Flight reviews by supervising instructors

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photofly
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Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by photofly »

If I'm a student at a flight school, and my instructor sends me for a "supervisory" flight with the CFI, and the CFI thinks I didn't do very well - does that mean:

- that my instructor didn't teach me properly?
- that my instructor doesn't understand what the CFI considers to be good flying?

If so, do I deserve a refund for any of my training? Or free remedial training, paid for by the flight school?

If the purpose of my supervisory flight is mainly for the CFI to assess whether my instructor is doing a decent job, why am I paying for it? Shouldn't the school, or (in the modern climate of instructors as contractors) the instructor him/herself pay for it?

Who benefits from a supervisory flight? And if a supervisory flight is a sh*t-show, who's at fault, and whose responsibility is it to fix things?

Does anyone think that a CFI might have a strong incentive not to be too critical (or critical enough) of a student’s flying for fear of having to deal with some of the above issues?
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Squaretail
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by Squaretail »

photofly wrote: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:57 am If I'm a student at a flight school, and my instructor sends me for a "supervisory" flight with the CFI, and the CFI thinks I didn't do very well - does that mean:

- that my instructor didn't teach me properly?
- that my instructor doesn't understand what the CFI considers to be good flying?
There is a third option, and that is that the student didn't perform well that day. While both of the above are possible, and I dare say probable with a lack of real supervision from the supervising instructor. My standpoint has always been that supervisory flights are also instructional flights, they are still lessons within the school's syllabus and aren't otherwise "special" inserts and they shouldn't interrupt the normal flow of training. If your school has a set up where these flights/lessons are treated as you may describe, you may consider that maybe your school's purpose is to train instructors rather than students.
If so, do I deserve a refund for any of my training? Or free remedial training, paid for by the flight school?
Yes. In one case I had an instructor who chose to change the syllabus to his liking which was detrimental to the student's progress. I personally gave the free airplane time and instruction. Advice to students: if your instructor tells you not to tell the CFI what you're doing, tell the CFI and ask for another instructor.
If the purpose of my supervisory flight is mainly for the CFI to assess whether my instructor is doing a decent job, why am I paying for it? Shouldn't the school, or (in the modern climate of instructors as contractors) the instructor him/herself pay for it?
As above. Supervisory flights shouldn't be a strict assessment. The CFI should have enough judgement to know whether the training is on track or not from the conduct of a normal lesson.
Who benefits from a supervisory flight? And if a supervisory flight is a sh*t-show, who's at fault, and whose responsibility is it to fix things?
If its a sh*t-show its the school's responsibility to remedy the training. Ideally supervisory flights shouldn't really be too much of a surprise if supervision is actually going on at the school. New instructors should be effectively briefed and debriefed as much as the students are. Technically speaking if conducted correctly supervisory flights should be a win for everyone. In a majority of ones I've done all I would have to advise the instructor on were minor items that may increase the efficiency with what they are doing and nothing that should be of major impact to the training. I will say though that on occasion I have done these at the instructor's request if a student was having a hard time, or perhaps the instructor was having personality conflicts with the student. Which just happens and usually can be improved by something small, or if a larger issue a change of instructor.
Does anyone think that a CFI might have a strong incentive not to be too critical (or critical enough) of a student’s flying for fear of having to deal with some of the above issues?
As above, ideally this system doesn't work this way. What you propose suggests that the supervisory flights are the only supervision going on. If you're a CFI and you find yourself always disappointed with your instructor's performance at these junctures, you're doing it wrong.
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by co-joe »

Ive had this experience. On my ppl I did the pre flight test with the CFI and she was very tough on marking me. She didn't have the benefit of knowing that I was normally god at this exercise or that procedure and that today I got nervous or slipped up. She only saw that moment in time and wasn't happy with what she saw. With a couple extra review flights I did great on my flight test.

Over and over again in my career I've had this with training captains, and company check pilots. Everybody has a different idea of how this plane needs to be flown, or that sop needs to be interpreted. Accept the new angle on things, learn from it and move forward. You can throw your instructor under the bus if it makes you feel better, or just learn from it.

If the CFI is doing their job properly, they are being hard on you and your instructor because they want you to be successful. If your instructor was being too easy on you its because they like you and want you to like them. In my time as an instructor I was guilty of this once or twice.
There is a third option, and that is that the student didn't perform well that day. While both of the above are possible, and I dare say probable with a lack of real supervision from the supervising instructor. My standpoint has always been that supervisory flights are also instructional flights, they are still lessons within the school's syllabus and aren't otherwise "special" inserts and they shouldn't interrupt the normal flow of training. If your school has a set up where these flights/lessons are treated as you may describe, you may consider that maybe your school's purpose is to train instructors rather than students.
Well said.
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by digits_ »

co-joe wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:43 am Over and over again in my career I've had this with training captains, and company check pilots. Everybody has a different idea of how this plane needs to be flown, or that sop needs to be interpreted. Accept the new angle on things, learn from it and move forward. You can throw your instructor under the bus if it makes you feel better, or just learn from it.
Ugh. I hate it when that happens. Not sure if I learn much from all those different angles, at one point it just becomes annoying as hell. It's like every check pilot has their own set of SOPs. It is of course important to follow the company SOPs, except when they disagree with them, then it is important to follow "their SOPs".

In a perfect world it wouldn't happen. But in a perfect world I'd have won the lottery many years ago (without playing)!
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by photofly »

co-joe wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:43 am Ive had this experience. On my ppl I did the pre flight test with the CFI and she was very tough on marking me. She didn't have the benefit of knowing that I was normally god at this exercise or that procedure and that today I got nervous or slipped up.
Isn’t consistency of performance an important part of pilot skill?
Does the universe forgive pilots who are normally good at flying, but slipped up, one day?

Remember, “he’s a terrible pilot, but I just had a bad day.”

That having been said, a student who carefully flies a steep turn at 30 degrees of bank, because that’s all they’ve been taught to do, or loses 400’ trying enter the slow flight regime (and doesn’t seem to care) - is that excusable as tough marking to bring that up?

Who pays for fixing that, when it comes to light in a review?
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by digits_ »

photofly wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:35 am
co-joe wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:43 am Ive had this experience. On my ppl I did the pre flight test with the CFI and she was very tough on marking me. She didn't have the benefit of knowing that I was normally god at this exercise or that procedure and that today I got nervous or slipped up.
Isn’t consistency of performance an important part of pilot skill?
Does the universe forgive pilots who are normally good at flying, but slipped up, one day?
I'm pretty sure almost every pilot loses a bit of accuracy and performance when there is someone in power watching your every move, be it a pre flight test cfi, examiner or ACP. I know I do. I'd say that the majority of students perform worse on flight tests than during regular solo/dual flights.

Does that mean you won't perform well under pressure in case of an emergency? No, not at all. Those are different kind of pressures.
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by Squaretail »

That having been said, a student who carefully flies a steep turn at 30 degrees of bank, because that’s all they’ve been taught to do, or loses 400’ trying enter the slow flight regime (and doesn’t seem to care) - is that excusable as tough marking to bring that up?
Tough to say without more details. I mean when you briefed your class 4 before he/she initially taught steep turns, did you make sure that 45 degrees was the exercise objective? When they were hired did you train them on the syllabus and lesson plans? Or did the student decide they didn't want to do steep turns? In the latter example, why didn't the student care? Did the instructor before the supervisory flight make clear they were having problems with this issue?

In many cases I would say its the school's responsibility to eat mistakes if they can be directly attributed to the instructors making gross errors, and if the time and effort to make the rectification is going to be substantial. If fixing the problem is going to take a short bit of review, possibly the fraction of a subsequent flight and a bit of briefing, well I don't see that as a world stopping issue in the first place. The possible problems and solutions are multitude. To paraphrase Tolstoy, all good instruction is much alike, all bad instruction is bad in its own way.

What is your view on this subject? Do you find yourself in a supervisory role these days? If you do, my condolences.
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by co-joe »

photofly wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:35 am
co-joe wrote: Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:43 am Ive had this experience. On my ppl I did the pre flight test with the CFI and she was very tough on marking me. She didn't have the benefit of knowing that I was normally god at this exercise or that procedure and that today I got nervous or slipped up.
Isn’t consistency of performance an important part of pilot skill?
Does the universe forgive pilots who are normally good at flying, but slipped up, one day?

Remember, “he’s a terrible pilot, but I just had a bad day.”

That having been said, a student who carefully flies a steep turn at 30 degrees of bank, because that’s all they’ve been taught to do, or loses 400’ trying enter the slow flight regime (and doesn’t seem to care) - is that excusable as tough marking to bring that up?

Who pays for fixing that, when it comes to light in a review?
Your instructor taught you to do steep turns at 30 degrees of bank? Did you read the flight training manual? That's not a steep turn. If you are losing 400' entering slow flight and your instructor thinks that's ok, you have problems. Nobody's going to pay for this, but you should be looking elsewhere for your training.
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Re: Flight reviews by supervising instructors

Post by flightstaus »

Hello

Just wondering, are you a student of the Sault College aviation program?

We all have bad or off flights, even if you fly perfectly 90% of the time. Perhaps this was the case with you. Knowing someone is watching you adds pressure. Yes, possible it could be your instructor as well, more so if they are new instructor.

Now, if you are a student of Sault College, it maybe the program itself from reading so many posts on here and other sites. Example of this is has your flying lessons been consistent? Students at Sault college have reported going 2-5 weeks at a time between flight lessons repeatedly. Last year, year 2/ Sem 4&5, so many went flying about 2 times a month for 3-4 months. Most of the students going into year 3 Sept 2019 did NOT have their privates yet Just so you know, year 3, Sem 5&6, is the last year of the program.

To my point, if the above was part of your flight training, well, first of all...I am sorry, second of all...ya..I can see why you may have had issues. Maybe I am wrong here, but I think all of us can agree, consistent flight training is key to being successful.

Hope it all works out for you.
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