Flight Training - June 2021 - 16

PREFLIGHT FLIGHT LESSON

BY ED HELMICK

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
A RUSTY PILOT IS MORE THAN A LITTLE OUT OF TOUCH

WHAT HAPPENED

I told the pilot he was flying like a
student who needed more
instruction.

I WAS CHIEF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AT A BUSY FLIGHT SCHOOL IN

16  FLIGHT TRAINING JUNE 2021

RUSTY PILOTS

GETTING BACK
INTO THE COCKPIT
No checkride,
but some training
required

Pilots who have been
out of the cockpit
awhile don't need
to take another
checkride to resume
flying as pilot in
command. They can
complete ground and
flight training with
an instructor to meet
the requirements of
a flight review-but
keep in mind that
after an absence,
the minimum hour
requirements might
not be enough to
regain proficiency. A
CFI can help target
areas of rust and you
can become a safe
and proficient pilot
once again.
aopa.org/rustypilots

TOP LEFT: ALEX WILLIAMSON; ABOVE: STEVE KARP

Scottsdale, Arizona. A staff instructor asked me if I would fly
with a man who wanted to get back into flying after several years
off. The rusty pilot had flown with two of our instructors-and
they would not sign him off for solo flight. He was upset and
demanded to fly with the chief flight instructor: me.
I told the pilot to plan a flight from the Scottsdale Airport
(SDL) to Falcon Field (FFZ) in Mesa, about 20 miles away. A
few hours later when we met for the flight, I asked him to tell
me the direction we would fly to Falcon Field. He pointed to the
northeast. Wrong. Falcon Field is southeast of the Scottsdale
Airport. I gave him a heading that would take us to Falcon Field,
and we had a satisfactory departure in a Cessna 172. En route, I
reminded him to listen to the Falcon Field ATIS and we learned
they were using Runway 22L and 22R.
As we got closer to the airport, I suggested he contact the
tower. We were cleared to enter right base for Runway 22R. We
heard no one else in the airport traffic pattern. Shortly thereafter,
my left seat pilot reported entering downwind. I, as CFI, let this
happen because there was no other traffic in the pattern.
The tower responded with a comment that the instructions
were to enter right base and for our flight to continue downwind
to the base leg. We were cleared for a touch-and-go landing. Our
altitude on base was low, and I asked, " High or low? "
My pilot responded " low " but made no corrective action.
After turning final, I asked again, " High or low " and the response
was " low. " Again, no corrective action. " Altitude alert " was the
next comment from the tower. I instructed the rusty pilot that he

needed to add power and climb back up
to the glide path. We cleared the airport
boundary fence and made a decent touchand-go landing.
Back on the downwind leg for another
touch-and-go landing, I pointed out that
we were getting low in the pattern. He did
not respond to his landing clearance, and
the tower had to call him back.
On base, we were getting low again,
and on final, I told him to initiate a
go-around and request a departure to the
northwest for Scottsdale. He informed
the tower of the go-around and requested
" radar vectors to Scottsdale. " The tower
replied that they did not have radar services and that our airplane was cleared to
leave the Falcon Field traffic pattern.
As we were departing 45 degrees off
the downwind leg, the tower asked if an
instructor was on board. I told him to say
no. I had not said a word on the radio, and
I did not think this was the time to start.
A checkout to fly a rental airplane is a
demonstration of competence to act as PIC
in a specific make and model airplane. My
role was to monitor the pilot's performance to assure the flight was conducted
safely and met the requirements of the
federal aviation regulations.
Tower asked the pilot to call after he
landed in Scottsdale. The pilot said he had
no idea why. I told him he was flying like
a student who needed more instruction.
That is exactly what happened when he
called the tower. We never saw him again.
Pilots need to be honest with themselves and others. This pilot was in a
state of denial about his flying ability
and as a result was not open to learning.
Pilots need to be their own self critic and
learn from each flight experience. This
want-to-be PIC did not understand his
responsibilities and take the necessary
action to be safe.


http://www.aopa.org/rustypilots

Flight Training - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - June 2021

Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - June 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - 2
Flight Training - June 2021 - 3
Flight Training - June 2021 - 4
Flight Training - June 2021 - 5
Flight Training - June 2021 - 6
Flight Training - June 2021 - 7
Flight Training - June 2021 - 8
Flight Training - June 2021 - 9
Flight Training - June 2021 - 10
Flight Training - June 2021 - 11
Flight Training - June 2021 - 12
Flight Training - June 2021 - 13
Flight Training - June 2021 - 14
Flight Training - June 2021 - 15
Flight Training - June 2021 - 16
Flight Training - June 2021 - 17
Flight Training - June 2021 - 18
Flight Training - June 2021 - 19
Flight Training - June 2021 - 20
Flight Training - June 2021 - 21
Flight Training - June 2021 - 22
Flight Training - June 2021 - 23
Flight Training - June 2021 - 24
Flight Training - June 2021 - 25
Flight Training - June 2021 - 26
Flight Training - June 2021 - 27
Flight Training - June 2021 - 28
Flight Training - June 2021 - 29
Flight Training - June 2021 - 30
Flight Training - June 2021 - 31
Flight Training - June 2021 - 32
Flight Training - June 2021 - 33
Flight Training - June 2021 - 34
Flight Training - June 2021 - 35
Flight Training - June 2021 - 36
Flight Training - June 2021 - 37
Flight Training - June 2021 - 38
Flight Training - June 2021 - 39
Flight Training - June 2021 - 40
Flight Training - June 2021 - 41
Flight Training - June 2021 - 42
Flight Training - June 2021 - 43
Flight Training - June 2021 - 44
Flight Training - June 2021 - 45
Flight Training - June 2021 - 46
Flight Training - June 2021 - 47
Flight Training - June 2021 - 48
Flight Training - June 2021 - 49
Flight Training - June 2021 - 50
Flight Training - June 2021 - 51
Flight Training - June 2021 - 52
Flight Training - June 2021 - 53
Flight Training - June 2021 - 54
Flight Training - June 2021 - 55
Flight Training - June 2021 - 56
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover4
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