June 23rd, 2012
Logbooks are great. More than a tally of flight hours, the logbook is a sort of journal -- a chronicle of the places we've been and challenges faced. Even now, after fifteen years of flying, I can turn to a page in an old logbook and relive each flight.
Most flight schools start their students with the small ASA or Jeppesen logbook, and it works pretty well for normal private pilot training. But as experience grows, that old logbook becomes increasingly inadequate.
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May 29th, 2012
These guys are ready to learn and play volleyball
Let's pull back the curtain and look at flight training from the point of view of your instructor. Flight lessons are built around a set of principles known as the Principles of Learning. These principles help teachers guide students towards specific learning goals. But one principle is almost completely up to you, the student.
The principle of readiness simply states that learning won't take place until the student is good and ready! This is usually the biggest hurdle for any teacher, from grade school all the way to the cockpit.
Modern learning theory tells us that most of Maslow's hierarchy of human needs needs to be satisfied before learning can occur.
On the most basic level, readiness to learn depends upon your physical needs. The takeaway here is to show up well-rested and properly fed. It's hard to stay focused on complicated maneuver profiles when you're tired and hungry. It's not a bad idea to hit the bathroom on the way to the classroom either. Read More >>
October 31st, 2011
The second hardest part of the flight training experience is making the decision to get started, and it's no surprise that for every pilot living the dream, there are two, three or more people that are still sitting on the fence.
Learning to fly might sound like a big commitment. It entails 40+ hours of flying, the equivalent of a college course in ground lessons and many more hours of self study. And then there is the written exam and dreaded ground and flight portions of the practical test. But it's not.
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October 3rd, 2011
"If you want to be a pilot, you have to be very good at math." That was the advice of my elders as I worked my way through grade school, and it's an often repeated sentiment today. But it's a lie. You don't have to be a math-whiz to be a pilot.
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August 29th, 2011
"Never his mind on where he was, what he was doing." That was Yoda's complaint about Darth Vader, and the same can be said about a class of student pilots that I like to call over-analyzers.
I've seen it happen at all levels, from the private pilot-to-be all the way up to the new-hire airline trainee. The student knocks it out of the park in ground school, but things go sour once they get to the flying. Read More >>