Flight Training - February 2014 - 49

INSTRUCTOR REPORT

Training female students

Never assume there's a difference-unless one becomes apparent
ยป By Rod Machado

HE NEVER LETS me preflight the airplane. He always assumes that I need
more help than I actually do during
my flight lessons.
These are just a few of the comments I've received over the years
from female students regarding
male flight instructors. Clearly,
some male instructors aren't sure
how to behave around or train their
female students. Having taught
quite a few women to fly over the
years, here are a few things I've
learned along the way.
In the mid-1970s I made the
acquaintance of Cindy Rucker-one
of the first women airline pilots
with Western Airlines. To say that
Cindy was a competent pilot and
flight instructor was a galaxy-sized
understatement. One day I asked
her about the difference between
teaching men and women. She
replied that I should never assume
that there was a difference unless
one became apparent. With a
single sentence she neutralized
any preconceptions I had about
teaching female students. Over
the years, I learned that there are
biological, cultural, personality, and
experiential differences between
men and women. For instance, 30
years ago you could almost always
count on male students having
more mechanical experience (think
automobile repair, Lincoln Logs,
and fort building) than females.
Today, this is a distinction without much of a difference. We live
in a computerized, digital world.
We're more likely to replace things
(or hit them with a shoe) than
repair them because repair often
is not a do-it-yourself task. Think
about it. How many men do you
know in their 20s or 30s who have
ever worked on a car? Today, if an

engine stops working and a fellow
lifts the hood to fix it, he's hoping
to see a gigantic circuit breaker
down there that simply needs resetting. Then there's this thing called
chivalry, where men are inclined to
perform manual duties for others,
females in particular. It is best, however, that male instructors not take
their suit of armor onto the flight
line. Don't do for a female student
what you wouldn't do for a male
student. That means you shouldn't
help her with the difficult parts of
preflighting unless she needs help.
If she's not tall enough to check the

women tend to follow directions
better than men. They'll do exactly
what you tell them to do. Men are
inclined to improvise and test the
limits of the behavioral envelope.
That's why a good instructor might
begin the training of male students
by placing special emphasis on the
need to listen carefully and follow
directions precisely during the early
stages of training, while promising
them improv opportunities later.
This is why women become
proficient at what they practice,
but generally only at what they
practice. Men tend to interpret

GENERALLY SPEAKING, WOMEN TEND TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS
BETTER THAN MEN.
fuel, then get her a ladder. If she
doesn't have enough upper body
strength to perform certain maneuvers, don't avoid or dumb down
the maneuver. Instead, find a way
to compensate. I've taught several
women who didn't have the upper
body strength to hold the elevator
aft in a Cessna 210 during a steep
turn. So I let them use trim, whose
purpose is to reduce pilot workload.
Then there was my female student
who couldn't continually depress
the rudder pedal with one leg during single-engine flight in a twin
Cessna. She asked if she could use
two feet on the rudder pedal for
single-engine operations. No regulation prevents this, nor was her
behavior unsafe (as decided by me
and the FAA inspector who signed
her multi rating). Of course, if your
students-male or female-can't
meet your minimum standards for
safe flight, they shouldn't fly. Period.
There is, however, one very distinct difference between female and
male students: Generally speaking,

directions liberally, often resulting
in the exploration and acquisition
of a larger range of behaviors. Your
male students might mischievously
stumble onto the idea of combining
a crab and sideslip for crosswind
correction; your female students
will certainly acquire the technique
if and when you teach it to them. If
you need proof of this assertion, just
take a look at who's doing the drag
racing on your local street.
Of course, these differences
between men and women are
generalizations, which is a good
thing. There can be no such thing as
wisdom without them. So become
wise. Don't assume a female student
needs to be taught differently than
her male counterpart. But do recognize and utilize any difference that
might exist to train all your students
properly.
Rod Machado is a flight instructor, author,
educator, and speaker. He has been a pilot
since 1970 and a CFI since 1973. Visit his blog
(www.rodmachado.com).

FEBRUARY 2014 FLIGHT TRAINING

/ 49


http://www.rodmachado.com http://www.rodmachado.com

Flight Training - February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - February 2014

Flight Training - February 2014
Contents
Member Benefits
Right Seat
Letters
Fun on the Water
Success Story News
How It Works
After the Checkride
News Abeam the Numbers
Training Products
News Final Exam
Asi News
News
Flight Lesson
Accident Report
Around the Patch
Flying Carpet
Flight Training Excellence Awards
Awards Recipients
All for You
Dream Maker
Weather
Career Pilot
Instructor Report
CFI to CFI
Career Advisor
Accident Report
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training - February 2014
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover2
Flight Training - February 2014 - Contents
Flight Training - February 2014 - 2
Flight Training - February 2014 - 3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Member Benefits
Flight Training - February 2014 - 5
Flight Training - February 2014 - Right Seat
Flight Training - February 2014 - 7
Flight Training - February 2014 - Letters
Flight Training - February 2014 - 9
Flight Training - February 2014 - Fun on the Water
Flight Training - February 2014 - 11
Flight Training - February 2014 - Success Story News
Flight Training - February 2014 - How It Works
Flight Training - February 2014 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Abeam the Numbers
Flight Training - February 2014 - Training Products
Flight Training - February 2014 - News Final Exam
Flight Training - February 2014 - Asi News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 19
Flight Training - February 2014 - News
Flight Training - February 2014 - 21
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - Around the Patch
Flight Training - February 2014 - 25
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - February 2014 - 27
Flight Training - February 2014 - 28
Flight Training - February 2014 - Flight Training Excellence Awards
Flight Training - February 2014 - 30
Flight Training - February 2014 - 31
Flight Training - February 2014 - Awards Recipients
Flight Training - February 2014 - 33
Flight Training - February 2014 - All for You
Flight Training - February 2014 - 35
Flight Training - February 2014 - 36
Flight Training - February 2014 - 37
Flight Training - February 2014 - 38
Flight Training - February 2014 - 39
Flight Training - February 2014 - Dream Maker
Flight Training - February 2014 - 41
Flight Training - February 2014 - 42
Flight Training - February 2014 - 43
Flight Training - February 2014 - Weather
Flight Training - February 2014 - 45
Flight Training - February 2014 - 46
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Pilot
Flight Training - February 2014 - 48
Flight Training - February 2014 - Instructor Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - CFI to CFI
Flight Training - February 2014 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - February 2014 - Accident Report
Flight Training - February 2014 - 53
Flight Training - February 2014 - 54
Flight Training - February 2014 - 55
Flight Training - February 2014 - Debrief
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover3
Flight Training - February 2014 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aopa/ft_201103
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com