Got kicked out of my flight school today

This forum has been developed to discuss flight instruction/University and College programs.

Moderators: lilfssister, North Shore, ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, Right Seat Captain

TalkingPie
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:39 am
Location: YUL

Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by TalkingPie »

I had an incident today. After a successful solo flight, I screwed up while parking the aircraft at walking pace and bumped the school's fuel pump with my wing. No excuse, I screwed up; was preoccupied with how I'd maneuver the plane into a parking position that I wasn't used to and lost track of my wing clearance. Saw my mistake just in time to slam the brakes a foot or two before I tapped the pump. It was apparently later found that a fitting to the pump was damaged which costs $1,000 to replace and rendered the pump inoperative. Small dent on the leading edge of the C172's wing. The plane was up flying again with the next student 15 minutes later.

I haven't yet debriefed with the chief pilot - he was too busy at the time and I was told it wasn't worth waiting on him for today, so we said I'd go see him tomorrow - but I got a call from the administrator later in the day to tell me that my training with them wouldn't continue. A bit of a shock, but that's not really my main concern now.

My concern now is how seriously I should take this setback. I have 76 hours, was scheduled to cross country solo tomorrow, and being kicked out of a flying school has me asking myself whether I'll be a safe pilot. Up until now I've been a bit slower than I'd like in getting the hang of things, but don't feel like I've been any more of a safety risk than other pre-PPL student pilot. My (Class 4) instructor had been encouraging about how I'm doing. No safety incidents up until today.

I want to continue at a different school, but this has been both a blow to the ego and is making me want to make sure I have the potential to be a safe pilot.

What say you folks?
---------- ADS -----------
 
digits_
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3086
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:26 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by digits_ »

How close are you to your PPL flight test? How long have you been flying?

The incident in itself doesn't have to be a show stopper, plenty of people have brain farts and damage airplanes. I would be more "concerned" about 76 hours without a PPL. This could indicate slower learning curve, which is not a problem in itself, or lack of good instructing, or something else. They might just use this incident as an excuse, as it is easier to tell you "don't come back, you damaged our plane" vs "you don't progress well enough, we'd rather not have you come back". Just some thoughts based on the limited information provided by an internet stranger.

Either way, if you do go to a different flying school or apply for insurance if you ever buy an airplane, don't lie about the incident.
---------- ADS -----------
 
As an AvCanada discussion grows longer:
-the probability of 'entitlement' being mentioned, approaches 1
-one will be accused of using bad airmanship
Capt. Underpants
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:04 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by Capt. Underpants »

I need more information. How long has it been since you started training? Have there been breaks in your training progress or have you been doing it at a steady pace of two or more flights per week (weather permitting)?
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
PilotDAR
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3307
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:46 pm
Location: Near CNJ4 Orillia, Ontario

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by PilotDAR »

Getting kicked out because you went bump, and were a total jerk about it, maybe... Getting kicked out after you took responsibility, 'doesn't sound right to me. Yeah, I damaged Brampton's Cutless RG back in the early '80's. My fault, I reported it right away, I paid for the damage, and everyone moved on just fine.

When you talk to the boss pilot, keep owning up, that' just honest, but also aside from that, are there other issues below the surface?
---------- ADS -----------
 
notwhoyouthinkIam
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:49 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by notwhoyouthinkIam »

PilotDAR wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:37 pm Getting kicked out because you went bump, and were a total jerk about it, maybe... Getting kicked out after you took responsibility, 'doesn't sound right to me. Yeah, I damaged Brampton's Cutless RG back in the early '80's. My fault, I reported it right away, I paid for the damage, and everyone moved on just fine.

When you talk to the boss pilot, keep owning up, that' just honest, but also aside from that, are there other issues below the surface?
They made you pay for the damage? That's fucked. They have insurance as a school and that is there to cover damage caused by students and renters.
---------- ADS -----------
 
photofly
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 8190
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:47 pm
Location: Making aviation exhausting, everywhere

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by photofly »

I think you misunderstand the point of insurance. The insurance is there to protect the school from claims against them and their instructors and employees, not to protect the student against claims by the school. If you want protection, take out your own insurance.

Besides, there’s the $5000 deductible and the increase in premiums the school would have to swallow following every claim.
---------- ADS -----------
 
Strike me down with all of your hatred & your journey towards the dark side will be complete!
co-joe
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3682
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:33 am
Location: YYC 230 degree radial at about 10 DME

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by co-joe »

I had a student wreck the nose gear of a 172. First solo too. Bounced, panicked, porpoised, Basically "Encored" onto the runway. Parents were there to watch. Real heart breaker. She never did that again. I had zero trouble sending her solo again after a few review flights. Great little pilot.

Odd are you won'y do that again. In fact the school now has $1000 invested in you. I'm betting you'll be a better pilot for it.
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
Bede
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3229
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:52 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by Bede »

I wouldn't worry about this at all. You made a mistake, you learned from it. You move on. Make sure you get your PTR.
photofly wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:59 pm I think you misunderstand the point of insurance. The insurance is there to protect the school from claims against them and their instructors and employees, not to protect the student against claims by the school. If you want protection, take out your own insurance.

Besides, there’s the $5000 deductible and the increase in premiums the school would have to swallow following every claim.
He's a student under supervision. There is a good case to be made that the school/instructor is vicariously liable for the student's actions.
---------- ADS -----------
 
digits_
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3086
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:26 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by digits_ »

photofly wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:59 pm I think you misunderstand the point of insurance. The insurance is there to protect the school from claims against them and their instructors and employees, not to protect the student against claims by the school. If you want protection, take out your own insurance.

Besides, there’s the $5000 deductible and the increase in premiums the school would have to swallow following every claim.
Cool another insurance topic. I like how they are all different yet similar.

Let's say he was a licensed renter and crashed into that pump at full speed, ignited a fuel tank and blew up 2 houses and the plane is a write off. The insurance is supposed to cover the liability of the PIC. So it should cover the damages.

The school can still try to get money from the pilot, but if all damage is being paid for by the insurance, then why/how would they?
---------- ADS -----------
 
As an AvCanada discussion grows longer:
-the probability of 'entitlement' being mentioned, approaches 1
-one will be accused of using bad airmanship
photofly
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 8190
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:47 pm
Location: Making aviation exhausting, everywhere

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by photofly »

I"m looking at an aviation insurance policy right now. The "insured" includes the policy holder, and the PIC (when they have permission) so far, so good.

But under "Exclusions - applicable to liability insurance only" it says: "The insurer shall not be liable for property damage to any property belonging to or in the care, custody or control of the insured."

So if this were the policy in effect, it would exclude a claim for damage to the pump.
---------- ADS -----------
 
Strike me down with all of your hatred & your journey towards the dark side will be complete!
vermont
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:49 pm

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by vermont »

PilotDAR wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:37 pm Getting kicked out because you went bump, and were a total jerk about it, maybe... Getting kicked out after you took responsibility, 'doesn't sound right to me. Yeah, I damaged Brampton's Cutless RG back in the early '80's. My fault, I reported it right away, I paid for the damage, and everyone moved on just fine.

When you talk to the boss pilot, keep owning up, that' just honest, but also aside from that, are there other issues below the surface?
Meh just sounds like the Quebec attitude I've came across in business in the past.
---------- ADS -----------
 
digits_
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3086
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:26 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by digits_ »

photofly wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:18 pm I"m looking at an aviation insurance policy right now. The "insured" includes the policy holder, and the PIC (when they have permission) so far, so good.

But under "Exclusions - applicable to liability insurance only" it says: "The insurer shall not be liable for property damage to any property belonging to or in the care, custody or control of the insured."

So if this were the policy in effect, it would exclude a claim for damage to the pump.
Does that policy otherwise include the hull value of the airplane, or is it a liability only policy you are looking at?

My home owner insurance has something similar: if I damage the house with a vehicle I own, it doesn't cover the damage.
---------- ADS -----------
 
As an AvCanada discussion grows longer:
-the probability of 'entitlement' being mentioned, approaches 1
-one will be accused of using bad airmanship
photofly
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 8190
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:47 pm
Location: Making aviation exhausting, everywhere

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by photofly »

digits_ wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:43 pm Does that policy otherwise include the hull value of the airplane, or is it a liability only policy you are looking at?

My home owner insurance has something similar: if I damage the house with a vehicle I own, it doesn't cover the damage.
Yes, that policy includes hull insurance. So in the example of the OP, the damage to the wing would be covered, but not the damage to the fuel pump.
---------- ADS -----------
 
Strike me down with all of your hatred & your journey towards the dark side will be complete!
digits_
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3086
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:26 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by digits_ »

Interesting. Thanks for sharing!
---------- ADS -----------
 
As an AvCanada discussion grows longer:
-the probability of 'entitlement' being mentioned, approaches 1
-one will be accused of using bad airmanship
User avatar
PilotDAR
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3307
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:46 pm
Location: Near CNJ4 Orillia, Ontario

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by PilotDAR »

They made you pay for the damage?
No, I offered, it was my fault, not theirs. I cracked a back window. The only problem was Cessna had numbered all the 172RG parts with a "-RG" on the part number, and quadrupled the price. So I payed for a rather expensive 172 back window. Brampton very kindly absorbed the installation cost. It felt fine to take responsibility for my error. From the way I was treated with courtesy around Brampton back in the day, I have no complaints.

Obviously, if someone wipes off a nosewheel, that's a different discussion, and insurance may be involved. One of my clients told me that "next time I was over, they'd ask me to look at a cowl repair approval for their 172S. A couple of weeks later I happened along on other business. There was the plane at the back of the hangar, firewall bare. Wow, they went to town taking the cowls off for me! Then I noticed that the firewall was wrinkled, aha nosewheel strike! Apparently the mechanic noticed it doing an oil change, whoever did it said nothing - rat bastard!

I've had occasion to ding a few planes over the decades. I have never claimed insurance, 'just paid to repair myself. Happily, my dings have been within my budget. Whenever it's been someone else's plane taking responsibility seemed to improve my reputation, rather than decrease it. I think that all experienced plane providers know that planes get dinged. The idea is to cause no injury, and keep the dings minor.
---------- ADS -----------
 
User avatar
Bede
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3229
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:52 am

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by Bede »

photofly wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:37 pm
digits_ wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:43 pm Does that policy otherwise include the hull value of the airplane, or is it a liability only policy you are looking at?

My home owner insurance has something similar: if I damage the house with a vehicle I own, it doesn't cover the damage.
Yes, that policy includes hull insurance. So in the example of the OP, the damage to the wing would be covered, but not the damage to the fuel pump.
Damage to pump, hangar, office is probably covered by corporate property insurance.
---------- ADS -----------
 
TalkingPie
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:39 am
Location: YUL

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by TalkingPie »

To clarify, I started training winter of last year. I didn't get to fly nearly as often as I'd like due to weather and the availability of my first instructor (not at the school in question here). So I would regularly go a week, two, or occasionally more without being able to fly. I'm also older, 36, and don't learn as quickly as I did in my 20s. I've also always learned a bit little-engine-that-could style, taking a while in the beginning but ending up pretty good at what I was trying to learn. I was scheduled to do my solo cross country tomorrow, which itself had been put off for a long time due to weather and scheduling issues - it was rare that my work and the weather would line up for me to fly more than once a week, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't rusty before heading off on that flight. My dual cross country went quite well. I figure I do need about 10-15 more hours before I can realistically expect to pass the check ride. Written exam was passed with an 87%, but that doesn't mean anything.

For what it's worth, I would've considered paying for the damage, but was told by an owner, "You'll no longer be a student here," over the phone before I even had a debriefing, let alone knew what the damage was. I was sticking around after the incident, but was basically told to go home. Needless to say, I made no attempt to cover up my mistake, nor could I have.

I texted with my instructor, with whom I've had a great rapport, and he's very supportive. He also told me that instructors there have been fired for far milder infractions. I guess that's how it is.

I have no intention of lying about anything, but another instructor I know suggested not necessarily volunteering the info to my next flight school. I'm not so sure about that, but I do wonder how it'll be taken by other schools. I have to hope that if I prove competence in a dual lesson, resuming solo won't be too far behind.
---------- ADS -----------
 
KissPlusOne
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by KissPlusOne »

What school is this?? Or, if you aren't comfortable sharing that info, what province you in?

That is a poor way to treat a mistake! Stuff breaks. It's your life and experience that matter. As has been previously mentioned, you're going to be a better pilot because of this mistake. It's not a reason to kick you out... In my opinion....
---------- ADS -----------
 
7ECA
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 957
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by 7ECA »

Sounds like a school that deals with integrated students; they're usually looking for any excuse to "unburden" themselves of pesky local students...

In all honesty though, you did everything right - you admitted your mistake, you were going to sit down with the CFI and go from there. The school "firing" you as a student, that's just them showing their true colours. Good riddance, move on to a school that treats students and employees better.
---------- ADS -----------
 
derateNO
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:15 pm

Re: Got kicked out of my flight school today

Post by derateNO »

What a shitty school. I know people who ground looped planes and had the CFI take them up like an hour later just to make sure they didn't spiral down into bad vibes and get scared to fly again.

Also insurance exists for a reason. Don't pay them a cent.
---------- ADS -----------
 
Post Reply

Return to “Flight Training”