|Chapter 7. Instructor Responsibilities and Professionalism
In aviation, documentation in the form of flight publications or maintenance data must be immediately available for referral while flying or conducting maintenance. While the portability of printed material meets this need for immediate availability, printed material has two disadvantages. First, it takes up space for storage and second, it can be time consuming to keep printed material current. Many publishers of printed material now make their information available in electronic format. For example, most FAA regulations, standards, and guides are available either in electronic form or as hard copy.
Non-FAA publications are available through the GPO and from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Publications not printed by the U.S. Government Printing Office are available from the many publishers and suppliers of books. Commercial publishers usually provide catalogues and toll-free numbers or websites for ordering their products.
Access to the Internet via personal computers has opened up a vast storehouse of information for the aviation instructor. In the past, aviation instructors had limited access to information, but the personal computer has greatly expanded sources of aviation information. This section lists some sources of information on the Internet. In the following discussion, several sites for accessing FAA materials are explored, and some non-FAA sites are included. Once instructors begin to navigate the Internet, they find sites which provide the information they use most frequently. Obviously, some FAA publications are more important to the aviation instructor than others. Many of the publications of interest to the aviation instructor can be accessed through the FAA website, www.faa.gov.
The FAA website is not the only source of aviation or education-related information on the Internet. The aviation instructor can access aviation-related publications at other government or non-government websites via published web addresses or by using the search function of the web browser. Keep in mind that most sites on the Internet are updated periodically, but some are not. In addition, new sites are added and old sites are discontinued on a regular basis. The aviation instructor can become more adept at obtaining information by entering and navigating around the Internet to become informed about the contents and how to best locate desired information. The more familiar aviation instructors become with the Internet, the better they are able to adapt to any changes that may occur.
Professional aviation instructors must continue to expand their knowledge and skills in order to be competent instructors. The field of aviation is advancing, and the instructor also must advance. Instructors can best do this by taking advantage of the wide variety of materials available from the FAA, other government agencies, commercial publishers and vendors, and from industry trade groups. These materials are available at training sessions and seminars, from printed books, papers, magazines, and from the Internet and other electronic sources. Instructors who commit to continuing education are able to provide the highest quality instruction to their students.
This chapter discussed the responsibilities of aviation instructors to the student, the public, and the FAA in the training process. The additional responsibilities of flight instructors who teach new student pilots as well as rated pilots seeking add-on certification, the role of aviation instructors as safety advocates, and ways in which aviation instructors can enhance their professional image and development were explored.
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