How to improve flight training.

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C.W.E.
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How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:51 pm

If we made it mandatory to start the PPL license on a conventional gear airplane only until solo we would vastly improve the quality of pilot airplane handling skills.

Why don't we???
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by rookiepilot » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:47 pm

Let's turn the question around Chuck.

Let's say you owned a flight school with 15 planes. The government mandated tail wheel training until solo.

Would you stay in business, at the same level? Would you change your pricing, if if so, why?
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:00 pm

Let's say you owned a flight school with 15 planes. The government mandated tail wheel training until solo.

Would you stay in business, at the same level? Would you change your pricing, if if so, why?
Would you stay in business, at the same level?
Actually I would expect my business to be better, due to better training by using a conventional gear airplane in the fleet.
Would you change your pricing, if if so, why?
The pricing would be based on the cost of the airplane being used.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by rookiepilot » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:06 pm

I'm curious what you'd expect this to do to your (hypothetical) school insurance rates.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:08 pm

I'm curious what you'd expect this to do to your (hypothetical) insurance rates.
Lower them due to better piloting skills being taught.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by lownslow » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:10 pm

I believe having the little wheel at the back is of minimal effect. A lot (most) production taildraggers are old enough to have low power, light wing loadings, lots of aileron drag, and minimal distracting instruments and systems. The result is you learn to truly fly a machine rather than ride along in one. My gut feeling is that if you had half your students on Champs and the other half on Tri-Travellers there would be little difference between the groups.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by rookiepilot » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:12 pm

C.W.E. wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:08 pm
I'm curious what you'd expect this to do to your (hypothetical) insurance rates.
Lower them due to better piloting skills being taught.
Not from me, if I was running the insurance carrier. Any such rule change would have me cancel any schools coverage I was insuring, because the existing instructors wouldn't likely meet my tailwheel experience requirements.

In a heartbeat.

And even if the experience was there, my rates would skyrocket, for a long time.

Remember, we're talking a booked school with 15 planes.

I'm examining such a change from a business point of view.

Great idea. I'm curious how the execution would happen.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:29 pm

Not from me, if I was running the insurance carrier. Any such rule change would have me cancel any schools coverage I was insuring, because the existing instructors wouldn't likely meet my tailwheel experience requirements.
If any instructor is to inept airplane handling skills wise to not be able to fly a conventional gear airplane with a proper check out on a conventional gear airplane they would not be hire able in my school.

Insurance cost is determined by risk exposure by the insurance underwriters, better training results in less risk therefore lower rates.

I worked directly with Lloyds of London insurance underwriters in London England and my opinion is based on my having spent time in their offices in London and worked directly with them.

Here is a question for you.

You have two pilots with the say 100 hours each.

One was trained on conventional gear until solo the other was trained on and only flew nose wheel airplnes.

You owned a Cessna 140.

Which pilot would you feel less stress letting them fly your Cessna 140 without a check out?
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by rookiepilot » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:44 pm

There is a difference between offering that training, with one plane and a highly experienced instructor, vs a fleet of 15-20 planes and a dozen instructors.

The insurance simply wouldn't happen easily, or cheaply, in my view.

If that rule was enacted, all at once, tommorrow, as an insurer I would say thanks but no thanks, and terminate coverage on every flight school. Let someone else take the hit.

I'm not saying there isn't value in it. No way in heck I'd insure it. And I risk manage for a living. I know a little about the concept.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by telex » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:49 pm

A Comm MIFR can get one into a 737 these days right out of school. Maybe an RJ. Or a DH8 if one is really unlucky.

Tell me again about the tailwheel advantage?

Maybe teaching relevant skills that will benefit the current generation would be wise?

Are you going to mandate LF/MF training? How about sextant proficiency?
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:05 pm

There is a difference between offering that training, with one plane and a highly experienced instructor, vs a fleet of 15-20 planes and a dozen instructors.


Well when I learned to fly there were only conventional gear airplanes available at the school I learned to fly at, Cessna 140's , Fleet Canucks and the Cessna 170.

The Cessna " Land O'matic " 172 had not yet been made.

I got my PPL in 1953 and the Cessna 172 did not come on the market until 1956.

The school had around ten or so airplanes and quite a few flight instructors and we received our PPL in thirty hours of training verses the 45 hours needed today.

Flying a conventional gear airplane is not rocket science, all it requires is training on type.

When I was in the training business I did conventional gear check outs in two hours.

The first hour or so was done on the ground back and forth on the runway until they could S - turn down the centre line with they tail in the air comfortably then we went flying.

First we did wheel landings then three point landings.

I don't recall any of them needing anymore time than that to safely fly conventional gear machines.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:09 pm

Maybe teaching relevant skills that will benefit the current generation would be wise?
Where in my posts do I give the impression that I did not teach relevant skills?
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:09 pm

Double post.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by C.W.E. » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:13 pm

We have a poster here that makes very well thought out posts by the name of PilotDAR, I would like to know what his thoughts are on this subject.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by photofly » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:15 pm

I guess I'm with lownslow. I don't see why the gear configuration has any relevance to anything other than the landing and the takeoff, and there, since almost every aircraft a new pilot is now going to fly has a tricycle gear, I don't see why you shouldn't just teach them properly on a tricycle gear.

Handwriting would be neater if it were taught with the kind of ink pen you need to keep dipping in a bottle of ink every few letters, but it's a very slow way of writing, and it doesn't have a lot of relevance for teaching people to write legibly with a roller ball pen.

Not many people learn to set a fire in a fireplace any more either. If it's important, it's certainly something that you can learn to do, but for most people turning up the thermostat on the HVAC works well.
When I was in the training business I did conventional gear check outs in two hours.
Well, there's your answer then. If it's only a matter of a couple of hours training, then why should it improve things to use one vs. the other?

You have two pilots with the say 100 hours each.
One was trained on conventional gear until solo the other was trained on and only flew nose wheel airplnes.
You owned a Cessna 140.
Which pilot would you feel less stress letting them fly your Cessna 140 without a check out?
Here's another question:
You have two pilots with the say 100 hours each.
One was trained on tricycle gear until solo the other was trained on and only flew tail wheel airplnes.
You owned a Cessna 172.
Which pilot would you feel less stress letting them fly your Cessna 172 without a check out?
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by PilotDAR » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:53 pm

A Comm MIFR can get one into a 737 these days right out of school. Maybe an RJ. Or a DH8 if one is really unlucky.

Tell me again about the tailwheel advantage?
Years back, I was flying a Twin Otter with a pilot new to me in the right seat. After 15 minutes or so of flying, he asked me: "You fly a lot of tailwheel don't you?". "Yes, some, I replied, why do you ask?" [wondering to myself how this was relevant to my Twin Otter flying with him that day]... " 'Cause you use the pedals!" he replied. I hadn't been doing any fancy footwork flying with him (yet), so he formed and commented this opinion simply based on my takeoff and climb to cruise, and it seemed to be foremost in his mind. It seemed to make him more confident about the single engine flight testing I was about to undertake with him riding along (including single engine stalls).

It became obvious to me that this very experienced Twin Otter training pilot was keeping his eye opened for a pilot's self discipline and precision of flying as a priority. I suppose that he as assessing his level of comfort with riding through some demanding flying with a pilot he'd never flown with before.

I was not trained in a taildragger, and when I finally (post PPL) received an hour of taldragger training at my school, the training was so poor that it really put me off. I avoided taildraggers out of one bad experience of inadequate instruction. Then, a very competent pilot trained me in his Tiger Moth (wooden stick, no tailwheel) and restored confidence to me. I have enjoyed the demands on my skills in flying tailwheel airplanes with precision, and appying that precision to other aspects of my flying.

Of course a pilot can fly a whole career without ever flying tailwheel, but I opine that the tailwheel experienced pilot will more naturally fly with slightly better ease and precision. Perhaps that ease and precision will benefit that pilot one day in handling an unsymmetrical plane.
Maybe teaching relevant skills that will benefit the current generation would be wise?
I think that mastering and maintaining basic handling skills, precision, and self discipline will always benefit each generation of pilots....
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by telex » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:38 pm

C.W.E. wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:09 pm
Maybe teaching relevant skills that will benefit the current generation would be wise?
Where in my posts do I give the impression that I did not teach relevant skills?
Maybe you can explain how your tailwheel time benefitted you when you transitioned to the sidestick Airbus?
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by telex » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:27 am

C.W.E. wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:09 pm
Maybe teaching relevant skills that will benefit the current generation would be wise?
Where in my posts do I give the impression that I did not teach relevant skills?
Are you doing this trolling bit of yours again dad?
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by Mapleflt » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:45 am

Every phase of flight has its own uniques set of skills, most of which are applicable to all phases of flight. While basic rudder control may well be enhanced through exposure in a taildragger once airborne rudder control becomes identical in all low wing loading, trainer style airplane regardless of the placement of the "third wheel". The primary effects of control remains the same in all axis, situational awareness and general airmanship skills remain the same. It may be that specific skills like crosswind takeoffs and lands are enhanced through taildragger training but does that warrant a fleet of them to do so or simply one or two in the stable for this purpose. A recipient of taildragger training will develop the skills unique to a taildragger but to suggest it's the "enlightened" path to be the "better" pilot is somewhat condescending to all others.

I have had the pleasure of flying with numerous, extremely qualified and immensely capable pilots who, to the best of my knowledge likely never flew a taildragger.

C.W.E, I respectfully suggest you likely have the teaching skills regards of the aircraft configuration so I'm at a bit of a loss in seeing the need to turn back time to fit a romantic idea from times gone by.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by photofly » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:26 am

I see what's going on here is a case of affirming the consequent. Maybe the logical flaw will be more apparent if we spell it out:
  • To fly a tailwheel aircraft one must be a good pilot.
  • Everyone pilot should be a good pilot
  • Therefore every pilot should fly a tailwheel aircraft.
Here's another example:
  • To be a Judge, one must be an honest person
  • Everyone person should be honest
  • Therefore every person should become a Judge.
Or how about this:
  • To post on AvCanada, one must be able write in English or French
  • Every citizen of Canada should be able to write English or French
  • Therefore every citizen of Canada should post on AvCanada.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by rookiepilot » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:27 am

photofly wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:26 am
  • To post on AvCanada, one must be able write in English or French
...and provide proof of ATPL
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by goingnowherefast » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:53 am

One should learn to fly various types of aircraft, especially early in their career.
Typically start on a 172, get checked out in a Piper, Diamond, find a nice taildragger somewhere. Different engines, Lycoming, Continental, Rotax if possible Radials are typically too expensive for average Joe. Gliders are a lot of fun and require active feet too.

Floats are a blast as well. Every Canadian pilot needs a float rating.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by PilotDAR » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:29 am

once airborne rudder control becomes identical in all low wing loading, trainer style airplane regardless of the placement of the "third wheel".
This has not been my experience. I have found different GA types require different attention to rudder use, and changes can also affect rudder sensitivity/co ordination. An example being that the installation of a STOL kit on a Cessna can enhance the aileron effectiveness, while not changing the rudder effectiveness, resulting in the need to apply more rudder in harmony with the aileron applied to maintain coordination, than that same plane would previously have required.

The differences between getting the rudder use coordinated or not on various GA types is generally not life threatening, other than possibly during low altitude maneuvering flight. So yes, one could fly a career as a good safe pilot without ever having flown a taildragger. Perhaps with dedication, pilots will apply themselves to precise rudder use exceeding what a tricycle airplane demands - that's great.

But, I have witnessed pilots paying inadequate attention to coordinated flight during slow flight, and entering an incipient spin because of this inattention. I had assured we had altitude to assure room for error and recovery. But, it was apparent to me that these pilots might have allowed these unsafe circumstances to arise closer to the ground, because they just weren't paying enough attention. If a pilot flies a career which rarely includes low speed, low altitude maneuvering, and never looses an engine, precise rudder use may never be demanded, and that pilot was a good pilot!

It is not condescending to draw attention to the fact that there are other learning/skill development opportunities, and different types to fly. We older pilots should be inspiring new pilots to seek out other training opportunities, which might not occur to them. If they choose not, okay, but it was suggested. A decade back, when I was feeling complacent about flying, I sought out helicopter training. I wasn't really looking to earn a license, though I eventually did, I just wanted to be challenged - and I was. So if you want the "pedals" experience, and can't find a taildragger to fly, go fly a helicopter!

Decades back, foolishly, with zero mentoring nor advice, I checked myself out in a Piper Tomahawk. I came to quite like this type, and flew a lot in several of them, but they are a different type to fly, particularly in short runways. I didn't hurt the plane, but I allowed the safety margins to be too fine, simply because I thought I knew enough without mentoring - that was not correct. 'Came the day to pass one on to its next owner. He came up, and told me about his considerable flying experience, but none on this type, nor anything similar. I offered him a check out, he declined. I (recalling my own foolishness) persisted with him. I pressed that he take me for one circuit, and if he felt comfortable, he take the plane, if not, I would fly a checkout with him. After a really sloppy circuit, he agreed he needed a checkout from me before he took the plane. Oh, by the way, I had hardly any taildragger time at that point in my experience, it was simply about having skills appropriate to the type, and appreciating the benefit of that.

There are so many types of aircraft, I believe that no one pilot can be competent flying all of them, there's just too much variation. And, as technology evolves, designers are going to try to design out the need for a pilot to actually fly the plane. But pilots, if you're proud of your workmanship while piloting, it would be nice if you sought out opportunities to experience the unique characteristics of different types. Maybe you have an aha moment, maybe your excellent skill allows you to fit in well with that type. In any case, broadening skills is never bad.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by 5x5 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:58 am

Here's a question - if you were designing the world's first airplane with today's infrastructure of predominantly paved runways so that prop clearance and roughness of the operating surface wan't a primary concern, would you build in dynamic instability that would manifest itself almost solely in the critical phases of transitioning from the air to the ground and the ground to the air? And by design make landing the most likely time (followed by take-off) at which loss of control would occur?

As far as instructing goes, I believe that a good instructor is a good instructor regardless of what machine they are teaching on. Experience flying tailwheels will never make a poor instructor into a good one.
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Re: How to improve flight training.

Post by Mapleflt » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:07 am

"An example being that the installation of a STOL kit on a Cessna can enhance the aileron effectiveness, while not changing the rudder effectiveness, resulting in the need to apply more rudder in harmony with the aileron applied to maintain coordination, than that same plane would previously have required."

I agree, an airplane thats been STC'd outside of the original type certificate could be very different and require specific training. However I don't by extension feel we need a "fleet" of STC'd airplanes as a means to improve flight training. In a similar vane if at airplane is being used in an enhanced manor (i.e. DHC6 offstrip, floats etc.) that too would demand specific training but one could be an equally capable DHC6 pilot without that training within the environment they are operating.

Therefore tailwheel experience gives one enhanced skills absolutely, but it's not a replacement for proper basic training regardless of the undercarriage configuration.
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