Friday, October 24, 2014

Are We the Right Fit?

I'm sure most of you know now that I flight instructed much longer than any normal person would (5 years!!), and had more than enough hours to go to the airlines when I finally did.  Even with the hundreds of traffic patterns I did, and the steep turns, and how many times I had to remind my students of "safety first," I still loved every day of it.  I tried to be the best flight instructor I could be and felt I did a pretty good job.

That being sad, there were still students with personalities so different than mine that we were not a good fit.  I couldn't explain things in a way that would help them understand.

During my flight instructor days, I was always proud of the fact that I could teach any student to land an airplane smoothly- no slamming it onto the runway or turning one landing into three.  It is a finesse to be able to do that, and I felt my students mastered it quite well.  I even had multiple examiners call me after the checkride to tell me that my students had awesome landings (proud CFI moment).  Here's a pic with me and one of my students after her first solo- she did awesome!  As did all my other students, but that would be too many pictures to share in one post.  :)

However, I had one student about a year after I began flight instructing that I could not teach to land.  We'd spent countless hours in the traffic pattern, but to no avail.  I could not figure out what the problem was.  The approach was always so beautiful, but then it got a little sketchy during the flare with me having to take over the airplane more often than not.

After weeks of trying I didn't want to waste the student's money anymore, so I sent him with a new instructor.  There were no hard feelings and it wasn't awkward.  I kid you not, just a few days after flying with this other flight instructor, he could land like a pro.  Did this offend me?  Of course not!  I was happy for him and the other flight instructor.

For whatever reason, my tips didn't help him out at all; but this other instructor was able to teach him things I could not.  If you are having issues with your flight instructor, or if you are a flight instructor having issues with a student, do not be ashamed to switch things up a bit.  You should both want what is best for each other, even if that means meeting with a different flight instructor.  Make it a positive experience for all the parities involved.

Happy Friday, and have fun flying!