I had the pleasure of being Bob Meder’s guest on this month’s NAFI Chairman’s Webinar. (National Association of Flight Instructors)
As you’d expect, we spoke primarily on flight training and flight instructor topics, with emphasis on key marketing, motivational, and pricing ideas and insights from my new book, The Savvy Flight Instructor Second Edition.
CFIs and flight school operators should find this material particularly relevant.
So if those topics interest you, please have a listen by clicking below! (Also available as MP3.)
Thanks to Bob and NAFI for inviting me to participate!
Flight tests are a bit like weddings. Everyone wants theirs to go perfectly, but sometimes problems or distractions, when successfully resolved, add richness to the experience.
Although each of these life events usually goes smoothly, you’ll occasionally hear horror stories. Jean and I once attended a wedding reception where the restaurant caught fire, forcing the bridal party and guests onto the lawn with firefighters.
As with weddings, you can never know whether pilot checkrides are “good,” or “bad,” until afterward. The obvious measure is whether you pass or fail. Common wisdom says that sooner or later every pilot fails a flight test – fortunately that’s not the blot on one’s record pilots often worry about. But it’s not always that simple. Sometimes a failed test teaches valuable lessons. My own worst flight test was not the one I failed, but one I passed.
On my instrument practical years ago, I confused my position on an instrument approach, turned, and started down at the wrong fix. The examiner’s questioning helped me figure it out, but afterward I pondered if and when I’d have caught the error on my own. Although I learned the relevant lesson, it seemed at the time I should have failed so there was little joy in taking the new rating home. The experience haunted me until I got more instrument flying under my belt.
Colorado pilot Tom Fuller is well qualified to contemplate good checkrides versus bad. A 10-year Air Force veteran, Tom earned his private three years ago and is working toward a pro-pilot career.
“I passed the oral portion of my initial Flight Instructor Practical Test last month, but did horribly on the flight portion. This came down to being at an unfamiliar airport, having little recent time in the Cessna 182RG I tested in, general checkride jitters, and fatigue. Any one of those I’d have probably been able to deal with, but all three was too much. Live and learn. So I rescheduled the flight portion for two weeks out, and committed to flying the RG as much as possible until then, which ended up approaching 20 hours…”