I know I can be a difficult student. Especially for becoming an instrument pilot because of my job I already know a lot about the ATC System, the National Airspace System, and how things work in the Part 121 world.
My day job also involves me instructing and testing in a very structured, regulated environment. So training me in a Part 61 world may be a bit different.
Training for my instrument rating has by far been the most difficult. Maybe it’s where I am in life, maybe it’s the type of rating, or the CFIIs I’ve found. It’s also taught me a lot about myself and my process.
I’ve written before about dealing with my specific CFII a bit. I want to delve further into my experience and the ways I handled it. I know some people have called me picky or uptight. But then again, I’m paying a good portion of money for this.
My CFII could not stop touching the airplane! One key thing for me is I need to do something to learn it. He kept touching the controls on landing, so much so I got confused what I was doing and what he was doing. Was I fighting him or the airplane? The waters were muddied and it wasn’t a good learning environment to me. Instead of chickening out and just quitting to find someone else, I spoke up and told him about it. He got a bit better, but he was always touching something (controls, VORs, GPS, starting or shutting down the airplane to go faster) through our last lesson together.
I would remind him sometimes or hit his hand playfully to get him to stop. It never did, but he stopped touching the controls as much, which I could live with for learning. Though I never got my desired outcome, I did learn a valuable lesson in communication exactly what I needed as a student to learn.
I feel like a lot of lessons I may have had some idea of what we were doing. But not always, which I learned to deal with and was fine with that. What I didn’t enjoy was in the air a sudden change because he saw another airport and thought it was a quick jump. Since we always filed an IFR flight plan, it was never quick dealing with ATC to make the change. That was a bit frustrating at points.
Where this came to a breaking point was oral preparation, and I will take blame for this too. We never did much ground before or after flights. So when the checkride came time it was a mad dash to cram and figure out where my gaps of knowledge were and what I needed to study. I’ll go more into this in another post. But make sure you’re consistently doing oral prep in your ground work for flights!
I was able to get a lot of time on the calendar and fly as frequently as I wanted, which was great. What the problem was my CFII was always late. It didn’t bug me too much since I incorporated it into my schedule. And he was late to start, but also late in finishing. It was nice my time wasn’t cut short, but I have to cull out more time when I had a lesson to incorporate this. Not only that, but we would change times last minute if VFR students cancelled (again, something I agreed to) but basically every day I had a flight lesson I had my schedule free to incorporate all these things. It got old after awhile. Only once it made me miss a flight when I was clear I had to end by 11:30am, we ended up noon. Again, not a huge deal since I flew standby, but just an annoyance.
Well, that turned into more of a rant. But these were all unintended lessons I learned throughout the process. If I came home to vent about anything, Jake just reminded me to remember it when I become an instructor and not do it to my students. Until next time!