012 - 31
Flight Training - July 2012 - 32
Flight Training - July 2012 - 33
Flight Training - July 2012 - V IS FOR VELOCITY
Flight Training - July 2012 - 35
Flight Training - July 2012 - 36
Flight Training - July 2012 - 37
Flight Training - July 2012 - TECHNIQUE
Flight Training - July 2012 - 39
Flight Training - July 2012 - Weather
Flight Training - July 2012 - 41
Flight Training - July 2012 - 42
Flight Training - July 2012 - Checkride
Flight Training - July 2012 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - July 2012 - Year One
Flight Training - July 2012 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - July 2012 - 47
Flight Training - July 2012 - Tech Talk
Flight Training - July 2012 - Is Flying Hard?
Flight Training - July 2012 - Delaying Solo
Flight Training - July 2012 - Are You Positive?
Flight Training - July 2012 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - July 2012 - 53
Flight Training - July 2012 - 54
Flight Training - July 2012 - 55
Flight Training - July 2012 - Debrief
Flight Training - July 2012 - Cover3
Flight Training - July 2012 - Cover4