Chapter 8. Techniques of Flight Instruction

Flight Instructor Qualifications

A CFI must be thoroughly familiar with the functions, characteristics, and proper use of all flight instruments, avionics, and other aircraft systems being used for training. This is especially important due to the wide variety in global positioning systems (GPS) and glass panel displays.

It is the personal responsibility of each flight instructor to maintain familiarity with current pilot training techniques and certification requirements. This may be done by frequent review of new periodicals and technical publications, personal contacts with FAA inspectors and designated pilot examiners (DPE), and by participation in pilot and flight instructor clinics. Additional information can be obtained from veteran flight instructors. [Figure 8-1] The application of outmoded instructional procedures or the preparation of students using obsolete certification requirements is inexcusable.

Practical Flight Instructor Strategies

During all phases of flight training, CFIs should remember they are role models for the student. The flight instructor should demonstrate good aviation sense at all times:

  • Before the flight—discuss safety and the importance of a proper preflight and use of the checklist.
  • During flight—prioritize the tasks of aviating, navigating, and communicating. Instill importance of “see and avoid” in the student.
  • During landing—conduct stabilized approaches, maintain desired airspeed on final, demonstrate good judgment for go-arounds, wake turbulence, traffic, and terrain avoidance. Use ADM to correct faulty approaches and landing errors. Make power-off, stall-warning blaring, on centerline touchdowns in the first third of runway.
  • Always—remember safety is paramount.

Flight instructors have the responsibility of producing the safest pilots possible. For that reason, CFIs should encourage each student to learn as much as he or she is capable of and keep raising the bar. When introducing lesson tasks, flight instructors should not introduce the minimum acceptable standards for passing the checkride. The Practical Test Standard (PTS) is not a teaching tool. It is a testing tool. The overall focus of flight training should be on education, learning, and understanding why the standards are there and how they were set. The minimum standards to pass the checkride should not be introduced until the 3 hours of preparation for the checkride.

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