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#1 WolftalonID

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 12:33

I wrote this today after having some time to reflect on my thoughts for a few weeks now. Lets discuss shall we?

I recently met with a cfi that had discovered more by accident than purpose but then it grew into practice and study a surefire success for student pilots.

Most of us at some point in training, or along our career have drifted towards watching crash videos. Some of us were there to "learn something", while others were feeding morbid curiosity much like rubber necking drivers at an interstate car crash.

The truth is we do know in our mind that flyig is dangerous. We knew this well before we signed up to grab a stick and dance with the clouds. Our dreams and passions overruled that knowledge and we focused on the passion to be in the air.

Some of us had instructors who taught us how to do maneuvers and the why behind it, and others had instructors who taught them how and just said, because I said so why. I personally liked the how and why so that I had purpose behind mastering my techniques.

Soon enough in training we come across emergency maneuver and procedures training. This is intimidating for most students. Many instructors will resort to videos showing dramatic catastrophic destruction and say something along the lines of, "and thats why we dont do that". I was one of those instructors. Why? I was a product of generations of instructors that did the same thing, and honestly a culture built by Robinson Helicopters in their safty course. I believe whole heartedly in their safety course, but the videos can be a two edged sword.

This instructor I met had discovered well after teaching 1000+hrs that his students that became obsessed with these videos began to deteriorate in skills very quickly. They struggled with things like slopes, autos, quick stops. Control inputs would become eratic again, and overall hours needed to get through a rating increased for his private students to 70-80 or more hours. It was a fear of the machine creeping into the students mind that began to overcome their passion and drive.

The next phase of this experiment he began banning his students from watching the videos. Students will work very hard to please their instructors and he knew this. Most of his students adhered to is advice. Some did not.

The immediate change noted was over the next 1000 hrs of teaching students began to finish training with hours around 45-55 hrs, and a few were still 70-80+. Inquiring about their efforts to avoid the videos, every student that successfully finished with fewer hours had avoided the crash videos, and those who struggled to learn had gone on and watched many of them. Literally a line was drawn and every account was on one side or the other. No exception was found.

He kept up the new rule for his students for a second year and again had the very distinct groups, those who did versus those who did not watch crash videos.

This cfi has to date a pass rate of 100% and dozens of students with private ratings finished with very very low hours. All because he stumbled across a simple understanding of human psychology.
The gripping power of fear.

We dont learn to cook by watching internet videos of burning our hands and setting the stove on fire...we watch a pro cook and then do our best to emulate them.

We dont learn to wood work by watching videos of cutting our hands off with power tools.

We dont learn to drive by watching Rusian dash cam pedestrian survival videos, albiet crazy to see.

We dont learn to fly by watching helicopters crash.

John
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.

#2 terminal_velo

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 12:54

Sounds anecdotal to me, a small sample size, and highly likely to be influenced by personal biases.



#3 WolftalonID

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 20:24

Do to some odd feedback and remarks from some other places, I need to clarify some things so as not to have any misunderstandings here. I fully believe in the study of accidents, their reports, statistics, and related materials with our students. Sometimes the discussions are merrited and with the right guidance a student or group of them will see the value behind why we fly the way we do. So dont take this post to read as if I am advocating banning accident studies all together.

This was more directed at the concept of observation of students that went home and spent alot of time watching these types of videos on their own while still students. Watching them without a directive of study or the guidance of an educator beside them.
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.

#4 Spike

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 20:45

Videos can be helpful, if used appropriately. Conversely, if an instructor is using them inappropriately, then that is on the instructor, not the video…. Moreover, the experiment, as you call it, sounds like a perfect example of inappropriate use of videos since you describe the instructor as being “obsessed”….. Additionally, where did the CFI learn it was a good idea to show crash videos to students as a teaching aid? Thats not a study of "human psychology". Thats just dumb..... 

 

Plus, if I may pontificate, what I do for a living is no more dangerous than any other like-type line of work. Saying to anyone, that flying helicopters is dangerous is misguided. Specifically, it’s only as dangerous as you make it. As a professional, it’s what we do to earn a living and in no way resembles a career of chance and circumstance.... Or danger.....

 

Lastly, I don’t live in fear of what could happen. This does not make me a thrill seeker or a risk taker. I use judgment, experience and solid decision making to get the job done….. If an instructor wants his/her students to become better, more proficient pilots, I’d suggest they (the instructor) become a better instructor and focus on the task at hand and, avoid the internet and Youtube…..


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#5 WolftalonID

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:15

Spike please reread the post. I never said the instructor was obsessed. I said he made note that when "students" got obsessed with videos. That meaning when the student went home and of their own accord.

Proper teaching and breakdown of accidents and their connected chain of events is valuable when done appropriately.

Think about watching a video of how to mow your lawn, now think about the latest sales commercial showing someone mow a lawn like a flopping fish and try to sell you on a new improved machine. It makes us laugh because the video is so inappropriately proportioned to the actual process of mowing a lawn.

When an instructor breaks down the reasons and process of how to fly a maneuver, using books, videos, and show them watch them techniques it is awesome how a student learns. I just wanted to point out that the human nature or curiosity often leads aspiring students to go home and binge watch the stuff.

This can really undo efforts made in a proper educational setting. This action becomes inappropriately proportioned to the learning process.

Edited by WolftalonID, 13 February 2016 - 10:17.

Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.

#6 Spike

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 10:37

Spike please reread the post.

 

My bad…..  You did say it was the students who were becoming obsessed…. I guess I read it too fast or my cheaters were dirty…. That’s a rationalization……..

 

While I appreciate the discussion, from my experience, there is no new way to teach people to fly. Again, over the years, why students take longer to reach private certification is mind boggling, although the answer is obvious…. One would think with all of the innovations, technology, PPP’s, enhanced teaching aids, sim’s, VIDEO’s, so-on-and-so-forth, that primary flight instruction would lessen the instruction time…. Sadly, it's not the case.....

 

When I started teaching, videos, especially crash videos on VHS cassettes started to become popular and used as a teaching aid…. When I got my private, the only teaching aid my instructor had was a pencil, a tablet of paper and, a toy helicopter….. How far we've come only to make it more complicated.... And, profitable....

 

Good topic….


Edited by Spike, 13 February 2016 - 10:39.

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#7 WolftalonID

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 13:21

Well in all the efforts to bring about a safer way of flying, the industry has begun to turn towards less accidents. That is good. There in that may lay the answer to the hours... Its also something to consider.
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.

#8 Rupert

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 16:14

Flying helicopters has in the past few years surpassed mining, logging and commercial fishing as the world's most dangerous occupation.
Even then, flying helicopters remains a reasonably safe occupation.

It takes a lot of physical courage to overcome the fear of heights, especially when in close relationship with the ground, as in looking down a long line.
We don't need to add anything to that pot.

We need to tell, show and model the right way to do things, and our students will do the right things.
People learn more from observing someone else lose their job than from observing them lose their life.
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#9 FlyingBuma

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 13:54

Flying helicopters has in the past few years surpassed mining, logging and commercial fishing as the world's most dangerous occupation.
Even then, flying helicopters remains a reasonably safe occupation.

 

It's often been said the most dangerous part of flying is the drive to and from the airport....

 

Still, everything we do in life comes with a risk factor.  You could make the argument that getting out of bed in the morning is risky....  Our job is to manage or mitigate those risks.






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