full circle

Of the things I get to do as a flight instructor, I think none are as rewarding as flying with instructor candidates. Guys and gals pursuing their flight instructor ratings are motivated, good aviators, and make excellent students.

If anything, I wish I was able to teach instructor candidates more often. Over the last three years I have had a handful of them, mostly add-on instructor ratings though. A select few were going for their initial instructor rating.

Recently I have been going over some of the fundamentals of flight instructing in preparation for a new student I was receiving. It got me thinking about how far I’ve come since I began this job. It truly is a unique experience to reminisce about days gone by, and how much I’ve learned and experienced. I have come full circle.

Tomorrow I will even get the opportunity for the first time to complete some standardization flights. When you’re hired at the school, you get to spend countless hours in class learning how to teach the way the school wants you to teach. If you were a student here at the academy, it’s never really a big deal. However, we currently have almost all instructors that trained elsewhere. This tends to be a trial by fire, and quite shocking to the new instructors. Teaching something a completely different way is almost like teaching something completely different.

Because we are so short on standardization pilots, they are utilizing the check instructors to assist with the standardization flights. So I get to fly with these new instructors and evaluate their ability to teach and evaluate the ‘right way’. This is essential to ensure that the students will be able to learn from any instructor and be taught the same thing. This makes moving students from instructor to instructor seamless, and it ensures that the instructor is providing quality instruction as desired.

It gives me an opportunity to help out a new colleague, and perhaps teach a little bit. It hopefully gives them an opportunity to gain some insight on the school, and I hope, build their confidence.